Climbing perennial herbaceous plant, hops have been cultivated for a very long time on the American continent.
In France, it is cultivated in Alsace, in the Flanders and in the North where, when dried, it is used to make beer.
Plant also ornamental allowing the rapid creation of a vegetated screen, hops develop on wet soils and rich in humus, in the form of a twining liana with angular stems, which surrounds the vertical supports.
This plant features 3 varieties of which: the hops from china, the hops from japan and the European hops.
Vine can reach up to 10 m, hops are characterized by female flowers and male flowers commonly called "strobiles" because of their cone shape. These flowers have small glands producing a sort of resinous powder and aromatic yellowish color called "lupulin ". It is from this substance that we not only get our medicinal virtues, but also, the bitter flavor allowing to make beer.
But, what are the virtues and benefits of this plant for human health? How to use it wisely?
> Read also: growing hops well
Hops: for the record
Etymologically, the word hops would come from "Humulus », a diminutive of "humus »Derived from Latin which means "ground ».
Product of the partial decomposition of plant and animal matter, hops are herbaceous liana, perennial, with large fleshy root belonging to the Cannabaceae family.
It grows everywhere, more precisely in gardens and, reseeds naturally.
Still called "northern vine », « native sarsaparilla », « devil's wood " or "northern couleuvrée », The hops are harvested from September to November.
A protected plant in the past due to the importance given to it by foresters, hops are not cut without permission.
It was since the 12th century that the preservative and sanitizing virtues of the cones and female flowers of hops were discovered by a mystical Benedictine nun named Hildegard of Bingen.
His bitterness favored the fermentation as well as conservation of the beer over a long period.
Very quickly, these virtues were exploited in pharmacopoeia. Which are these?
Hops: health benefits and virtues
> Therapeutic virtues of hops
For a very long time now, the Amerindians exploited virtues hop in the form ofinfusion, to treat insomnia and the pain.
In Europe, too, northern grapes were used to relieve diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis, heart ailments and even to lower fever.
The properties recognized by native sarsaparilla are diverse.
Stimulating, tonic, diuretic and narcotic, hops is indicated for the treatment of anemia, rickets and general weakness.
Even more, this perennial herbaceous vine is recommended to fight against anorexia in children, gastropathies of nervous origin, dyspepsia and tremors of nervous origin.
In the case of convalescence, northern couleuvrée is also used and, as anaphrodisiac, especially among men in special cases such as premature ejaculation, erotic dreams ...
In Asia, and more particularly in China and Japan, Japanese hops (or Humulus scandens) are:
- a traditional remedy used to treat diphtheria, typhoid and tuberculosis,
- a tonic of the genitourinary system. True diuretic, the variety Humulus japonicus is recommended to treat premature ejaculation,
- a antibacterial. It is used to treat infections (cough, tonsillitis, malaria dysentery, mastitis, colds, cystitis).
Beyond these virtues mentioned above, we attribute to hops, others properties including those:
– sedative because, it facilitates digestion,
– febrifuge because, it treats irritability.
Hops also have a regulating effect on the hair system.
From there, it limits hair loss by promoting excess hair.
However, the virtues who are recognized to him, are mainly used to treat nervous disorders and, causing insomnia.
Hops in the kitchen
Lesser known property, apart from being an ingredient used to make beer, hops have also been used in bakery. Indeed, the production of leaven comes from hops to make bread.
This is what gives a soft, tender and tasty dough to our pancakes and bread in the kitchen.
From then on, in the Canadian Northwest and even in Alaska, sourdough made it possible to make cakes, waffles, pancakes and even muffins.
In addition, the young hop shoots, cooked like asparagus, are also consumed in culinary art.
Other uses and dosages of hops
By external channel, hops have been taken advantage of to treat skin diseases, gout and rheumatism.
Hops ointment has been used to relieve sprains, bruises, strains and cancerous ulcers.
On the other hand, in the form of poultices, hops were combined with an emollient substance to relieve swelling.
It should be noted that, supposed to stimulate the production of milk, the consumption of devil's wood was also recommended to nurses prone to milk failure.
How to take hops?
For a sleep naturally repairman, the use of hops is essential.
At home, to better prepare the hops and derive the best virtues from them, opt for a infusion.
To do this, in 1 liter of water, pour 30 grams of cones. Bring everything to the boil then let stand for 10 minutes.
To end with insomnia, drink a decoction or infusion before going to bed.
You can also prepare in 25 cl, 1 teaspoon of female hop flowers and leave to infuse for 7 minutes. Add as much as you want, a little honey and drink 1 cup ½ hour before going to bed.
As for the treatment ofother ailments, taking a cup before meals is sufficient.
Regarding the dosage Indicated to treat arthritis, stomach ache or rheumatism, it is recommended to dry the hop cones over low heat. Then put them in a fabric bag. Then apply to the painful areas.
You can also place them in your pillowcase, to ensure a night of peaceful sleep.
NB : Usually, it is advisable to let the cones macerate for 12 to 24 hours in order to preserve the active ingredients of the hops.
Hops are also marketed in dried powder or in extracts in the form of capsules.
In capsules, it is recommended to take (often in combination with the root of valerian), 500 mg of hops 1-3 times a day.
About the dyeing, an intake of 2 ml, 1 to 3 times a day is sufficient to relieve you.
Good to know about hops
Climbing hops can have sedative effects.
Therefore, when taken, it is strongly not recommended to handle heavy machinery or drive.
In addition, this perennial plant can stimulate hormonal activity in women. Its consumption is therefore contraindicated in women with breast cancer or having a family history.
If in doubt and for more information, consult your doctor or one pharmacist.