The constantly-evolving wellness trends out there never cease to amaze me. I feel like there's always something totally unique (and low-key ridiculously extra) popping up on the health scene every time I scroll through social media. Cricket protein powder and goat yoga happen to be two of my bizarre faves, but beer-inspired essential oils are up there too, guys. Yep, there are, indeed, benefits to using beer essential oils, and no, those benefits have nothing to do with getting turnt AF.
Regardless of whether you crack open a cold one for the taste or the way it makes you feel, you've probably wondered where your favorite beer gets its distinctly bitter flavor. According to All About Beer, it actually comes from something called hops, which is derived from the hop flower, "a delicate, pale green, papery cone full of perishable resins," the outlet explains. Without hops — which is used either in the early beer-brewing process, or at the end, for added aroma — beer drinkers wouldn't have that perfectly bitter bite to their favorite bubbly drink, and in fact, the bev would actually taste weirdly sweet. What's more, All About Beer explains, hops helps preserve the shelf-life of beer, as well.
But the hop plant isn't simply exclusive to breweries; it's used in some essential oils, as well, for an entirely new and super cool way to experience beer.
Beer-inspired essential oils are infused with hops to provide your body with an array of health benefits, but they're especially effective for helping you chill TF out right before bed.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician and board-certified family medicine doctor, the hop herb used to serve as a mild sedative and was placed inside pillows to help people relax and drift off to sleep with more ease. Now, Dr. Mercola's website states, when infused in an essential oil bottle, you can simply drip a few drops of hop oil onto your pillow (or into your diffuser, if you have one) to reap those same, sleepy-time benefits. TBH, I've never tried these oils myself, but if it helps me get some quality shut-eye, I'm so down, because sleep is bae.
To increase its effectiveness and guarantee you'll sleep like a baby throughout the night, hops essential oil is often combined with a valerian essential oil. According to Dr. Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of DrAxe.com, author of Eat Dirt, and co-founder of Ancient Nutrition, when these two oils are combined, they create an incredibly calming sensation throughout your body, perfect for winding down just before bedtime.
I know this might all sound too good to be true, but there really is research out there to back of up some of these benefits. For instance, a 2007 study published in the journal Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift found that valerian and hops both have properties similar to melatonin (aka a natural hormone made by your body to make you feel drowsy come bedtime), which explains why they're so effective when used as sleep aids. BRB, rubbing droplets of hops all over my entire life.
If you want to include some of these mellow, fruity, floral-scented hop oils in your own bedtime routine, there are plenty of ways to go about doing so.
According to Dr. Mercola's website, aromatherapy via steam distillation (aka using an essential oils diffuser) is one of the most common ways to reap the benefits of hop essential oils, so if you have a diffuser at home, be sure to sprinkle some hops in it before bed for some seriously glorious shut-eye. However, you can also put a few drops of these beer-inspired oils into a luxuriously warm bath to literally soak your problems away, and personally, I think that sounds absolutely divine.
If you're low-key lazy about this whole thing (same, girl), a drop or two of the stuff on your pillow can still get the job done — but make sure you only stick to one or two drops, because essential oils are strong AF, and seriously, a little goes a long way when you're not diluting the oil in any water. Make sure you test a small amount of the oil on your skin before you go the pillow route, though, to make sure you don't have any sensitivities to the product. This is rare, but it can definitely happen, so better safe than sorry, right?
I guess I have to admit that some of these "weird" wellness trends can actually be pretty awesome. That, and I know I'm personally never going to look at —or drink, for that matter — beer the same way again.