Hop heads are regarded as tonic, bitter and depuratives. They are used in the form of tea, rarely as an extract, in skin problems and rickets. Hops stimulates the appetite and helps digestion. It supports vital energy and the vigor of the organs. A strong dose quickens the pulse, raises body heat, helps stimulate the nervous system causing the head to become heavy, the limbs to become tired and even producing vomiting, but without giddiness or cephalalgia.
Besides their unquestionable tonic properties, hops have been regarded, perhaps with less reason, as diuretic, diaphoretic and anthelmintic. However, its sedative properties are still contested. English doctors have used it to combat insomnia, making the patient sleep on a pillow filled with sweet-smelling hops. In homeopathy, hops can be used as a sedative and depurative. All the animals eat hops and bees seek out their strobiles.
Humulus lupulus L., Cannabinaceae, and Lupul strobulus, commonly known as hops, humulus, lupulus, hop bine, and willow wolf in English. In French, it is Houblon grimpant; in German, Hopfenzapfen or just Hopen.
This herb is a perennial with green flowers that bloom in late summer. Herbal products are made from a part of the plant called the strobile, essentially a cone-like fruit. Inside the fruit, surrounding the seed, is a yellow granular powder called lupulin; it contains the active ingredients. Hops are, of course, cultivated worldwide for beer production.
The common name, hops, is thought to be from the Old English hopen, meaning "to climb." In the wild, leaves of this herb tend to be found growing around willow trees (hence the name "willow wolf"). Since Medieval times, hops have been grown for beer-making, and pillows stuffed with hops were used during the Middle Ages to help support insomnia. Oils from hops are also used in perfume manufacturing.
Traditional Support Uses
For anxiety and sleep disturbances, as an antispasmodic, and as a digestive aid.
Commission E Recommendations
Hops can be used to help support anxiety, insomnia, mood disturbance, restlessness and sleep disturbances.
The main ingredients in hops are resins and compounds known as alpha and beta acids. The alpha acids consist of humulone, cohumulone, and adhumulone. The beta acids are lupuplone, colupulone, and adlupulone. Both types of acids tend to break down and disappear with storage. The ability of hops to induce sleep is thought to be due to the presence of a chemical called 2-methyl-3-butne-2-ol. Once the alpha acids enter the body, some of them are converted to 2-methyl-3-butne-2-ol.
In clinical, double-blind controlled clinical trials using health volunteers, hops induced sleep efficiently. Equally important, volunteers supported with hops had less of a hangover the next morning. Hops also contain substances called phytoestrogens - molecules that in some way look and act like estrogens. Many believe that phytoestrogen can reduce coronary artery problems, osteoporosis, and other age-related health problems.
Hops may be used two to three times a day and, again, at bedtime. The standard dose is one cup of tea made with 0.5 to 1 gram of dried strobiles. The same amount could be taken in capsule form, though it may take longer to exert its effect.
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Anonymous - May 10, 2006, 09:52
HELLO, I HAVE BEEN TAKING HOPS 2 TIMES A DAY FOR SEVERAL MONTHS NOW AND AT THE SAME TIME HAVE HAD A SLIGHT WEIGHT GAIN. IS IT POSSIBLE TO GAIN WEIGHT FROM USING HOPS?THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION TO THIS QUESTION.
ZooScape Moderator - May 11, 2006, 14:32
I have not been able to find any information that would suggest that Hops would be responsible for weight gain. Hops may cause drowsiness during the daytime, it may be associated with allergic symptoms in individuals who handle it regularly and it may cause the symptoms of depression to worsen. Hops has also been used by herbalists for centuries to reduce nervous tension. Hops acts as a natural sedative to calm the nerves and reduce stress and anxiety. Hops also promotes a good night's rest by counter-acting the effects of sleeplessness and insomnia.
If you are concerned about your weight gain, I do suggest that you discuss this with your physician as he or she will be able to make the best decision regarding your optimal health.
Hops is not recommended for those who suffer from depression.
Hops also contain quercetin, the same flavonol found in cranberries, and substances called terpenes. Terpenes are also found in other plants known to cause contact dermatitis (citrus fruit peels and pines to name just two), which probably explains why allergy to hops can occur. But given the number of people who work in the industry, it is an uncommon occurrence, even among brewery workers. Life-threatening reactions have never been reported.
Hops belongs to the only other genus of family Cannabinaceae. But that does not mean that hops contains THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), or any molecules closely related to THC. Therefore, taking a hops-containing product is no excuse for a positive marijuana test. Since hops is a sedative, and can cause impairment, it should not be used with alcohol. Don't drink and drive.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Products are intended to support general well being and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure any condition or disease. If conditions persist, please seek advice from your medical doctor. Information provided at ZooScape.com relies partly on Traditional Uses. The essence of the current American rule on Traditional Uses is, as stated by FTC, "Claims based on historical or traditional use should be substantiated by confirming scientific evidence, or should be presented in such a way that consumers understand that the sole basis for the claim is a history of use of the product for a particular purpose."