The Diversity, Uses and Side Effects of Agave Plants

0
175
Featured

You may find a plant hanging around the premises of a house very often. Well! That might be an agave plant. People use this plant commonly for home decoration. It derives from a genus of monocots. This plant is indigenous to the hot and dry areas of the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Some species are also found in the tropical areas of South America. There are many variants of agave plants. The common species are Agave tequilana, Agave americana, Agave attenuate.

Agave can enhance the beauty of a house to a high degree. The nectar of agave plants is beneficial to the health as an effective alternative of sugar. Blue agave plant has commercial value as it is one of the salient ingredients of tequila. Go through the following text to know the types, facts, characteristics, methods of cultivation, maintenance procedures and all about the agave plants.

Know these facts about agave plants before reading further

The facts about agave plants are fascinating. Some species have earned the title “century plant” as many people believe that it flowers only once in a century which isn’t true as it flowers in between 15-30 years and dies afterward. It has a subtle similarity with a cactus and often misleads the beholders. The most striking fact about agave plant is: mass people use it as a home decor whereas renowned companies have been extracting tequila out of it. That’s why it shares a common identity associated with tequila. There are a whole lot more facts regarding this mysterious plant. Read on to get a glimpse.

  • Agave has a somewhat similar look as cactus, but it is NOT cactus.
  • Blue agave takes eight long years to flourish to the full.
  • Agave plants die eternally after giving birth to a huge flower.
  • Agave, as well as tequila, originally hail from Jalisco, Mexico.
  • The fruit of this plant weighs exceptionally high.
  • Blue agave must comprise the 51% or more component of tequila as per law.
  • Tequila bottle should have a worm in it- this is just a myth.
  • Mezcal is not tequila, but tequila is mezcal.
  • Most of the tequilas age very early, young tequila tastes best.
  • Old tequila adds vintage value to its name, and you can buy it at a high price.
  • Tequila is a global brand carrying legal weight.
  • The traditional tahona process is artisan and makes the best tequila.

Agave Plants: Variations & Individual Characteristics

Agave is a succulent plant having a wide range of varieties. The different types of agave differ from each other in terms of the rosettes, leaves and flower spikes. The genus Agave consists of almost twenty variants of agave plants. Each species has some distinctive features which make it separable from the others. Blue agave is the most prominent type of this plant, but there are more petite variants to follow. Have a look at our list of various agave plants.

Americana

americanaAgave americana is the most prevalent species of the genus Agave. Its excellent adaptation ability has helped it spread worldwide regardless of hot or cold climate. There is no authentic record regarding the exact origin of this type, but most of the sources say that it derived from Mexico.  It takes two years to achieve maturity. The significant characteristics of Agave Americana are as follows.

  • Huge leaves (6ft max)
  • Large flower stalk
  • Suitable for pot and ground.
  • Survives in both hot and cold weather.

Attenuata

attenuataAgave atttenuata is famous for its large rosette and soft green leaves. The edges of the leaves are so smooth that this plant is entirely fit to be kept near walkways. It is so cute that the premises of the home or office will get a wonderful look if adorned with these plants. A selected cultivar of this plant has blue leaves. The origin of this species lies in central Mexico. Characteristics:

  • Long leaves. (breadth 5-8in and length 2ft max)
  • Large rosette
  • Green and soft leaves
  • The leaves have smooth and beautiful edges
  • Yellowish curved flowers

 Attenuata ‘Variegata’

Attenuata 'Variegata'This version of attenuata is really beautiful. It has naturally drawn yellow stripes in the middle part of the leaves. It looks stunning beside a pool or beach. The tall trunk of this plant makes it noticeable in the surrounding.

  • Tall trunk up to 5 feet
  • Yellow stripes on green leaves
  • Get damaged by light frost
  • Leaves emerge from a curved stem.

‘Blue Glow’

Blue GlowThe beauty of this Agave is extremely striking. The color of the leaves is a blue-green mix with a chalky surface. The marginal parts of the edges are yellow followed by a red ribbon. It looks absolutely gorgeous when backlit by the sunshine. The glowing edges and the green-blue color have helped it get the name “Blue Glow.” The characteristics are as follows.

  • Length 1-2ft max, width 2-3 ft max
  • Grows in arid reasons but frost-tender
  • Best for decorative uses
  • Red and yellow margins on the leaves.

Bracteosa

bracteosaBracteosa is another variant of Agave with spineless green leaves. It grows both in containers and rock garden. The margins of the leaves are smooth with great attention to the detail. Bracteosa gets it tight to survive in cold-wet weather. This variant is indigenous to the Coahuila state of Mexico. The characteristics of Bracteosa are given below.

  • 1-2ft long
  • Serrated leaves
  • Evergreen
  • Flower spikes of creamy-white color
  • Suitable for arid regions.

