Humulus lupulus. N.O. Urticaceae.
Habitat ► Extensively farmed for the brewing industry, and is found growing wild in hedges and open woods.
Features ► Stem rough, very long, will twist round any adjacent support. Leaves in pairs, stalked, rough, serrate, cordate, three- or five-lobed. Flowers or catkins (more correctly called strobiles) consist of membranous scales, yellowish-green, roundish, reticulate-veined, nearly half-inch long, curving over each other. These are the fertile flowers which are used medicinally and industrially.
Action ► Tonic, diuretic.
As a tonic in prescriptions for debility, nervous dyspepsia, and general atony. Although usually given in combination with other herbs, the ounce
to pint infusion of hops taken thrice daily makes quite a good tonic medicine for those feeling “run-down.” Lying on a pillow stuffed with hops is an old-fashioned way of dealing with insomnia.