How to make hops tincture and use it properly


Hops tincture is primarily health-promoting, therefore it should not be missing from our tincture set. It works as an antiseptic, calms and improves digestion. Medicinal properties of the plant were known in antiquity, not only in Europe, but also in Asia.

How to make hops tincture at home? You will need 2 oz (60 g) of hop cones, 1 cup (8 fl oz / 240 ml) of spirit and 1/4 cup (2 fl oz / 60 ml of water). The hop cones should be harvested for tincture only when they are completely ripe. They are then yellow-green in color. 

Fresh and dried hops for tincture
Fresh and dried hops for tincture

Firstly mix water with spirit, resulting alcohol should be 70% alc.by volume (or 140 proof) strong. Place hop cones in an airtight jar and cover them with alcohol. Keep them in a dark, cold place for 1 week, after that time strain tincture and pour it into a dark glass bottle. Allow it to mature for the next 2-3 months before using.  

Do you want to know more about hops tincture? Keep reading – I will cover uses, benefits, dosage, contraindications and at the end of the article you can also find a list of equipment that might be useful (here link to my article about supplies) when you will be making a hops tincture by yourself. I’m making tinctures from 2001 and have gathered and read dozens of books about them, so information that you will find in this article should be helpful 🙂

Where to buy hops for tincture?

If you are not using fresh hops you can find dried hops on Amazon here –  Cascade Leaf Hops 1 Pound

More recipes – check on my blog

If you are passionate like me and would like to look for more recipes, I have almost 100 others described on my blog, use the search option below and you might find what you are looking for:

Hops tincture uses, what is it good for

According to webmd.com and other sources hops tincture might be good for ie. 

  • anxiety,
  • excitability,
  • high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia),
  • improving appetite,
  • intestinal cramps.
  • nervousness.
  • restlessness.
  • tension.

Hops tincture benefits 

Few people know that hops, and specifically hop cones, i.e. hop seedlings (Strobili Lupuli), and lupulin, i.e. a sticky yellow powder obtained from hop cones, have numerous healing properties. 

It owes them mainly to a substance called xanthohumol – a compound from the flavonoid group, which has strong antioxidant properties (4 times greater than vitamin C). 

In addition, it helps fight viruses, fungi and bacteria. It also shows anti-cancer properties, incl. induces enzymes that are responsible for the detoxification of carcinogens and inhibits the process of angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels, thanks to which the tumor takes up substances needed for growth).

Hops tincture dosage

Most sources suggest using 1 teaspoon of the hops tincture 3 times a day, it helps to cleanse lungs.

Hops tincture recipe without alcohol

Alcohol tinctures are probably the most potent way to get healing and balancing benefits of herbs for our use.

But if you can’t or don’t want to consume alcohol, or you should not give it to kids, as a substitute you can make a glycerin-based, alcohol-free herbal extract, also called an herbal glycerite. Such extract is not as strong or long-lasting as alcohol tinctures, but it takes only up to 3 days to make it.

Recipe to prepare hops glycerite without alcohol: put hops in a jar about 1/3 way, fill to the top with glycerine. Cover and put in a slow cooker (or Instant Pot with a slow cooker feature) that’s lined with a towel and filled with water — run on low for 3 days. After that remove and strain, keep in a dry and cool place in dark glass bottles.

Hops tincture contraindications and side effects

Hops tincture is safe when taken for medicinal uses, short-term. In some cases hops tincture might cause dizziness and sleepiness in some people. Women taking hops might notice changes in their menstrual cycle.

Some chemicals in hops act like the hormone estrogen. People who have conditions that are sensitive to hormones should avoid hops. Some of these conditions include breast cancer and endometriosis.

Remember that before taking this tincture as a medication you should always consult a specialist, information that I have gathered from books and webmd.com should be consulted with a healthcare professional as each tincture can have different effects on different people. 

What type of alcohol is used for hops tincture?

Most spirits used for drinking will work, but vodka or other grain alcohols that are at least 40% alcohol by volume work best. When using dried hops, your best bet is to stick to an 80 or 90 alcohol by volume, as it does not have a lot of juices left, and it is best for extracting any water that’s left in the herb out of it.

How long does hops tincture last?

When stored in a cool, dry place, hops tincture lasts at least three years, if not longer. If you use dark bottles, it will last longer because the light will not damage it. If your area is humid or hot several months out of the year, try storing it in the refrigerator during the hot and humid season.

Recommened edequipment – what you may need to have to make such tincture at home

I hope that you have found my article useful. Below I’ve gathered all items that I am using when making my tinctures, some of them, like airtight jars, are necessary, some are just handy, you do not need to have them all to be able to make a good tincture.  

recommended tincture equipment
Tincture equipment examples
  1. Airtight jars.
  2. Mortar for herbs – granite.
  3. Mortar for herbs – stainless steel.
  4. Funnels for filling bottles.
  5. Large bottles, dark glass.
  6. Medium bottles, dark glass.
  7. Small bottles with dropper, dark glass.
  8. Cloth for tincture filtering.
  9. Coffee filters for tincture filtering.
  10. Alcohol meter to check how strong is your vodka/spirit.
  11. Tincture press for better extraction.

    Here you can also find a more detailed post with list of equipment that might be useful.

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Damian from PolishTinctures
Best regards from Kraków!

If you are looking also for other recipes, check out my blog – I have written about almost 100 other tinctures, use the search option below and you might find what you are looking for:

Other names of hops

It is also known under such names: Asperge Sauvage, Common Hops, Couleuvrée, Couleuvrée Septentrionale, European Hops, Hop, Hop Strobile, Hopfenzapfen, Houblon, Humulus lupulus, Lupuli Strobulus, Lupulin, Lúpulo, Pi Jiu Hua, Salsepareille Indigène, Vigne du Nord.

Sources: if you would like to check more info about the hops here you can find a webmd.com article about it

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