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It is intriguing when ancient independent cultures discover the healing properties of a plant. There is evidence that both the Chinese and American Indian cultures used hops to help them sleep – two cilvilisations that were thousands of miles apart.

We know hops better as an ingredient of beer, but the cone-shaped flowers, known as strobiles, have a mild sedative action and are generally taken to relieve occasional bouts of insomnia. Hops have been used successfully to alleviate jet-lag. It is thought that the lupulin in hops provide the sedative effect.

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