Hops: Herbal Stress Relief
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Hops: Herbal Stress Relief

With a dynamic city life comes an abundance of pressures and stress. Abnormal habits becomes quite normal in an effort to cope with the city's fast-paced lifestyle. Slowly, people find themselves drifting away from natural laws. Gulping down a tranquilizer or a sleeping pill for nervousness, insomnia, and stress becomes a cultivated habit, much like the taking of vitamins. Unlike vitamins however, these drugs do more harm than the distressed person realizes.

HOPS: HERBAL STRESS RELIEF

With a dynamic city life comes an abundance of pressures and stress. Abnormal habits becomes quite normal in an effort to cope with the city's fast-paced lifestyle. Slowly, people find themselves drifting away from natural laws. Gulping down a tranquilizer or a sleeping pill for nervousness, insomnia, and stress becomes a cultivated habit, much like the taking of vitamins. Unlike vitamins however, these drugs do more harm than the distressed person realizes.

Henry David Thoreau, a naturalist and philosopher, made a very keen and accurate observation when he wrote; “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. Although Thoreau lived over a hundred years ago, his observation still hold true today. The only difference is that man's desperation is no longer silent. Tension, anxiety, and conflicting demands are the heating pads on which everyone is buckled. From domestic strains, traffic jams, flash floods, uncertain weather, fear of unemployment and the inevitable rise of prices to fierce competition in business, the list of tension builders and stress-givers seems endless.

Who could escape the hustle and bustle and the barrage of noises plaguing our ears? Beeping horns shrieking sirens, screeching brakes, or the jolting tremors of a street driller, are inevitable sources of unbearable headaches. In an experiment, daily exposure of rats to such nuisances caused them to become sterile; with continued exposure, some rats eventually died of heart seizure. Even with the so called high threshold for stress and pain, noise pollutions still has adverse effects on human being.

Unique Approach

Traditional Chinese medicine has its own unique approach to stress, tension, and insomnia. It uses herbal remedies which are harmless, non-additive, and non-habit forming. Aside from herbal cures, Chines medicines recommends a shift from junk foods to a more sensible, wholesome, and well balance diet. Moreover the old folks' nagging advise of eating a heavy meal a few minutes before sleeping always hold true. Stress and discomfort will haunt us in our nightmares. The Chinese also warn insomniacs to cut down on salt diet.

One Chines herbal cure for coping with stressful living is hops, a plant which found in China, Japan, comes and other countries. Also called Lu-t'sao and Lai-mei-t'sao, this herb is found in many Chinese drugstores in Chinatown. Hops is also known as Le-t'sao because of the plants prickly stems, which is much like the rose's. The active ingredients of hops is a glandular powder called lupulin. It contains a volatile oil giving this plant a fragrant odor.

Hops used to treat insomnia , nervous irritability, headaches due to nervousness, neuritis, indigestion, and poor appetite. It comes in many forms like teas, poultice, fomentation and hop pillows.

The effectiveness of hop pillows has been attested to by King George III in 1787 and the Prince of Wales in 1879. pillows are simply stuffed with dried plant and its strong aroma gives soothing, calming effect on the person who rest on it. To prevent from rustling, a small amount of glycerin with water is sprayed on the dried plant for a bit moisture. Some though, spray the hops with a little alcohol to bring out its soporific properties.

To make a hop pillow, a muslin bag is filled loosely with the dried plant and then tied securely. You can attach the bag to your regular pillow. The hops should be replaced every month.

As a tea, it is prepared in a cover container with one ounce of hops to one pint of boiling water.

Simmer this for two to three minutes . Turn off the flame and allow to stand for five minutes and strain.

For nervous irritability and insomnia, one cupful of tea is sipped three times a day and once before going to sleep.

For headaches due to nervousness, one cupful is drank slowly every two hours until the pain is relieved.

This tea is also good for the stomach, relieving indigestion and promoting appetite. Since tea made of hops is quite bitter, you can sweeten it with honey.

For pain in other parts of the body that is not muscular but comes from the nerves, a quick relief comes from the use of a hop poultice or fomentation. It cures rheumatism or inflammation of any part of the body which affect the nerves, as well as sciatica, facial neuralgia, and neuritis in the arms.

When the sciatic nerve or any of its branches are affected, you will experience a creeping pain from the buttocks down to the thigh to the knee and foot. When the arm is affected the pain is felt from the back of the neck and to the top of the shoulder down to the arm and to the wrist or finger.

Facial neuralgia is having severe pains usually on one side of the face. If the pain is in the face, the hop poultice or fomentation is applied in front of the ear or the lower part of the back of the head.

If the pain is in the buttocks and leg, the poultice or fomentation is applied approximately three inches from the base of the spine.

When the pain is felt on the shoulders, arm, or fingers the poultice or fomentation is applied to the upper part of the spine in line with the collar bone. These are bulls-eye treatment.

The hop poultice is prepared like a bean wherein a handful or more of hops is wrapped in a muslin bag. After trying it up, this bag is steeped in hot water for a few minutes. Then it is applied on the prescribed area and covered with a dried towel. A second poultice bag should be on hand for a second application. This continued until the relief is felt.

The hop fomentation prepared with four ounces of hops boiled in two quarts of boiling water. This is simmered and strained. A towel is dip into this concoction, wrung out and applied on the prescribed area. Continue the procedure until relief is obtained.

Aren't these easy ways of curing disorders brought by stressful living?

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Comments (13)

Very interesting, I think Chinese medical herbs could solve a lot of the west's health problems.

oh this is wonderful, thank you so much for this article

This is most interesting!

this is what i need..thanks kabayan

Stumbled thumbs up. Always natural sources are best. We have a hops plant growing on one of our bird enclosures. They are very fast growing plants.

Great article. You know we went to this quite retreat place and none of us could sleep because it was so silent. We've got used to the cars beeps and traffic noise and did not even know it:)

From the strains of a growing population and technological advancements comes the inevitable stress factors. Physicians are to willing to prescribe drugs that could be more detrimental than the actual stress and anxiety. Natural herbs for remedies are making a huge impact on societies around the globe in a positive affect within our lives. Great awareness article and very well written.

The above comment was from me, Ron. Must have been a glitch. In any event, great work!

Excellent work as always Ron! The whole write was terrific. I had not realized hops was so good for you and had so many benefits.

Great article, We need to go back to nature now and then...

Great article and very well-written. I think hops are great for stress, especially after being turned into beer!

Just revisited, thanks everyone for the kind comments, patient read, views and votes, much appreciated. I sure do Petal.

Very interesting and I am sending a link to a friend who has Facial neuralgia - thanks

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