You might know them better for their sweet, tangy flavour in beer or certain soft drinks but Hops have actually been used medicinally as far back as the Ancient Chinese. Working as a relaxant and a natural sleeping aid, Swanson Hops offer all the calming effects of beer with none of the downsides.
You've heard of Hops. They go in your beer, right? So how can they possibly be a dietary supplement too? Does it mean that they're alcoholic? The answer to all these questions lies in the story of this humble plant and just how it came to not only be in your pint but in your medicine cabinet too.
The Hop plant Humulus Lupulus, as abundant as it is, is actually from the Cannabaceae family. If that name seems familiar then it is probably because you've either used hemp for clothing, wax, oil or as a supplement before; or because you've noticed the similarity in name to the drug Cannabis. fear not though, the Cannabis plant only actually contains the drug THC in the bud of its flower and Swanson Hops is an altogether different beast.
Hops are the female seed cones (or flowers) of the Hop plant and yes, they are primarily used as a flavouring agent in beer. However they started life as a stabilising agent and fascinatingly, that's what makes them so useful to us.
Perhaps the most famously hopped beer is IPA (India Pale Ale) - so named because it was the beer exported to the far reaches of the British Empire during Victorian times. The Hops were initially added to the beer to preserve it (they were an antibacterial) as it travelled the great distance overseas but it wasn't long before it became such a popular flavour that it was embraced back at home. To this day, it remains one of our bestselling styles of beer.
Whilst alcohol is certainly the key protagonist in beer's famous ability to relax us, what is perhaps less known is that the hops themselves can be used to relax and induce sleep. Swanson Hops embraces that natural technology to deliver a time honoured relaxant.
When we talk about ancient remedies, it's hard to get much older than Hops. First cultivated in 736 in the Hallertau region of present-day Germany, they have been used medicinally for as long as they have been used in beer.
Throughout history, hops extract has been used in folk medicine as a tonic and and anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling. Today, perhaps most surprisingly, cosmetic companies use it in creams and lotions for its skin softening qualities.
It is its use as a sedative though that it is most famous for. Often put inside people's pillows to aid drowsiness at bedtime, it has been purported to hold great influence over those suffering from troublesome restlessness and insomnia.
A study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine in September 2006 revealed the results of a study claiming that "hops exerts a sedative effect on your central nervous system. It has the capacity to reduce locomotor activity and body temperature and to promote sleep."
To be used as a dietary supplement. Take two capsules twice or thrice per day with water.
Other ingredients: Plant fiber (microcrystalline cellulose), gelatin, silica, magnesium stearate.
If you are currently on another medication, or have other medical, allergic or pre-existing complications that may interfere with this supplement PLEASE seek medical advice from a physician before use.
Keep out of reach of children.
Do not exceed the recommended dose.
Do not take if the outer seal is broken or damaged upon purchase.