Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hopping for Joy About Hops!

Oh I do so love learning about new herbs! Learning about the benefits of hops has been an adventure and such a joy! I never knew a thing about hops, except it was used in beer. Seems this herb has quite a history of other uses. I will share some of what I have learned with you all. So far, I have  several bottles of hops steeping in vodka for tinctures, some bottles full of olive oil and hops for use as just the oil or for blending into beeswax for salves, and also some jars of hops and my honey.

hops

Identification was not hard with hops. And I found no “look alikes” to beware of. I am excited to work with this herb as I am mainly interested in working with herbs that are know as being generally safe. I will not going into detail about how to id the plant because if you are interested, that is something i am sure you all can figure out! I have been scouring my herbal books, online herbalist sites, etc . and of course, i always consult my mosby’s handbook of herbs and natural supplements, to be certain of any drug interactions. I suggest you do the same if you consider working with any herbs.

The tincture is going to be so helpful in so many ways. Insomnia (I have),  cramps or pain with  periods, (hops anti spasmodic qualities), anxiety or nervous tension (sedative qualities) , IBS, on a compress pad for varicose ulcers and other topical conditions (antiseptic qualities), and it has estrogenic action, which will help with all sorts of menopause related complaints. Also may be used as a gentle diuretic and for liver cleansing. These are just a few ways I have found to enjoy the qualities of hops as a tincture!

The hop infused honey was mentioned time and time again as excellent for bronchitis. Herbal honeys are a wonderful way to get the benefits of herbs into our children!

The hops infused oil will be used both as just the oil and infused into some of my beeswax to make salves. Hops has anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that will make it very useful for several members of my family.

The next things I will do is make an infusion of agave syrup and hops, for my daughter, who is a diabetic. thinking of the bronchitis bit, (which she seems to get every winter). will have to maybe refrigerate this as i can’t seem to find any info on the preservation qualities of agave syrup, although, hops has been used as an ingredient to help preserve things. Will keep you posted on that. Agave syrup has a low glycemic index and she does well with it.

And of course, I am drying some for sleep pillows;)

Well, that is what has been so far with the hops!

Remember folks, this blog is for linda and I’s own personal journal of our herbal journey. Research and research some more on your own herbal journeys;)

Herbal and Honey hugs to all of you who take time to stop in for a visit!

8 comments:

Anke said...

Very interesting. Since hops is also a very pretty and fast growing perennial, I might have to plant some here.

comfrey cottages said...

i am saving the seeds from the stoibles anke. if you decide you would like some let me know and i can mail you some. thanks for stopping in! :)

Anke said...

That would be absolutely wonderful! I would love it!!!

comfrey cottages said...

anke i can't see your email address on your site. my email you can send your address to is honeylover@care2.com
i would love to mail you some seeds! oh and this is leslie you are talking to. my friend who shares this blog hasn't blogged here yet. :)

Anke said...

Leslie, you might be interested in this...
http://infinitegardens.blogspot.com/2008/03/growing-hops-from-seed.html

Laura of Wildenblue Farm said...

I am so grateful to have happened across your blog, and especially this posting on hops. I have scads of hops taking over a trellis in the back garden, and have been harvesting the blossoms for sleepy Dream Pillows. Thank you for providing all this lovely information on other options! Kindest regards...

comfrey cottages said...

anke, thank you for the link on germinating the seeds. i have yet to go back and get some more mature seeds, but plan to do it friday.
laura, so very nice to meet you! your blog looks cool and i started following it but don't see how to comment there. thank you so much for joining comfrey cottages:)

comfrey cottages said...

a lovely link from the metropolitan art museums medieval gardens
http://blog.metmuseum.org/cloistersgardens/2009/10/01/he-hop-she-hop/
anyone interested in growing hops will appreciate the link:)