HOP TO IT

Herbs & Superfoods - - Herbs For Sleep & Stress -

Grow­ing your own hops? Use them in teas, tinc­tures or sleep pil­lows for their so­porific prop­er­ties. When dry­ing home­grown hops, keep in mind the ther­a­peu­tic value may not last long. Com­mer­cially, the hops are dried im­me­di­ately to a water con­tent of about 10 per cent for sta­bil­ity rea­sons, then kept un­der con­stant re­frig­er­a­tion. The bit­ter prin­ci­ples (which have se­dat­ing ac­tiv­ity) can break down rapidly dur­ing stor­age and, un­less re­frig­er­ated, their con­cen­tra­tion de­creases by 50 to 70 per cent in six months. That’s why it’s hard for the home gar­dener to re­tain the ac­tive in­gre­di­ents on dry­ing. Get the most from your hops by mak­ing a tinc­ture from your freshly har­vested crop. Fill a glass jar with fresh hops, top with a high-proof vodka. Screw the lid on tightly. Place in a dark room. Shake daily for 4-6 weeks, then strain. Pour into a dark bot­tle.

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