Hops tea for sleep? Isn’t hops used for flavouring beer? Yes, among other things, the tannins in hop flower buds impart aroma to beer during the brewing process, however, if you make a tea from hops you can also make yourself a natural insomnia remedy at home at very little cost.
I went on a foraging walk in Ireland and spotted some feral hops growing among brambles. I have been suffering from insomnia for a while and I knew that hops tea has a sedative effect so I wanted to give it a go.
Hops Tea Health Benefits
This is a summary of hops tea health benefits (source: WebMD):
- It contains tannins and flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties
- Relaxing effect, it can induce sleep (with continuous use it may even prolong sleep by 2.5 hours per night)
- Diuretic and digestive aid
- It can help reduce infection and swelling
INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE HOPS TEA
Basically, it’s really simple to make hops tea. If you have gathered the hops flowers yourself, separate them from the stalk and wash them carefully. For one mug of herbal tea add one teaspoon of flowers and cover with boiling water. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. The water will change to a faint green colour. Warning: the tea is very bitter with a peppery aftertaste. I tried sweetening it with maple syrup at first but it was still rather unpleasant. When I tried it with lemon juice, instead, I could not taste the bitterness and I didn’t feel I needed to add any sugar. It tasted like a refreshing lemon tea.
Drink before going to bed but wait until it has taken full effect – it is a mild diuretic so it would be a shame to interrupt your deep sleep because you need the toilet! Did I sleep better after drinking hops tea? Absolutely! Instead of waking up at 3am as usual I woke up at around 6am, which for me is a lie-in!
Always check with your doctor if you have any contraindications or if you are taking prescription drugs.
Picture credits: Paola Bassanese