Humulus lupulus, or hop (also known as common hop) is a perennial climber and part of the cannabaceae family. Preferring sunny woodlands and wastelands, hop blooms from mid summer through early fall.
Hops have a long history of herbal medicinal usage for their calming, sedative effect on the body and mind. Their bitter flavour stimulates digestion. Lupulin, which is found on the hairs of the fruit is given to breastfeeding mothers to increase milk flow. Perhaps most famously the dried flowering heads of the female plants are used in preserving and flavoring beer. However, an essential oil extracted from the flowers is used to flavor a variety of other goods. This oil is also used in perfumery.