An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.
Hops - Humulus lupulus - Family: Moraceae (Cannabinaceae) (Mulberry Family).
This plant is a rhizome-based perennial vine (liana) that may reach the height of twenty-five feet. It has large deeply-lobed toothed light green leaves. The flowers on male plants are small and yellowish. The greenish female flowers, called strobiles, cones or hops, contain the chemical lupulin that has been an ingredient of beer for thousands of years. Young shoots have been used as a traditional European vegetable in springtime. Traditional European use of hops as a poultice to reduce inflammation. Hops stuffed into a pillow are a traditional European remedy for insomnia. Modern European folk use as a remedy for constipation. Traditional European folk use of hop tea as a remedy for anxiety, indigestion, insomnia and nervous conditions. Traditional European folk use as a digestive bitter. Approved by German Commission E as a remedy for anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. Modern European and American folk use as an external remedy for eczema, herpes and other skin problems. Also used as an herbal tea. Note: do not combine with alcohol use. Note: hops may cause diarrhea, indigestion or skin allergies. Note: use may worsen existing depression. Note: some references suggest that Hops should not be used if suffering from depression. Note: some authorities suggest not combining use with drugs which contain estrogen, such as birth control pills. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1820 to 1910. Native to Europe, Asia and North America. Naturalized in California. Cultivated both as a crop and as an ornamental in North America. One cultivar, Aureus, is called the Golden Hop and has golden leaves.
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Web page last updated on 21 May 2003.