Hops are yellowish-green cones resembling pine cones but composed of thin, green, papery, leaf-like bracts growing on vines. Hops are best known as an ingredient in beer. Hops have a relaxing effect on the central nervous system. They are useful for relieving tension and anxiety, especially where the tension leads to pain. The bitters in hops aid the entire digestive system. Hops are also widely used to treat insomnia. A pillow full of hops was at one time a common remedy for sleeplessness.
Human cultivation of hops is first mentioned in an 822 AD document. In 1619 when the Massachusetts Company brought a cargo of Puritans to the New World, it also brought a supply of European hops. These hops were cultivated by English and Dutch farmers and bred with the native wild hops found in the New World to create one of the most popular hops of the time.
During the late 19th century and for a few years after it turned into the 20th, hops were grown in the Peary area of Mathews County. At age ...
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