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When you think of hops, you probably think of beer (and not tea). That's because hops is an ingredient in beer. It has been for hundreds of years (as far back as 10,000 years ago) to give beer its flavor.
Besides having a sweet citrus flavor, hops tea has many health benefits. About 80% of the constituents in the grains of hops is a bitter resin. Hops also contain flavonoids, tannins, lupulone, and humulene.
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Health Benefits of Hops Tea
Traditionally, pillows were filled with hops to induce sleep. Drinking a cup of hops tea before bedtime can also help, especially if blended with valerian, passion flower, or chamomile. Hops makes a wonderful sleeping remedy because you wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and not groggy.
Hops tea sedates nerves which not only helps promote sleep, it also helps treat nervousness and reduce anxiety.
Hops stimulate stomach secretions, making it a good digestive tonic. It is especially helpful in treating indigestion caused by stress or by insufficient stomach acid. Hops tea is also used to relieve sour burping, gas, and constipation. Its anti-spasmodic actions can benefit those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Hops tea can be used externally to relieve arthritis pain and to help heal all sorts of skin wounds. To use externally, soak a cloth in warm hops tea, wring it out, and apply to the affected area. It can also be used as a wash to clean wounds.
Other health benefits include:
- relieving menopausal symptoms like hot flashes (because of estrogenic substances)
- eliminating toxins from the body
- increasing milk production in breastfeeding moms
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Side Effects of Hops Tea
Hops is considered a safe herb. Because it stimulates stomach secretions, some people may experience stomach upset. Because it has estrogenic substances, some women may experience menstrual-cycle irregularities with prolong use.
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Preparing Hops Tea
To prepare a cup of hops tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried hops, cover, steep for 10-15 minutes, and strain. Drink up to 3 cups of tea a day.
You can drink hops tea hot or cold. Leftover tea can be stored in the refrigerator and kept for up to 48 hours.
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Photo by jacilluch/Flickr
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