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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The dried fruit of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) has long been used as a culinary spice and as a traditional medicine, and today it is ubiquitous in most cuisines. Black Pepper is made from the plant’s unripened green drupes (stone fruit), which are called “peppercorns.” They are briefly boiled and dried or cooked. Native to southern and southeast Asia, Black Pepper’s use in Indian cooking dates to the first century BC, and it became popular across Europe during the Roman Empire. In ancient Greece, it was so valued that it was used as currency. The active constituent called Piperine is what gives Black Pepper its pungency.