Economic Botany

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 118–125 | Cite as

Inhibition ofStreptococcus mutans and Other Oral streptococci by hop (Humulus lupulus L.) constituents

  • Sanchita Bhattacharya
  • Salima Virani
  • Mashenka Zavro
  • Gerhard J. HaasEmail author


We report the inhibition of the causative agents of dental caries, Streptococcus mutans and other oral streptococci, by the antimicrobially active ingredients of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus L.). The hop constituents studied were purified beta acid, xanthohumol, isoalpha acid and tetra iso-alpha acid. Cruder hop extracts were also investigated. The antimicrobial activity of these hop constituents was tested against four strainsof Streptococcus mutans as well as one strain each ofStreptococcus sanguis andStreptococcus salivarius and compared to antimicrobial essential oils used in mouthwashes in two independent assay systems. We found that all tested hop constituents inhibited the Streptococci. The minimum inhibitory concentration at pH 7.5 ranged from 2 to 50 μg/ml depending on the microorganism and hop phytochemical tested. Contrary to a previous report, there was no activity enhancement by ascorbic acid over and above the enhancement due to pH lowering. Thére was no resistance development to beta acid after 10 passages in a subinhibitory concentration of this acid. Antimicrobial activity of hop constituents was found to be greater than other plant products such as thymol, nerol, cinnamon oil, oil of clove, menthol and eucalyptol. The possibilities of using hop constituents in mouthwashes are discussed.

Key Words

antimicrobial ascorbate beta acid dental caries disc diffusion assay humulone iso-alpha acid lupulone MIC mouthwash thymol xanthohumol 


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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanchita Bhattacharya
    • 1
  • Salima Virani
    • 1
  • Mashenka Zavro
    • 1
  • Gerhard J. Haas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Natural SciencesFairleigh Dickinson UniversityTeaneck

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