Hops, a natural food-preservative, and a great flavor in drinks / by Ingvild Flesland

Apart from being a wonderful and decorative climbing plant in the garden,and a great and playful partner in a flower arrangement,  Hops have a rich cultural history as it has been used largely as a flavor and a preservative in beers ,as it is one of the best natural preservatives we have.

It grows willingly in most soils,and is a master climber and a master grower. It grows up from the roots each year,up to seven m long. There is female plants and male plants,and it is the female plant that produces the plump coins that we know as hops and that is used for food-flavoring,preservative and as a herb. The young shoots of hops can also be used as food,lightly steamed like asparagus or fried in a pan.

As a herb,it is used for its slightly sedative effect,and is mostly known and used as a sleep inducer. Drink it as a tea or by filling a small pillow with the hops-coins and put it by your pillow at night. It also stimulates the appetite and digestion,either as a cup of tea before a meal,or maybe with a few hops steeped in you glass of wine,before a meal....when you feel up for something special!

A caution must be made..it contains estrogen-like agents and is supposed to have a tendency to depress the male sexual urge, but to do the opposite for a woman, so you may want to consider these effects before you go crazy with the hops lemonade!

Hops lemonade

15g of fresh hops 7g of dried hops

a small piece of bruised ginger root

1 bunch of fresh mint

1 thinly sliced lemon

100g organic brown sugar

Fill a large pan with 2 liters of water and add the hops,ginger,lemon and mint and bring to a boil.

Simmer fast for 30 min and till liquid I reduced by the half. Strain and stir in the sugar and continue to boil for a couple of minutes. Pour into a glass bottle and let it cool down.

Serve ice cold.

Source: http://www.rolv.no/urtemedisin/medisinplan...