Hop Essential Oil

Type of plant: Perennial climbing plant with male and female cone-shaped strobiles, made up of imbricated scales

Part used: Female strobiles

Method of extraction: Steam distillation; solvent extraction

Data: The best known use for hops is as an ingredient in beer. It has phytoestrogenic properties, which account for its traditional use as an aid to encourage breast milk and, some say, is the cause of the “beer belly” effect. Hops have been known as a sedative for hundreds of years, and hop pillows to aid sleep are still sold the world over.

Principal places of production: England, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, France

When buying look for: A pale-yellow to dark-yellow liquid with a green, herbaceous aroma

Therapeutic properties: Antimicrobial, astringent, calmative, carminative, emollient, estrogenic, nervine, soporific, spasmolytic

Therapeutic uses: Neuralgia, bruising, analgesic, menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms, insomnia, coughs, stress-related asthma, stress-related digestive conditions, nervousness, stress, tension

Blends well with: Amyris, cananga, carnation, cedarwood, chamomile maroc, chamomile roman, clary sage, geranium, lemon, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), nutmeg, orange (sweet), spikenard, spruce, valerian, vetiver

Precautionary advice: Best avoided during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. GRAS status.