For a plant that's been around for a long time, there are remarkably few older references to it. I have searched all of my usual herbals and haven't found mention of this herb under any name for it that I am familiar with in many of them. As with yesterday's post, I believe that I haven't yet found the name it was known by to our respected Herbalists. If you have more information than I do, please pass it along in the comments section below. Thanks!
Gerard does mention it, calling it by the original Latin name of Lupus. He states that:
The juyce is of more force, and doth not onely remove obstructions out of the intrals, but it is also thought to avoid choler and flegme bv the stoole. It is written, that the same dropped into the eares, taketh away the stench and corruption thereof.
The decoction of Hops drunke openeth the stoppings of the liver, the spleene, and kidnies, and purgeth the bloud from all corrupt humors, causing the same to come forth with the urine.
Modern reference to its medicinal benefits were much easier to find. Hops are a member of the Cannabaceae family (yes, they're first cousins to Cannabis). It's not really a surprise that the main medicinal use of hops is for treating insomnia, anxiety and nervous tension. It's often paired with Valerian for these purposes. The bitter principles in it mean that it's used today as a stomachic and tonic, just as it was in Gerard's time.
I've always been told that the best way to use hops to help you sleep is with a dream pillow. Here's a video with clear directions on making one. The Gentle suggests making them as gifts but my friends tend to make them for themselves and they do so throughout the year. I will confess to not liking the smell of hops so I made one only once.
I have enjoyed researching this Noble Interest even though I have found it somewhat frustrating. I'll keep looking. The really nice thing about learning is that it doesn't stop. I'll find a reference somewhere that will lead me back to here and fill in some of the gaps I couldn't fill today. If you can point me toward some information I missed, I would be grateful. Please remember to like and share. Thanks for stopping by!
Tomorrow will be a social call.