Hops and its benefits to get a better rest

Hops promote drowsiness without disturbing the sleep process. It also calms anxiety and stimulates digestion.

Hops are well known for being used as an ingredient in beer production. However, the drowsy-promoting properties of beer are not related to the calming and sleep-inducing effect of hops on medicinal plants.

The sleep effect of beer is based more on the alcohol content. Alcohol promotes drowsiness but disturbs general sleep.

Hops calms the body in a sustainable way, activates sleep and does not alter the sleep process or its different phases. Therefore, non-alcoholic preparations of medicinal plants such as hops, lemon balm or valerian as a sleep aid are preferable to beer, or even a glass of wine.

In addition to the properties that promote sleep, hops also whet your appetite and improve digestion. In addition, the medicinal plant can alleviate the symptoms and discomfort of menopause.

Hops as a medicinal plant (Humulus lupulus)

  • It calms and relaxes, promotes sleep, stimulates appetite and digestion, and has estrogen-like properties (phytohormone)
  • Never take sleeping pills for more than 2 weeks, as it can create a risk of psychological dependence and development of a sleep disorder.
  • It is mainly used in combination with valerian and / or balm
  • Has no significant side effects or use limitations?
  • Reasons to start using it: difficulty falling asleep, restlessness, nervousness, loss of appetite, indigestion, menopausal symptoms, regular complaints.

Don’t treat sleep problems on your own

Temporary problems falling asleep or staying asleep are common for most people. Problems at work or family, vacations, a move, or illness are just some of the reasons we sleep poorly. Our sleep problems almost always disappear when we resolve these concerns.

Sleep aids can be helpful if sleep problems don’t resolve on their own. However, you must be very careful. This also applies if your doctor has prescribed sleeping pills for you.

Doctors agree that sleeping pills should not be taken for more than 14 days, with a few exceptions. The reason: sleeping pills quickly lead to physical or psychological dependence. Misuse of sleeping pills causes sleep disorders , which continue to increase without targeted therapy.

The active ingredients in hops come for the most part from the glands of the female hop cones. There you will find tannins and bitter compounds, the latter especially in the form of Humulon and Lupulon.

Additionally, hop cones contain essential oil, effective plant colors (flavonoids), and flavorings.

Mode of therapeutic action

Hops act on the brain like the sleep hormone melatonin. This attacks the messengers of the sleep-wake cycle and, therefore, promotes sleep. The calming properties of hops may also be due to an effect on the brain. The substances that produce exactly this effect have not been sufficiently studied.

Bitter compounds and tannins explain the digestive and appetite properties of hops. Bitter substances are known to stimulate the flow of bile and trigger the production of stomach acid.

The effects of hops on the symptoms of menopause and others can be explained by the content of plant hormones, which, however, has not been sufficiently studied scientifically. So, this is still a controversial topic today.

How hops can be used

Use the cut and dried medicinal plant, and dry extracts, which can be obtained in powder, tea, tablets or in the form of drops. Hops are often used in combination with other medicinal plants such as valerian, lemon balm, or passionflower. Although these combinations are not considered entirely suitable. Single-use valerian supplements are recommended to treat sleep problems.

It is a very well tolerated medicinal plant in all dosage forms; this also applies to hop preparations. Side effects are expected at most as an allergic reaction. Interactions or prohibition of use (contraindications) are unknown.

The effects of treatment with this plant usually appear after a few days or weeks. On average, medicinal hop preparations work faster than teas.

When harvested, contact with fresh hop cones can lead to so-called hop picking disease. This manifests itself among other things as headache, conjunctivitis, redness of the skin and drowsiness.

Recipe for hop tea

Pour 1 teaspoon of hop cones with 250 ml of hot water, let stand for 10 minutes and strain. For the stimulation of appetite or digestion, a cup can be taken about 30 minutes before meals. For sleep problems, you can drink a cup of hops tea about 1 hour before going to bed.

Hop pillows for falling asleep

As a sleep aid, hop cushions or pads are suitable. Simply sew 300 to 500 g of plant cone (depending on the size of the pillow) on a cotton or linen fabric.

The heat from your body will release an aroma when you lie on it, which can make it easier to sleep. The filling should be renewed after approximately 4 to 6 weeks.

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