Dried Hops

Discover the Benefits of Dried Hops

Dried hops have not only been used to produce great beers, but they have also been used as a natural remedy for many years. In the 8th century, French king Pipin ordered the continuous growth of hops and literature shows that hops have been used to brew beer since the 16th century. The late summer is the best time to find hops which have a beautifully bright green colour. The plant can grow up to 30 years if it has a place to climb and if the climate is mild. Once the hops are harvested, they can be dried and used for many different things.

Hops contain estrogens which is a hormone also found in humans. Due to this fact, dried hops are often used to ease the changes and difficulties of the menopause in women. Besides this, hops are also great as a natural remedy for insomnia – we all know that beer makes us tired, and the reason for that are the hops! Growing hops is not difficult and if you have a little space in the garden, why not plant your own and discover the benefits of homemade dried hops?

Hops can survive tough winters, an attribute which enables the plant to grow in many different climate areas. Seeds should be planted into rich soil, about 20cm from each other. The best time for planting is mid spring and since the plant climbs up walls and trunks, it is important to provide something it can use to spread. Unfortunately, hops are not suitable for indoor planting and they will not survive in pots. While the plant can get through frosty winters, it has to be trimmed before the winter kicks in as only the roots can stay alive.

The first sprouts can be harvested in summer and they are a great substitute for asparagus. You can use them in salads, as side dish or simply as a healthy snack. A few weeks later when the summer comes to its end it is time to pick the female blossoms which can be dried and used throughout the year. The drying process is fairly simple: all you do is putting the blossoms into a cool, windy place and they can then be kept in a sealed glass container for about 8-12months. However, the active agents in hops that are used as natural remedy lose their effect before those 12 months.

So now you have a jar full of dried hops- what to do with them? A pillow filled with hops has been very popular to fight insomnia, anxiety and depression. You can use purchased or home-grown hops for this, but many people find that bought hops are less effective than the ones from the garden. The pillow case should be made out of cotton or silk which you can buy or make at home. While dried hops work very well, you may also like to mix other herbs into such as lavender or St. John’s wort. Add a few drops of a relaxing essential oil to enhance the soothing effect of the hops. This is used by many people who suffer from insomnia, and there are no side effects to it. The hops pillow is a great way to help children as many of them may have trouble sleeping. Dried hops and a few drops of mandarin oil can naturally help your child to sleep peacefully.

Here is a great and easy recipe for a healthy sleeping tea that is made with dried hops and has also no side effects and is a natural insomnia-fighter: Pour boiling water on 1tbs of dried hops and let the mixture soak for about 5-7minutes. You may want to add 15g lavender to enhance the effect as well as St. John’s wort and lemon balm. A little bit of honey for the sweet tooth and your sleeping tea is ready!