Humulus lupulus, Hops
This herb is dioecious with male and female flowers growing on separate plants. Pale green flowers, the female flower is cone like and hidden by paper-like scales. The green leaves have three to five lopes with sharply toothed edges. Culinary and Medicinal.
• Hardiness: H6 (-15 to -20C)
• Type: Herbaceous Perennial Vine
• Height: up to 9m
• Spread: 1.5m
• Soil type: Sand, Light Loam
• pH: Universal pH
• Habit: Climber
• Flowering colour: Pale Green
• Flowering time: Summer
• Uses: Culinary & Medicinal (Read Jekka's Guide To Culinary Herbs and Jekka's Guide to Medicinal Herbs for more information)
• Attracts pollinators: No
• Container suitability: No
• UK native: Yes
• Caution: The leaves can cause contact dermatitis.
A member of the cannabis family, the dried female flowers (called strobiles) of the hop plant are widely used in a number of ways. Hops were first used to brew beer in the 16th century where their bitter taste was seen as a tonic for strengthening and stimulating the digestion. Traditionally used in a variety of ways, including hop pillows, they are said to reduce tension, promote relaxation and aid restful sleep and relaxation through a sedative action.
Hops have also been used to reduce inflammation and painful spasms in the bowel, and to treat coughs and upper respiratory infections. Hops are seen as having oestrogenic actions and are thought to be of value in regulating female periods, easing menopausal symptoms and enhancing breast milk production.
Caution: Avoid use with sedative medications. May increase the severity of symptoms in those with clinical depression. Herbal medicines containing hops should be avoided in those with oestrogen sensitive cancers such as breast, ovarian, uterus or endometrium as they may stimulate tumour growth.
Please note: The information provided here is for educational interest only and is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat significant health problems. Any serious or long-term health concerns should always be discussed with a healthcare professional.
See our blog for more information about the National Institute of Medicinal Herbalists
At Jekka’s we sell herbs in 1 Ltr and 2 Ltr pots. These are established and hardy herb plants that are grown following organic principals and to survive the UK climate. Please read Jekka's blog that contains her top steps to growing on your herbs.
If you think your herbs need a little more attention we always recommend an environmentally friendly solution, and these are Jekka's top three:
- Maxicrop liquid seaweed: 'Feed on Fridays' as Jekka always says for all round good plant health.
- SB Invigorator: a safe and effective insecticide and fungicide to help control a wide range of pest species
- Epsom salts: the horticultural equivalent of what you put in your bath to top up magnesium and stop orange leaves.
One of our three core roots is that we are Environmentally Conscious and for the past 30 years all the herbs grown at Jekka’s have been raised following sustainable, environmentally friendly and organic approaches resulting in a remarkable biodiversity at the herb farm.
Our herb seeds are also untreated and can be used to grow organic herb plants.