If you want to know more about hops, its benefits and properties, you are in the right article. We want to tell you what exactly is this essential and so special ingredient for one of the most famous drinks in the world, beer.
In addition, it is treated as a medicinal plant, do not forget to read these lines to learn more about hops.
It is the essential ingredient for brewing, when your flowers are dried, lupulin is extracted from them, a unique element that provides the bitter taste and aroma so characteristic of beer.
History of hops
This plant has been used in ancient times as a medicinal plant for its sedative and antispasmodic effect. The Romans used hop flowers to fill their pillows and reduce sleep problems. Currently, this fact lacks scientific evidence, however, this practice has reached our days and our popular culture.
Today, the flowers of this plant are still used for therapeutic purposes, not only as associated with sleep but also to control the nerve and digestive system.
Properties of hops
This plant has the characteristic of being a climbing plant native to China, although it is grown in many regions of the world. This plant is a family of thecannabis plant , has both male and female flowers, and it is these plants the most used in natural medicine.
The properties of the hops that we highlight are the following:
- Flavonoids,such as quercetin, or campferol.
- Phenolic acids.
- Bitter principles.
Among the benefits and properties of hops that began to be studied in the middle of the twentieth century, we need to highlight the following:
- It is a good sedative of the central nervous system.
- It is a hypnotic food, although we have to keep in mind that this is only achieved through essential oil.
- Stimulates taste buds and prepares the body for digestion.
- It has estrogenic properties. This activity was observed in more than one study, and over time it has been corroborating in different tests in vivo.
We have to stress that hops is not a solution to disease, but some health benefits are attributed to it.
Benefits of hops
The components of hops and the properties that are attributed to it makes it a very beneficial food for health. The plant is recommended to take to maintain a healthy organism, although we emphasize that it is not a substitute for conventional treatments and should be considered as a supplement.
Anxiety and nervousness
Taking infusions of hops allows us to calm our nerves when we are anxious and somewhat agitated. This plant produces a sedative effect of hops, it was observed how this plant helped to control drowsiness and fatigue more than usual, and allowed to control sleep.
Taking hops to control sleep makes it a star ingredient for this purpose. Although we need to remember, that the intake of hops should be supervised by a doctor, as long as insomnia problems are very persistent.
Increases our appetite
Hops stimulates gastric secretions and contribute to opening appetite. It also helps to improve the digestion of our meals, so if you have had a copious meal or feel packed, do not stop taking hops to improve your condition.
Reduces pain in the kidneys
One of the positive effects of hops is that it allows to temporarily relieve pain. This is achieved when the hops is applied externally, so you can make plasters with the infusion of the plant.
Relief is temporary, although the reduction of rheumatic pain and inflammation is real. However, to have systematic relief, we must ask our doctor in order to improve our health.
This natural ingredient has active ingredients thanks to its estrogenic properties. This makes it possible to treat the negative effects of menopause, such as hot flashes, anxiety and insomnia that can come to characterize this stage of women’s life.
All these benefits, still do not have scientific support, however, that is not left that it is not a beneficial food for the organism.
Where can you find hops?
As we have seen, hops has great properties and health benefits. One of the ways in which we can take hops is by means of herbal teas. Although we can also find it in capsules, extracts or essential oil format.
Hops can be found in herbalists and specialty stores. Ideally, ask the owner of the herbalist so that he can determine in what format you can take it to improve your health.
To enhance its sedative effects, and take it in situations of nerves and insomnia, you can also accompany it with other plants with the same properties. For example, you can combine it with valerian, lavender flowers or passionflower.
Contraindications of hops
These medicinal plants have effects on the body and they help us maintain a strong immune system, although we need to be aware, that not all medicinal plants, however beneficial they are, serve for all or are suitable for everyone.
Hops, for example, is not recommended for pregnant women. Having estrogenic properties, I could cause miscarriages. In addition, it is wise to avoid it also when you are breastfeeding.
Use should also be avoided when people have syndromes that have hyperestrogenia or patients who have had cancer.
In addition, handling dangerous heavy machinery or driving is discouraged, since its relaxing effect can cause drowsiness.
Bonus track: hops and beer, a bit of history
Although there is no exact documentation, hops began to be used to brew beer in the 8th century, it dates from 868 when hops began to be used in Belgium for hygiene and conservation reasons. Over time, its use is spread throughout Europe reaching equally to Spain.
At present, hops are used not only for brewing, but also for its mild antibiotic effect against Gram positive bacteria, because it favors the activity of malting yeast. Hops balances the taste of beer by the sweet malt thanks to its bitter touch.