This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
The dried strobiles of the female plant of Humulus lupulus. Cultivated in England,
Characters.-Strobiles of a greenish-yellow colour, with minute yellow grains (lupuline) adherent to the base of the scales. Odour, aromatic; taste, bitter.
Composition.-Hops contain an aromatic volatile oil, valerol, C6H10O, on which its smell depends; 11 per cent. of a crystalline bitter principle, lupulinic acid, C32H50O7; and tannin.
Incompatibles.-Mineral acids and metallic salts.
1. Extractum Lupuli. Alcoholic and aqueous. - 4 in 1.
Dose, 5 to 15 gr.
2. Infusum Lupuli..-1 in 20. Dose, 1 to 2 fl.oz.
Tinctura Lupuli. 1 in 8. Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl.dr.
The action and uses of hops depend upon the presence of its two important constituents, which exert the characteristic effects of the class to which they respectively belong. The primary stimulant, and secondary sedative and soporific effects of the aromatic oil associated with those of alcohol, are seen in ales and beers, less distinctly in the officinal preparations. The stomachic and tonic effect of the bitter lupulinic acid is equally familiar in wholesome bitter ale. Ale is moderately laxative and diuretic by virtue of the essential oil.
Hops are used medicinally chiefly in the form of pure bitter ales, to produce the effects just indicated, especially to rouse and improve the appetite in convalescence and other low states of the system, and to promote sleep. The officinal preparations sometimes relieve the craving of alcoholism, and act as anaphrodisiacs.