When the hop plant was first discovered in Egypt in the first century, its first use was as a medicinal herb! Over the years the hops have been used as cures for many things in herbal medicine but its most popular use has been in hop pillows for the relief of insomnia. The potential sleep properties of hops were first discovered when hop-pickers started to fall asleep on the job and for a long time this was known as Hop pickers fatigue!
The bitter acids and volatile oils of the hop flowers (or cones) produce a sedative effect which calms the nerves, relaxes you and helps you to fall asleep – as revealed by Kew-trained botanist James Wong on the BBC hit show Grow your Own Drugs. Three to four handfuls of hop cones in a breathable organza bag, with an equal measure of lavender to sweeten the scent slightly, make the perfect natural sleep aide. As the lupulin in the hop flowers can stain it is best to slip the organza bag into a purpose made mini pillow to protect your best bed linen! Give it a squeeze before you pop it under your pillow for a relaxing night’s sleep.