Hops, botanical name Humulus lupulus, is a genus of plants in the hemp family. Among other things, it contains phytoestrogens, i.e. active ingredients that are similar to estrogen and can help with menopausal symptoms.
Other ingredients in hops include essential oils and the bitter acids humulone and lupulone. The bitter substances have a beneficial effect primarily on the gastrointestinal tract because they have a digestive, slightly antiseptic effect and can therefore be used well against stomach problems and nervousness.
In conjunction with valerian, lemon balm and St. John’s wort, hops have established themselves as a well-known sleeping and sedative and are used in many teas. A hop bath and a body massage with hop oil can also be soothing and relaxing and can help with nervous restlessness, tension and back pain.
Whether as an ingredient in beer or in naturopathic applications, only the female parts of the plant, the so-called hop cones, are used. They are light green to yellow-green in color and have a slightly bitter scent. You can still collect wild hops yourself in bushes, riparian forests and along rivers and streams, but it is easier to buy the hop cones in dried form.
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