This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
MEDICINAL PART. The strobiles or cones.
Description. -- This well-known twining plant has a perennial root, with many annual angular stems. The leaves are opposite, deep green, serrated, venated, and very rough. The flowers are numerous and of a greenish color. Fruit a strobile.
History. -- This plant is found in China, the Canary Islands, all parts of Europe, and in many places in the United States. It is largely cultivated in England and the United States for its cones or strobules, which are used medicinally, and in the manufacture of beer, ale, and porter. The odor of hops is peculiar and somewhat agreeable, their taste slightly astringent and exceedingly bitter. They yield their virtues to boiling water, but a better solvent than water is diluted alcohol. Lupulin is the yellow powder procured by beating or rubbing the strobiles, and then sifting out the grains, which form about one-seventh part of the Hops. Lupulin is in globose kidney-shaped grains, golden yellow and somewhat transparent and preferable to the Hops itself. Lupulite is the bitter principle of Hops, and is obtained by making an aqueous solution of Lupulin.
Properties and Uses. -- Hops are tonic, hypnotic, febrifuge, antilithic, and anthelmintic. They are principally used for their sedative or hypnotic action--producing sleep, removing restlessness, and abating pain, but sometimes failing to do so. A pillow stuffed with Hops is a favorite way for obtaining sleep. The lupulin or its tincture is used in delirium tremens, nervous irritation, anxiety, exhaustion and does not disorder the stomach, nor cause constipation, as with opium. It is also useful in after-pains, to prevent chordee, suppress venereal desires, etc. Externally, in the form of a fomentation alone, or combined with Boneset or other bitter herbs, it has proved beneficial in pneumonia, pleurisy, gastritis, enteritis, and as an application to painful swellings and tumors. An ointment, made by boiling two parts of Stramonium leaves and one of Hops in lard, is an excellent application in salt rheum, ulcers, and painful tumors. It is a powerful antaphrodisiac, composing the genital organs, quieting painful erections in gonorrhoea., etc.
Dose. -- Fluid extract, half a drachm to a drachm; solid extract, five to twenty grains; tincture (two and a half ounces of hops to one pint of alcohol), three to six drachms; infusion (four drachms to one pint of hot water), a wineglass to a cupful of Lupulin, the dose six to ten grains; tinct. of Lupulin (two ounces of Lupulin to one pint of alcohol), one to two teaspoonfuls in sweetened water. Fifteen to twenty grains well rubbed up with white sugar in a mortar is very efficacious in priapism, chordee, and spermatorrhoea.