You will notice in a majority of grocery food stores around the nation, that an entire aisle is dedicated to beer from many brewers. If you are familiar to beer brewing, you will know that hops are an ingredient used in the production of the alcoholic drink. It is the ingredient that gives beer it bitter flavor which helps offset the sweetness of the malt that is used during production. How can there be health benefits to drinking beer when there are so many health risks when people over-consume alcoholic beverages? Believe it or not hops have many health benefits and you do not even have to drink beer to take advantage of these. The use of hops dates back to the ancient times and was used before they were used in beer production.
“Hops are the female flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus” (Wikipedia). It is a climbing vine that, when they are commercially grown, wires or strings are used to train these plants to grow up. The male plants have seeds, where the female ones do not have them. The male plants are removed and destroyed to prevent pollination. Then the female plants ane cloned with other female plants.
Did you ever notice when you buy beer, you can keep it for ages in the refrigerator and it seems to stay fresh? The hops used during the brewing process helps keep it a long period of time without spoiling. That is because of the strong antibacterial properties of this flower. These properties help prevent cuts, burns, scrapes, bee stings and mosquito bites from getting infected. You can also use it to treat skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and cold sores.
If you suffer from insomnia, or just do not get between six and eight hours a sleep a night, drink a cup hot water that is steeped with a teaspoon of hops just before you go to bed. The calming and relaxing properties of this will help you body relax and ease you into slumberland. These properties are also effective if you suffer from stress, anxiety and depression since this flower also contains relaxant and sedative properties. It is even safe to use hops with a combination of natural sleep aids such as melatonin, passion flower, lemon balm or valerian. There are no side effects that usually come from chemically made sleep aids and are not addicting.
Hops contain diuretic properties. It is very effective in treating and preventing urinary tract infections, kidney infections and stones. The next time you suspect you have a urinary tract infection, rather than running to the doctor, go to your local health food store or beer brewery and get some hops.
Hops are an excellent way to aid to your digestive system. If you eat a spicy meal or over indulge at the all you can eat buffet, this goes a long way in relieving symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, bloating, nausea and vomiting.
Hops are a natural pain reliever because of their anti-inflammatory properties. If you suffer from headaches, migraines, menstrual cramps, toothaches, arthritic pain, sprains and joint and muscle pain you can find relief either by including hops in your diet.
Many females who are either going through menopause or are menstruating have drops in their estrogen levels. The symptoms of insufficient estrogen levels include:
Loss of libido
Hops play a role in balancing hormones in women, helping relieve them of these symptoms.
You can purchase hops at a beer brewing supply store. However, your local health food store may carry this as well. You can purchase a wide variety of products including:
You can also purchase hops online through sites such as EBay and Amazon
Do not give hops to children who are under two years of age.
Do not use hops if you are diabetic since it can cause low blood sugar levels.
Stop using hops if you start to break out; you may be allergic to this plant.
Always talk to your doctor before you use hops or any other herb since it may interact with other medicines and supplements that you may be already taking.