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I had to thin my hop plants and I have some hop leaves. I know people use hop shoots and hops for cooking but I was wondering if hop leaves are edible and, if so, how they are used.

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I had to do some research1, but: yes, hop leaves are edible, e.g. as salad.

You might be better off with tender young leaves, but there are no critical ingredients that should deter you from giving them a try. Commonly one would expect the leaves to be used in a salad, but for older leaves I'd be tempted to add a heating step, like adding a handful in a stir-fry or omelette - think spinach or chard, for example.

As for the chemical compounds that influence the medicinal properties 2, the contents are extremely low in the leaves, so unlike for shots or flowers there is no limit to the amount you can safely consume.


1 Sources (in German, Endlish souces were less fruitful):

http://www.vivalranger.com/index.php/wissensdatenbank/essbare-pflanzen/126-hopfen-wilder-humulus-lupulus
http://selbstbewusstgesund.de/ernaehrung/essbare-wildkraeuter-3/

2 We explicitly do not discuss health and nutrition here, but some foods should be consumed in limited amounts nevertheless. For hops, that is mainly due to ingredients with calming and estrogen-like properties.

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