Benefits of Humulene Adaptogen

in Adaptogens Research

What is Humulene?

Humulene is a sesquiterpene that is given a name after Humulus lupulus (the hops planterpene). Humulene is also known as α-humulene or α-caryophyllene. Humulene has the same chemical formula as its relative β-caryophyllene does, but they are different in their structures. Many plants such as sage, clove, and basil, that contain β-caryophyllene also contain humulene, sharing the same fragrance. The fragrance and flavor produced by humulene are best described as subtle earthy or musky with undertones of spices. 

Humulene is a very common terpene in nature, and it is responsible for the flavors produced by the pine forest and many other popular herbs and their products. That is one reason why humulene is used as a flavoring agent in some drinks and food products. Sage and culinary ginger possess the burning bite they have due to the humulene component in them. Humulene has a lot of therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammatory properties, on the health of man.

Origin of Humulene

Humulene is a sesquiterpene abundant in hop plants and produces a sweet scent in pine trees. Hence, pine trees and hop plants are one of the origins of humulene. However, humulene has some other sources it can be obtained from. Humulene can be obtained from other natural plants such as basil, sage, clove, ginseng, black pepper, ginger, and the balsam fir tree.

Uses of Humulene

Humulene is very beneficial to the body. That is why it is used in many ways to promote and improve man's good health and well-being. The uses of humulene are therefore stated below:

1. Humulene is used as an appetite suppressant to promote weight loss.

2. Humulene is used as a depressant to relieve stress and pain.

3. Humulene is used as a flavoring agent in drinks and some food products.

4. Humulene is also used to destroy cancer cells by producing reactive oxygen species.

5. Humulene can also fight against ailments such as malaria, fever, and more.

Health Benefits of Humulene

Apart from the herbaceous charm that humulene contains, this adaptogen offers many health benefits, adopted and used in holistic Eastern medicinal practices for several years. Many types of research have been carried out on some plants such as hop, ginseng, and black pepper to determine the benefit of humulene as contained in them. The result obtained has proven many anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial benefits of humulene on the models used for research work. Some of these health benefits are considered below:

 1. Humulene possesses pharmacokinetic properties which enable weight loss

Humulene can affect appetites just like many other terpenes can. Instead of stimulating appetite, humulene rather suppresses the activity in the compound's satiety pathways leading to less desire for food. This is one more reason why humulene is recommended to help lose weight. A study was carried out, and it was based on determining the effectiveness of the pharmacokinetic properties that humulene contains. After the study was carried out, the authors concluded that humulene showcased a very rapid attack and a relatively good absorption after the topical and oral administration. However, the research outcome showed humulene's topical and systemic anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties, previously reported.

Humulene does not act as a stimulant but as a suppressant. That is why it is encouraged and recommended for help in weight loss.

2. Humulene possesses anti-inflammatory properties which can help to prevent inflammation

Humulene is popular and most likely examined for the anti-inflammatory properties that it possesses. From a study that was carried out in 2009, there was a discovery that humulene showed preventative, therapeutic, and anti-inflammatory properties in the animals used as models for the study.

Another study was carried out to determine the extent of humulene's effects on the release of other compounds and how they interact to trigger and enhance inflammation. The study showed that the anti-inflammatory effect of humulene was very strong. The effect was comparable to the drug effects caused by the steroid drug dexamethasone.

The studies carried out concluded that humulene possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it capable of preventing inflammation.

3. Humulene can help to prevent bacterial and fungal infections

Humulene contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antifungal, and immune-boosting effects, which can help reduce the spread of many insect-borne diseases and infections. The research discovered that humulene is toxic to the larvae produced by some varieties of mosquitoes; this larva is responsible for transmitting dengue fever, West Nile virus, and malaria. The toxicity level of humulene on the larvae causes them to become annihilated. Humulene is also known for its anti-bacterial properties in eradicating Staphylococcus aureus, if used in small quantities.

Humulene possesses properties that are capable of destroying and preventing bacterial and fungal infections.

4. Humulene possesses analgesic properties that help in the relief of pain

Humulene contains analgesic properties that make it capable of relieving pain such as headaches or migraines. When humulene is used as an ingredient of the essential oils of hops and a carrier oil, it acts as an effective and powerful pain reliever causing the body to be relaxed, thereby enjoying a good night's rest without experiencing any form of body ache. 

Humulene is a good pain reliever recommended for relaxation and a good night's rest free of body aches.

5. Humulene possesses properties that can help relieve stress

In 2016, a study for the Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal found humulene's effects on some diabetic rats. The results obtained showed that humulene had anti-oxidant effects, which led to a decreased level of 8-OHdG and a display of potential anti-diabetic properties of humulene.

Humulene contains anti-oxidant effects, capable of easing stress.


Humulene is another terpene that is very beneficial and recommended because of its healing properties. It is also employed in producing some drinks and food products because of its taste and sweet flavor.


Humulene: Health Benefits and Uses.

Alpha-Humulene Profile | Sesquiterpenes | Eybna Technologies

The Response to Oxidative Stress α-Humulene Compounds Hibiscus Manihot L Leaf on The Activity of 8-Hydroxy-2-Deoksiquanosin Levels Pancreatic β-Cells in Diabetic Rats.  I. W. G. Gunawan1, A. A. Bawa Putra and I. A. G. Widihati.α-humulene-compounds-hibiscus-manihot-l-leaf-on-the-activity-of-8-hydroxy-2-deoksiquanosin-levels-pancreatic-β-cells-in-diabetic-rats/

Humulene - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics