Hops grows throughout Europe, Asia and North America, and belongs to the same group of plants as the stinging nettle. It is perhaps best known for its use in beer brewing. Hops gives beer its distinctive taste and prevents bacterial growth. It is also valuable as a food, the young shoots being eaten like asparagus in many countries. Hops is, of course, valuable in the world of nutritional herbology. Its reputation prompted many in times past (and even some today) to sleep on pillows filled with hops, including England's King George III.
Hops is rich in vitamin C and B-complex, and also contains various minerals. The natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties found in hops is beneficial in promoting healthy kidney functions, treating urinary tract infections and reducing painful urination.
Hops is beneficial as a digestive aid, stimulating the production of digestive fluids. Hops has been known to stimulate the appetite and relieve constipation and painful menstruation and headaches.