Hops has been used since the middle ages to flavour beer. It has also been used for its healing properties for weak digestion, poor appetites as well as its calming and sleep inducing properties. Hops belongs to the hemp family and has recently been found to contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids. Hops can grow to roughly 6m tall, the females grow tight budding flowers whereas the males grow loose panicles. Hops has a strong herbal smell and bitter taste.
Hops is native to Europe and Central Asia and is now grown all over the world. It is drought susceptible and frost resistant growing best in full sunlight and rich soil. Hops is harvested late summer when used for medicinal purposes.
Active constituents found in the hops plant are used for its sleeping and calming effects which include;
Hops can be taken as a tea, tincture, bath or essential oil. It is well known for its calming effects used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, gastro intestinal complaints, cystitis as well as applied topically for skin conditions and ulcers.
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Chamomile is probably one of the most well known healing herbs used in traditional medicine. The word Matricaria derives from the Latin word womb and chamomile was originally used to treat gynaecological issues. The two types of chamomile used are Roman camomile and German or wild chamomile.
Chamomile is an annual plant and can grow up to around 80cm tall. It has bright green hairy leaves with a mix of small white and yellow flowers. Chamomile originally grew in South Eastern Europe and today is found all over the world where it is often referred to as 'the plant doctor.'