Common hop

Popular names: beer hop, hop color, hop cone.

Parts used: female inflorescences (“bumps”) and glands (glandular scales).

Pharmacy name: hop cones – Lupuli strobulus (formerly: Flores Humuli lupuli), hop glands – Lupuli glandula (formerly: Glandulae Lupuli).

Botanical description.A perennial climbing plant, reaching a height of about 3-6 m. On a rough stem due to spines, 3-5-lobed very rough leaves are oppositely located. Male inflorescences form loose panicles on stems with inconspicuous greenish-white small flowers. For the brewing industry and for pharmacy, only female hop plants are of interest. They form capitate inflorescences of flowers tightly collected in a false spike, the so-called hop cones. The latter are used for medicinal purposes. To obtain medicines, resin glands are also used, which are located on the covering leaves of flowers and scales of cones. Blooms in summer. In Germany, hops are cultivated, but very often they are also found in a wild state in damp floodplain forests and shrubs, along the banks of reservoirs, in forest swamps.

Collection and preparation. Collect female inflorescences at the end of summer, shortly before they are fully ripe, so that their glandular scales do not fall off during collection. Then they are dried. If you want to use the hop glands separately, then completely dry material is sieved using a sieve. Glandular scales fall off and accumulate in the form of a green-yellow, somewhat sticky powder.

active substances. Bitterness, resinous substances, humulone and lupulon, essential oil, minerals, flavonoids are the most important components of the plant, which in combination also determine the calming effect of hops. In later times, this property of the plant was attributed to the recently discovered 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, but I believe that this effect of hops cannot be attributed to him alone.

Healing action and application.Hops are characterized by three directions of action. First of all, it stimulates the appetite, which is provided by tannins and bitterness. Further, hops have a calming effect on agitation, insomnia and mild depression. Finally, hops are said to have a stimulating effect on the menstrual cycle. This applies to both hop cones and hop scales. But although the action of scales is more intense and stronger, tea from hop cones is more often used. The German National Health Service recommends hop tea for anxiety and fear, as well as sleep disorders. o Hop cone tea: 2 teaspoons topped with hop cones are poured into 1/4 liter of boiling water and incubated for approximately 15 minutes. Drink or 2 times every day for 1 cup as a sedative, or half an hour before bedtime 1 cup as a sleeping pill. In the later case, it is recommended to add 1 teaspoon of valerian when making tea. The scope of hops is very wide, but most often it is added to other medicinal plants to enhance their action. So, it is found in blood purifying teas, in stomach teas, in soothing and sleeping teas, we find it together with hawthorn, mistletoe, valerian and garlic in all kinds of herbal products against senile ailments, and when it comes to tea mixtures for the worries of our daily life , then, as a rule, hops are also an integral part of them. We also note that teas for gastrointestinal diseases, with loss of appetite, with diseases of the gallbladder, can always be improved with hops, if these diseases have a nervous nature (1/4 or 1/5 of such a mixture should be hops). In teas for such ailments of a nervous nature as heart pain, arrhythmia and mild depression, hops serve as an effective additive. Hops are also popular as a tonic supplement, being part of many medicinal products along with other active ingredients.

Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic remedy Humulus lupulus is considered primarily a good sedative, and along with this it is also used for gastric diseases of a nervous nature. Interestingly, homeopathy also uses combinations of hops with other plants (for example, barley), with hops most often in second place.

Application in folk medicine. Along with the already mentioned use in folk medicine, hops play a special role in the fight against menstrual disorders and menopause. It is also used against diseases of the bladder and kidneys. Give tea from hop cones (preparation described above) or simply take 2-3 times every day a small amount of hop glands on the tip of a knife. And, of course, hops are a favorite ingredient in sleeping pills.

Side effects. At a normal dosage, no side effects should be feared.

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