Hops: Herbal Remedies


©2007 Publications International Hops are used in herbal remedies for digestive stimulation, anxiety, insomnia and menopausal symptoms.

The Pilgrims brought hops to Massachusetts, and its cultivation quickly spread through the colonies to as far south as Virginia. Hops can be grown as a garden plant and, like the grape, it's a quick-growing and quick-spreading vine. Most hops grown in the United States are used in the brewing of beer. Hops are also used for several herbal remedies, including digestive stimulation and relieving anxiety, insomnia and menopausal symptoms.

Uses of Hops

Hops are perhaps best known for their use as a bitter agent in brewing beer. But hops also are a nerve sedative and hormonal agent. Because they promote stomach secretions, bitter herbs are good digestive tonics. The bitter principles in hops are particularly useful for indigestion aggravated by stress or insufficient stomach acid and for gassiness and sour burping. Research has shown that hops also may help the body metabolize natural toxins, such as those produced by bacteria.

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Hops contain plant estrogens, and women who harvest hops flowers for an extended time sometimes develop menstrual-cycle abnormalities. Its estrogenic constituents make this plant useful in treating menopausal complaints, such as insomnia and hot flashes.

You also may use hops for anxiety and nervous complaints or for indigestion and cramps resulting from anxiety. Use the tincture or tea before bed if you experience insomnia.

Keep reading to learn about warnings and preparation tips for hops, including instructions on how to make hops tea.

To learn more about treating common medical conditions at home, try the following links:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.

Hops Preparation and Warnings

Like all herbs, there are some precautions you should take before using hops medicinally.

Hops Preparations and Dosage

Hops are used in beers, teas, tinctures, and capsules. For insomnia caused by nerves or stomach upset: Take 2 or 3 hops capsules or 1 to 2 teaspoons of tincture half an hour before going to bed.

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Hops Precautions and Warnings

Hops are considered safe for occasional use

as a beverage or medication.

Side Effects of Hops

Nausea and stomach upset from stimulation of digestive secretions occur occasionally. Menstrual-cycle irregularities occur rarely after taking hops for an extended period. A small number of people who try hops for nervousness and insomnia find their symptoms worsen, or they experience a dull headache. If this happens to you and the symptoms do not abate, stop taking hops. Try a lower dose several weeks later.

To learn more about treating common medical conditions at home, try the following links:

Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies.   Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Each state and each discipline has its own rules about whether practitioners are required to be professionally licensed. If you plan to visit a practitioner, it is recommended that you choose one who is licensed by a recognized national organization and who abides by the organization's standards. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before starting any new therapeutic technique.