Botanical Name: Humulus Lupulus | Family: Cannabaceae (older taxonomy: Moraceae)
Common name(s): Hops
- Perennial, herbaceous, vining | zones 4-8 | 8 feet and taller | green stabiles, which are the hops’ flowers and look like papery green pine cones are abundant by late summer.
- There are male and female plants. For hops use, fertilization is not desired so male plants aren’t necessary.
- Found in disturbed soil vining onto structures, trees, and fences. Likes normal to rich soil, will tolerate poorer soil. (Till and manure soil to a good depth before planting.)
- Propagate via root division. Hard to grow from seed. Stems root where they make contact with soil.
- Sun, partial shade.
Companion planting: do not plant with less vigorous herbs.
- Collect strobes when fully developed but still goldish green (not tan).
- The young shoots in the spring are edible, like asparagus.
- Drying: expose to heat but do not overheat, hops can spoil quickly (especially if picked moist) without enough heat and essential oils volatilized if too much heat
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Parts: Strobiles (flowers), fresh or dried
Infusion: 1 cup boiling water over 1 tsp dried flowers, let sit for 10-15 minutes. Drink at night to induce sleep. Strengthen dose if needed.
Tincture: 1-4ml 3x/day
External: Sleep pillow, pain relief pillow (toothache and earache) when warmed, bath herb, foot soak, brown dye (from leaves and flower-heads)
- Constituents: Humulene, Lupulin (powder on the seeds and surface of the scales), Lupamearic acids (cholene and resin).
- Actions: sedative, astringent, nervine, diuretic, tonic, anodyne
- Uses: sleep aid, pain reliever, improves appetite and digestion
- Cautions: hops are strong, use cautiously. Can aggregate depression. (Poisonous to dogs)
Combinations: Valerian and Passion Flower.
(Reference A Modern Herbal, p 414, for more uses involving other parts of the plant.)
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
- Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
- A Modern Herbal, M. Grieve
- photo credit: katrinket via photopin cc
I saw hops growing on the side of an old brick mill building when I took my permaculture class. It was a very vigorous plant! I have the perfect place to grow one, up the staircase on the back of my barn. Anyone local have a root cutting?