Hops 

Botanical name

Humulus lupulus        

Common Names

Common hop, european hop

FAMILY

Cannabidaceae

Description

Hops is found throughout the British Isles and has been used for centuries in both food and medicine.

Part supplied

The chopped flowers (strobile)

Food Use

Hops and Hops Essence are used to adjust the flavour and smell of beer in home brewing. The essence, being in ethanolic solution, is fully miscible with beer. Our essence is made by infusing the whole hop strobile in sugar beet ethanol, not just the essential oils.

Hops appear to have been used in the breweries of the Netherlands in the beginning of the fourteenth century. In England they were not used in the composition of beer till nearly two centuries afterwards. The liquor prepared from fermented malt formed the favourite drink of our Saxon and Danish forefathers. 

The malt beverage went by the name of Ale (the word derived from the Scandinavian öl - the Viking's drink) and was brewed either from malt alone, or from a mixture of the latter with Honey and flavoured with Heath tops, Ground Ivy, and various other bitter and aromatic herbs, such as Marjoram, Buckbean, Wormwood, Yarrow, Woodsage or Germander and Broom. They were not, however, the ale to which Hops give both flavour and preservation nowadays. For a long time after the introduction of hops, the liquor flavoured in the old manner kept the name of Ale, while the word of German and Dutch origin, Bier or Beer, was given only to that made with the newly-introduced bitter catkins.

Recipes

Use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to one cup of boiling water to make a tasty tea. Infuse for 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey or lemon to taste.

Alternatively add half a teaspoon (2.5 ml) of tincture to a cup of warm water for a quick alternative to tea.

The herb can be added as a flavouring to gin, vodka and other infusions.

Medicinal Use

Hops relaxes the central nervous system, reduces tension and anxiety and is used predominantly in sleep preparations. It is also astringent and useful in treating mucous colitis. It can also reduce pain, especially in chronic cholecystitis.

Mrs Grieves recorded its use as an infusion and a tincture. The infusion is employed as a vehicle, especially for bitters and tonics: the tincture is stomachic and is used to improve the appetite and digestion. Both preparations have been considered to be sedative, were formerly much given in nervousness and hysteria and at bedtime to induce sleep; in cases of nervousness, delirium and inflammation being considered to produce a most soothing effect, frequently procuring for the patient sleep after long periods of sleeplessness in overwrought conditions of the brain. 

The bitter principle in the Hop proves one of the most efficacious vegetable bitters obtainable. An infusion of 1/2 oz. Hops to 1 pint of water will be found the proper quantity for ordinary use. It has proved of great service also in heart disease, fits, neuralgia and nervous disorders, besides being a useful tonic in indigestion, jaundice, and stomach and liver affections generally. It gives prompt ease to an irritable bladder, and is said to be an excellent drink in cases of delirium tremens. 

Sherry in which some Hops have been steeped makes a capital stomachic cordial. 

A pillow of warm Hops will often relieve toothache and earache and allay nervous irritation. 

An infusion of the leaves, strobiles and stalks, as Hop Tea, taken by the wineglassful two or three times daily in the early spring, is good for sluggish livers. 

Hop Tea in the leaf, as frequently sold by grocers, consists of Kentish Hop leaves, dried, crushed under rollers and then mixed with ordinary Ceylon or Indian Tea. The infusion combines the refreshment of the one herb with the sleep inducing virtues of the other. 

Hop juice cleanses the blood, and for calculus trouble nothing better can be found than the bitter principle of the Hop. A decoction of the root has been esteemed as of equal benefit with Sarsaparilla. 

As an external remedy, an infusion of Hops is much in demand in combination with chamomile flowers or poppy heads as a fomentation for swelling of a painful nature, inflammation, neuralgic and rheumatic pains, bruises, boils and gatherings. It removes pain and allays inflammation in a very short time. The Hops may also be applied as a poultice.

Key actions: Sedative, hypnotic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, astringent. Hops have tonic, nervine, diuretic and anodyne properties. Their volatile oil produces sedative and soporific effects, and the Lupamaric acid or bitter principle is stomachic and tonic. For this reason Hops improve the appetite and promote sleep.

In clinic:  

If you are interested in the medicinal use of this herb please consult a herbalist. Herbs are generally used at medicinal strength, in blends, prescribed for each unique patient's condition.

Directions

Infusion: About half a teaspoon of herb (0.5 to 1 g) to a cup of cold water. Pour boiling water over the herb and leave to infuse for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavour with lemon, ginger or honey if desired. Drink 3 times a day unless otherwise told by a medical herbalist.

Tincture: Take 1 to 2 ml (1:5 tincture), 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Fluid extract: 1:1 Take 0.5 to 1 ml, 3 times a day or as directed by a practitioner.

Dried Herb: Maximum of 3 g per day may be taken as a powder or capsules.

Other Uses

Cosmetic Use

None known.

Other Uses

None known.

Cautions

Contraindications

For people suffering from marked depression, hops can accentuate low mood and should be avoided.

This herb is considered safe in food amounts. Do not take if you are allergic to this plant or other members of this plant's family (Cannabidaceae). Not all herbs are suitable in pregnancy, breastfeeding or for young children. If in doubt, please ask us or your medical herbalist.

Side effects

An intensely itchy round rash (urticaria) may be an adverse contact reaction to hop dust and strobiles. However they are a rare occurrence, and they do not result  in an ingested hops sensitivity, ie beer. Hops may make you feel drowsy. Do not drive or operate machinery if affected. Plant extracts cause few side effects when taken correctly but if a side effect is experienced please contact us.

Interactions with drugs

None known.

Herbal remedies and supplements can interact with medicines. If you are taking medication please check with your medical practitioner, or call us, before taking herbs, supplements and medication together.

More Information

Articles

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Recipes

Look in our recipes section for more uses of this herb.

Research

Read the latest PubMed research on this herb.

Add to BagHumulus lupulus - Hops strobile 100g £6.50
Add to BagHumulus lupulus - Hops strobile 1kg £42.25
Add to BagHumulus lupulus - Hops strobile tincture 100ml £6.00
Add to BagHumulus lupulus - Hops strobile tincture 500ml £19.50
Add to BagHumulus lupulus - Hops strobile tincture 1L £32.25

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