Hops is a widespread wild plant, however, due to its numerous useful properties, it has long been cultivated and grown on plantations. You can’t brew beer without hops, and for the needs of the medical industry, hop cones are needed in large quantities.
Hops is a dioecious plant with a fleshy rhizome and horizontal shoots rooted in nodes. The stems are four-sided, liana-like, twisted, up to 6 m long. They usually cling to some support with the help of special spikes. The leaves of the plant are opposite, large, pedunculate-Z-5-lobed, rough below, with golden-yellow glands. The flowers are small, yellowish-green, collected in inflorescences: male – in drooping panicles, and female – in short axillary spikelets. After female flowers bloom, their perianth grows strongly and forms a fruit – a “cone”. On the inner side of the perianth there are numerous yellow glands, which after ripening and drying give a yellow powder, the so-called lupulin. The plant blooms in July-August. The fruit is a brown nut, ripening in August-September. Wild hops grow in wet places among bushes, on the edges of forests and in thickets, along the shores of swamps. Widespread throughout the territory of Ukraine and Russia, except for the North and the Far East.
Hop cones and lupulin are used as medicine. The fruits are harvested in the middle of August, they are plucked together with the peduncles. Raw materials are quickly dried in the shade in the open air.
“Cones” contain resins, organic acids, tannins, essential oil (up to 2%), hormones, coumarins, pigments, vitamins of group B, as well as PP and E. Shoots and leaves are rich in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) (up to 190 mg”).
In medicine, aqueous infusions of mature fruits are used to improve appetite and digestion, and are prescribed for diseases of the gall bladder and liver. This product is also used as a sedative and diuretic. Hop seed oil, which is produced by the medical industry, is included in products used for neuroses, coronary sclerosis, tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and insomnia. In particular, it is a component of valocordin. The extract of “cones” of hops is included in the composition of products used for the treatment of diseases of the kidneys, liver and biliary tract.
Externally, infusions of the fruit are used in the treatment of dermatitis, dandruff and to strengthen hair roots.
Young underground shoots of hops are eaten in the spring – rolled in breadcrumbs and fried in fat. They taste like asparagus or cauliflower. Fermented leaves are suitable for cooking green borscht.
Yeast made from lupulin is used in baking and brewing. A yellow-green dye is obtained from the flowers of the plant.
Hops is often used as an ornamental plant in homesteads — it wraps around fences, walls of gazebos and houses.
Infusion of “cones”. 2 tablespoons of raw materials per 0.5 liters of boiling water, infuse for 2 hours, filter. Take 1/2 cup 4 times a day.
Tincture “cones”. “Cones” are filled with 40% alcohol or vodka in a ratio of 1:4. Take 5-7 drops in the morning and in the evening before meals.
In case of an overdose of common hop products, side effects in the form of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, general malaise and headache are possible.