Portland has been one of favorite U.S. cities for decades. In the past, it was a large and bustling city surrounded by small towns and farmland. It represented an escape from the boring and mundane lifestyle that I often experienced in Oregon. Today, I’m much older and I’ve seen many larger cities, but there’s still something magical about Portland that I cannot ignore.
The city has grown and changed quite drastically over the years. Surprisingly, it seems like a more relaxed and open environment now than it did thirty years ago. The city has somehow managed to become a sprawling city with tall buildings and traffic jams, yet it also has a pristine coastline and access to many beautiful parks, such as the impressive Washington Park.
One of the most interesting changes in the city is the appearance of dozens of breweries. Portland has managed to become the brewery capital of the world with more than 52 breweries spread throughout the city. This makes sense considering that Oregon is one of the largest suppliers of hops in the United States. The combination of the more than 52 breweries and many nearby farms means that the smell of hops often fills the air.
The smell of hops and beer, in general, is one that people either love or hate. I like to think that most of the people who settle down in Portland like the smell. Personally, I really enjoy the smell of hops, and any time I smell them it immediately takes me back to exploring the streets of Portland in my younger years.
Hops Essential Oil
If I ever want to enjoy a moment of nostalgia, I add a few drops of hops essential oil to my diffuser. It doesn’t take long for the machine to fill the room with the aroma. Immediately, I remember driving my car past a number of small hops farms that popped up in the late 1980s. Shortly after, the first microbreweries began to appear in Portland.
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Of course, hops essential oil is good for more than just nostalgic purposes. Just as with most other essential oils, there are a number of health benefits that are linked to hops used. Some of those benefits come from using the oil in aromatherapy. Others come from applying the oil topically. Many of the benefits are actually present in beer as well, but the amount that would need to be consumed outweighs benefits provided.
Because hops are known to have mild sedative qualities, one of the major uses for hops essential oil is for the treatment of restlessness or insomnia. It is a great oil to use at night time when you are ready to get some sleep. Simply add hops essential oil to a diffuser and let it run during the night. Many people blend hops oil with other mild sedative oils to boost efficacy.
The sedative properties also make hops an ideal source of pain relief. It’s not quite potent enough to replace any sort of medication, but it can provide some additional relief.
While relaxing the mind, the oil also helps to relax various muscles in the body. In particular, it can help relax the muscles in the neck and shoulders. This further helps reduce pain in those areas. The combination of tension relief and the relaxing properties of the oil make it an ideal treatment for tension headaches.
The oil can also be applied topically to the skin when diluted with a carrier oil or combined with other oils for use in the hair. As a haircare product, the oil has the potential to increase the strength of hair as well as improve its shine. Certain volatile components in hops essential oil interact with oils in the hair—these interactions result in hair that appears vibrant and soft.
As far as skincare goes, the oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties. The oil can soothe the skin and be used to treat conditions like acne, skin irritation, and psoriasis. The antiviral properties of the oil are useful when trying to avoid infections.
Come For The Hops Stay For The View
While there’s certainly no denying that Portland, Oregon is the brewery capital of the world, it also has a lot of other things to offer. There’s a massive 400-acre park with a zoo and a rose garden called the Washington Park. There’s one of the country’s best science museums with many hands-on exhibits and a large planetarium. There is also the smallest park in the world located at an intersection.
The point is, you should definitely take the time to visit both the attractions and the breweries in Portland while you are in the area. Enjoy the scent of hops and enjoy the trip.
We hope you enjoyed this personal account by a fellow essential oil lover, Monica C. Check out more Cityscape stories here!