The plant is a climbing vine, which gives out scaly and cone shaped fruits called hops from which the name for the whole plant is drawn. Harvesting and collection of the hops is normally carried out during the month of September when the fruits ripen and following a drying process, these are marketed and used mainly in the brewing industry.
Hidden inside the ripe conelike fruit of the female hop plant are tiny yellow grains called lupulin that contain the active substance bete-humulene, beta-mycrene,beta-caryophyllene and farnescene. These chemicals help the body secrete bile and digestive juices. Some herbalists believe that hops' antispasmodic action make it a good choice for easing stress related digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome and peptic ulcers. The estrogenic powers of fresh hops makes a good remedy for menopause. The medicinal and tonic properties of the hops was also apparently known to traditional herbalist even if the primary use of the hops has been in the manufacture of beer, with which it has been associated for close to a 1,000 years now - the hops has been valued for its bitter taste and preservative action
Using the hops: The herb is usually taken as a tea or in capsules. Hops are also used in baths
and in" dream pillows to induse sleep.
Part used: the fruit of female plants.