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Hops is a natural sedative and sleep aid that has been used for centuries, containing compounds that have a calming effect on the nervous system.*

Common Name Common hop
Family Name Cannabaceae
Parts Used Strobiles (flower clusters)
Herbal Actions Nervine, sedative
Health Benefits Good Mood, Relaxation, Sleep, Stress Relief

The Old English word "hoppan" means "to climb" or "to leap."

What are the benefits of Hops?

Hops, a favorite among brew masters, is not only a key ingredient in beer making but also a valuable herb in the world of herbalism. Its sedative effect makes it a go-to for those seeking to soothe nerves and promote relaxation.* The flower, also known as strobile, is commonly used in teas, tinctures, and supplements to support overall nervous system health.*

It's also a mild sedative, making it ideal for those struggling to fall asleep.* Because of its gentle nature, it's a popular ingredient in general herbal formulas and is often used in children's remedies.

Beyond its herbal use, hops can also be found in various food products due to its bitter flavor and preservative properties. Whether you're enjoying a cold beer, a comforting cup of tea, or a delicious meal, hops is so much more than its distinct taste and aroma.

Folklore & Historical Use of Hops

In Norse mythology, the god Odin discovered the magic of brewing beer by hanging himself from the branches of a sacred tree called Yggdrasil. This ash tree is believed to have roots in the underworld, stretch up to the heavens, and span nine realms. As Yggdrasil hung from the tree, he saw the runes, or symbols, of the Norse alphabet, which he then used to create the first beer. Hops was first used in beer making in Germany during the Middle Ages, where it was prized for its bitter flavor and ability to provide natural preservation.

Botany, Species, Habitat

This stunning climbing plant belongs to the hemp family and is related to cannabis. It’s widely cultivated in temperate climates throughout the world. Hops is native to Europe but has since been introduced to other countries and thrives here on the West Coast. This perennial plant can grow up to 25 feet tall and produces fragrant cones, which are essentially clusters of flowers. These bitter cones are commonly used in the production of beer.

Hops grows best in well-drained soil and with lots of sun but can tolerate partial shade in hot climates. It’s sensitive to drought and requires regular watering. It also has a unique ability to pull and absorb moisture from the air, making it a great plant to grow in humid environments. In the U.S., hops typically grows in the Pacific Northwest and regions with similar climates.

When To Use Hops

Stress Relief

Anytime to chill out and ease bodily tension.


Before bed to help you sleep soundly.

The Business of Sustainable Plants

Our business is rooted in plants, and for us, it’s a business imperative that we care for the ecosystems where these plants live and thrive. We believe that everything is interconnected, which means supporting ecosystems and the farmers and collectors who harvest and gather our herbs. Finding opportunities to reduce or eliminate emissions at the source, we support organic and regenerative farming practices as well as voluntary certifications like Organic and FairWild. These ensure the absence of pesticides, herbicides, as well as the ongoing sustainability of wild collection, and the health and livelihoods of the collectors who forage. Josef Brinckmann, Traditional Medicinals’ Research Fellow, Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply, asserts, “Everyone has a role to play in preserving biological diversity. One way of doing that is by equitably supporting the local people to serve as stewards of the land.”

It Starts with Organic

We choose to source organic because we believe in the positive impacts it has on environmental sustainability, biodiversity, and overall ecosystem health. Organic helps us increase transparency while prioritizing consumer well-being and farmer success, which is key to producing the high-quality herbs we source. In 2021, we procured 2.73 million pounds of certified organic herbs, over 99.7% of our total botanical herbs purchased. Volumes were down slightly from FY20 due to timing of inventories received.

The impact from organic farming creates a vital ecosystem through improved soil health, water quality, pollinator habitats, and biodiversity. Organic farms also have increased carbon sequestration potential through long-term carbon storage in the soil, helping to mitigate climate change.

One of the benefits of organic that we most value is farmer health. We care deeply about the people who produce our herbs, ensuring that they are not exposed to synthetic chemicals found in conventional agriculture.

Fair Trade

We believe that everyone deserves a fair wage for hard work. That’s one of the reasons why we’re committed to fair trade. Traditional Medicinals® is a registered Fair Trade “brand holder”, “licensee” and “manufacturer,” and our products are certified by Fair Trade USA, an independent third-party certifier. We were an early adopter of Fair Trade, having launched our first fair trade tea product in 1998, just one year after Fairtrade International (FLO) was established. We continue to work closely with our network of producers to help them to implement fair trade standards and get certified.

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Additional Information

Legal Disclaimer
The information and other content in this article are designed to provide a general overview of the botany, cultural history, and traditional uses of this herb. It is not intended and should not be construed as health advice. Every person is unique and you should consult with your health care provider before using any herbal product or supplement.