Most people these days will automatically think about “beer” the moment they hear the word “hops” and while it is indeed true that it is a very rare beer that doesn’t contain hops, these little green treasures have more uses than just as an ingredient for beer. Hops are actually the dried flower cones of the Humulus lupulus plant which is a quick growing vine. Indeed, it is mostly used to give beer that oh-so delicious bitter taste but there are in fact a number of herbal remedies that call for hops like the ones to help alleviate anxiety attacks, help people who suffer from insomnia, and ease the symptoms of menopause.
Before the vine was grown and the flowers harvested to use as a flavouring agent for beer, it had a myriad of other uses. Some experts say they were gathered to use in making dyes because the sap made a sort of brownish dye while the cones and leaves produced a yellowish dye. Back then, the stems were used to make ropes, paper, and sacks. This means any olden texts mentioning the gathering of hops didn’t necessarily mean they were about to brew beer and enjoy happy hour.
Aside from being used to make dye and paper, these flowers were also used as preservatives. So it really isn’t clear whether they used it to preserve their beer or they used it as flavouring. In fact, it is not even sure if they were used specifically for beer or just for drinks in general.
It is a given that hops is delicious when used in brewing beer but it can also be used as a remedy for anxiety, bruises, sprains, and insomnia. It can regulate female hormones and soothe back and neck pains. They contain analgesic and anticancer properties which should make beer drinkers very happy. It contains bitter properties, sedative properties, and diuretic properties among so many others. What makes it so effective is that it contains lupilin which is a combination of volatile oil and bitter resins.
Most brewers use dry hop in their beer brewing process and to date, making beer is the most popular use of these flowers. However, there are still some herbal remedies that use it for its sedative effects and for its ability to quell the nerves and reduce anxiety. Recent studies have revealed its antimicrobial properties which are also treasured by herbal remedy enthusiasts.
Women will be happy to know that they contain oestrogen-like hormones that may help those who suffer from hormone fluctuations. In fact, hops are very useful to women who are going through menopause as it keeps their hormone levels from going up and down.
Drinking too much beer that contain hops will likely give people hangovers but when hops are taken as herbal supplements, specifically as a sedative, 1.5 to about 2 grams of hops extract combined with dried strobile is very effective.