 Bovicornuta

bovicornutaThis plant has a high adaptation power compared to other agave plants. It can survive in slight frost. It occupies a large place even with a single rosette. So, give it enough room to flourish. The characteristics are as follows.

  • The rosette can extend to 6ft max in diameter
  • The levees have red-spined tips.
  • Glossy wide leaves
  • Maximum 3ft long and 45ft wide.

Chiapensis

chiapensisChiapensis is native to the Chiapas state of Mexico. This plant is also frost-tender and grows well on limestones. It has an open rosette, and the leaves are green with undulate spines. The rosette forms a clump at the base. It grows greenish-yellow flowers with exserted stamens.

  • 20in long leaves
  • Has spines on the edge
  • The floweret is up to 6ft long

Colorata

colorataThis is the best fit for a dry desert-like garden. Colorata originates from the Coastal Sonora of Mexico.  The leaves are wide open with undulated margins. These leaves have bud imprints too. The significant characteristics are enumerated below.

  • Blue rosette with a chalky surface
  • The bandings are 10 in long and 7 in wide
  • Has a loose cluster of yellow flowers.

Desmettiana ‘Variegata’

desmettiana 'Variegata'Like other variants of agave plants, Variegata also has the appeal to be used as ornamental plants. It grows well in the rocky desert with little access to water. These plants aren’t too long having the ability to grow 0.9m to the max. There might be marginal spines in most of the cases. Plain wedges are also present in some plants. It looks equally beautiful in ground and container. The arching shape of the agave makes it more attractive.

  • Blue-green and yellow-green leaves
  • Leaves are thick and fibrous
  • Leaves margins are creamy yellow
  • Flowers panicles are small, and the color is yellow
  • Bisexual evergreen plants.

Difformis

difformisThe rosette of this plant is open spaced having an estimated diameter of 45cm. The color of the leaves ranges from pale blue to grey-green. It has its origin credited to Mexico. The leaves of this version of agaves have a distinctive pattern on the leaves. The upper surface has a creamy-green line right in the middle of the leaves. And the outer surface has a couple of green strips on the leaves. The other characteristics are given below.

  • Teeth along the edges of the leaves
  • It forms a large clump
  • It has thin green lengthwise stripes on the leaves
  • The flowers are glaucous and yellowish-green in color.

Filifera

filiferaOne can easily distinguish this type from the others by the unique white threads it has on top of every leaf. Geminiflora also has such threads, but the leaves are thinner on that case. This plant is native to north and northwest of Mexico.  It is the best fit to be planted in a container as it doesn’t occupy much space. There are longitudinal markings on the deep green leaves. It can tolerate cold down to -7℃.

  • Small having a width of 2ft
  • The leaves are 6-12in long
  • Has longitudinal white markings
  • Can grow a flower stalk up to 8ft tall
  • Cold tolerant till -7℃.

Geminiflora

geminifloraAgave Geminiflora is also known as twin flower agave. It is entirely different from other agaves regarding the leaves and white filaments. The narrow, green and sharp-tipped greens have no thorn, unlike other species. It fits the best in a container and grows well in drought. It is originated from the Mexican state of Nayarit. The striking features of geminiflora are given below.

  • It can grow 15ft tall inflorescence
  • The leaves are narrow and 2-3ft long
  • The edges are spineless
  • Each leave has some white and curly filaments
  • Frost-tender plants.

Gigantensis

gigantensisThis species isn’t widespread the prevalence is limited to central Baja California only. The leaves are thick and robust with serrated teeth. The panicle of flowers can grow up to 15ft long. The rosette is wide open, and it has fewer leaves compared to other species of agave plants. It occupies much space with a diameter of 4ft. The leaves have bud imprints too. It is a major component of mezcal.

  • Serrated margins with strong teeth
  • Thick blue-green leaves
  • Flower-stalk is 15ft tall max
  • Evergreen plant
  • The flowers are pale yellow in color

Lophantha

LophanthaAgave lophantha, aka thorncrest century plant, are medium in both diameter and length. The maximum diameter and length are respectively 2ft and 3ft. The color of the leaves is deep green having a pale green or yellowish lengthwise stripe along the midpoint. The edges of the leaves is serrated with dark red spines. This plant is indigenous to some part of Mexico and the USA.

  • The leaves are 2ft long and 1-2in wide
  • The flower spike is up to 12 ft long
  • The color of the flowers is greenish-yellow
  • Longitudinal stripes in the middle
  • Numerous teeth on the edges.

