Hops – Humulus lupulus
- Created: 31 July 2014
Family – Cannabaceae
Other Names: Beer Flower
Element – Air, Gender – Male, Totem Animal - Wolf
Hops is native to Europe, Asia and North America.
The name ‘humulus’ is derived from the word ‘humus’ meaning ‘earth’ and this could be because of the fact that this plant likes a deep soil. The name ‘lupulus’ means ‘wolf’ and is thought to be due to the strangling action of the climbing plant, similar to how a wolf strangles its prey. Hops have been used in the brewing industry since the 8th century.
The strobiles are harvested early autumn and the stems harvested late summer.
Leaves can be harvested as required.
Young shoots are harvested during summer
Certain species of Hops are on our Noxious Weeds List and hence are not recommended to be grown by the dept of Agriculture.
Hops likes growing along hedgerows and thickets. The female plants are cultivated, best grown from cuttings rather than seed. Gender will not be apparent until the third year. Roots can be divided during spring.
A hardy perennial that grows up to a height of 23 ft. The heart shaped leaves are large, toothed and rough in texture. They have between 3 to 5 lobes. Plants are either male or female. The male plants bear clusters of small-yellowish green flowers, whilst the female bears small cone like catkins which bloom in summer. After flowering the cones ripen into large papery fruits that are also used in the brewing industry.
Bitter principles – lupulin, humulon, lupulon and valerianic acid
Volatile oil 1% humulene
Flavonoids, Polyphenolic tannins,
Asparagin, Oestrogenic substances
• Antispasmodic to smooth muscle
• Aromatic bitter
Hops are indicated for the treatment of colic, irritable bowels and nervous tension.
The bitters in the hops make a strong digestive stimulant.
Hops can mild sedative, hypnotic, diuretic and weak antiseptic properties.
Hops make a great calming and sedative tea that can be used as a general tonic, an appetite stimulant and for treating digestive disorders. The tea can also be used to treat jaundice and menstrual cramps, as well as being a galactagogue
Externally an infusion can be used to treat neuralgia, arthritis, rheumatism, boils, rashes and bruises.
Hop pillow can be made to help induce a natural sleep, as well as relieve toothache and earache.
The distilled oil is contained in some perfumes.
Young shoots and immature leaves can be added to salads.