The hops plant, Humulus lupulus, is a climbing plant native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Hops are the cone-like, fruiting bodies (strobiles) of the plant and are typically harvested from cultivated female plants. Hops are most commonly used as a flavouring agent in beer.
Soothing the stomach and promoting healthy digestion have been the strongest historical use of this herb. Hops tea was also recommended by herbalists as a mild sedative and remedy for insomnia, particularly for those with insomnia resulting from an upset stomach A pillow filled with hops was sometimes used to encourage sleep. Traditionally, hops were also thought by herbalists to have a diuretic effect and to treat sexual neuroses. A poultice of hops was used topically to treat sores and skin injuries and to relieve muscle spasms and nerve pain.
What it does
Hops contain bitters, phtyo-oestrogens, volatile oils and resin. the bitters, humulone and lupulone have a stimulating actions on the appetite and digestive system. The oils have a sedative and nerve soothing action. Hops are also said to be mildly diuretic, anti-spasmodice and have aphrodisiac properties.
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Hops combine well with valerian and passion flower. It is also used by herbalists as a poultice for skin problems.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using Hops.
Hops has an antidepressant action and should not be taken if you are already taking anti-depressant medication.
Hops has sedative action and should not be taken if you are already taking anti-psychotic medication, tranquillisers or anti-convulsants.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Hops.