Macroacantha

macroacanthaMacroacantha plant is native to the Oaxaca and Puebla states of Mexico. It is distinctive among other species because of the terminal spine it has on top of every leave. The leaves are blue-grey and have small marginal thorns. These plants are grown in the arid area, and cant withstands frost. The flower blooms from spring to summer, and it takes 15 years to flower for the plant. Other characteristics are as follows.

  • Dark brown or black rigid terminal spine
  • Small rosette of 16in high
  • A 6ft tall flower stalk
  • Frost-tender plant.

Montana

montanaThis is a native of the northeastern part of Mexico. These leaves have sharp marginal spines. The terminal spine is stout and fierce. The leaves are thick and green having obvious chalky look caused by the bud imprints. The roseate doesn’t spread too much. This is a pretty good choice to enhance the beauty of your home. It can tolerate cold, wet weather. That’s a big plus in terms of surviving worldwide.

  • Can grow to 34-4 ft on average
  • The rosette is 3ft wide approx.
  • Red and stout terminal spine
  • The inflorescence is 12ft long to the max
  • Small marginal thorns on the leaves
  • Cold-wet weather friendly

Potatorum

potatorumPotatorum is a small variant of Agaves known widely for the beautiful pattern of the rosette. It derives from the Oaxaca and Puebla state of Mexico. It has fleshy blue-grey leaves which produce irritating sap at times. There are marginal spines which can sting you well. It is neither small nor big. It fits perfectly in a pot and takes years to outgrow the container. So, grab it to decorate your house.

  • Reddish spine tips
  • Flowery pattern of rosette
  • Small in diameter (2ft)
  • 2ft tall and 3ft wide on average
  • Wavy terminal spine
  • Flower-stalk can grow to 20ft long to the max.

Salmiana ferox ‘Green Goblet’

salmiana feroxThis is probably the biggest of all agaves. Even may outperform you in length. Its normally 6ft long and 12 ft wide. The leaves are fleshy and thick. Such huge agaves will not look good without large and sharp spines. And it has that too. This is a poor choice to be planted in containers. Salmiana ferox can’t tolerate frost a bit. So, you need to protect out from cold weather. This giant agave is often disturbed by weeds around it. One must get involved in gardening to get the best out of a Green Goblet.

  • Serrated margin with strong brown teeth
  • Huge in length and width
  • Cant withstand cold weather
  • The flowers are yellow.

Victoriae-reginae

victoria reginaeVictoriae reginae is quite popular for its small size and delicate look. The great stiff thick leaves have characteristic kneels that help it become a good choice as home décor. It originates from the limestone soils of northeastern Mexico. The flower spike is long, but the diameter is only 2ft. The characteristics are as follows.

  • The flower spike is 2-4m high
  • Beautiful agave with unique white leaf markings
  • Takes 20-30 years to bloom
  • Dark green leaves with kneels
  • Tough to grow.

Vilmoriniana

vilmorinianaThis is found commonly in Northern Mexico. This plant can’t tolerate cold and grows well in dry places. The distinctive leaves pattern has made it different from all other types. It has long and narrow leaves of bluish-green color. The leaves are amazingly different they are slender and twist inward resembling the tentacles of an octopus. Even it is named after octopus as octopus agave. There are no teeth on the edges, and that makes it suitable for household beatification.

  • Twisted fleshy leaves
  • One tender terminal spine
  • Rosette can grow 6ft max
  • Occupy a diameter of 5ft
  • Flower-stalk can reach up to 15ft
  • Drought tolerant but frost-tender.

How to grow agave plants?

Agave plants are perennial herbaceous with a variety of almost 200 species. All of them originate from the arid region of Mexico and USA. Mexico is the most suitable country for them to flourish. These plants grow well in hot weather with little water. Most of them are frost-tender while every species is drought friendly.

For this reason, it is easy to grow agave plants as it requires less care. But the soil must be sandy or gritty. One can grow agave plants using either a pup or seed.   If the natural sand bed isn’t sandy, you must implement an external one to help the plant grow.

Growing an agave plant involves a few important factors. The conditions of climate, the type of soil, the availability of light, the cultivation process, propagation, etc. are really some essential points. Most importantly, having patience while growing an agave is a crucial fact. It grows very slowly and blooms after at least ten years. So, patience is a big deal in this regard. One can grow an gave both in soil and a container. Most of the agaves grow perfectly in a container, a few of them aren’t suitable for the container because of the large size. You will know how to grow agave plants from seed from the text below.

Here, you have to discuss things differently. The production methods will vary depending on some factors. Discuss each section differently and clearly.

Growing agave plants from seed

Growing agave plants from seedIt’s not hard to find out an agave put from the local nurseries. If a getting pup becomes difficult, you can try to grow agave from seed. The process isn’t so much sophisticated. Basic thumb rules of gardening and compatible soil will be enough to get the best production of agave plants. Before digging deep into the growing process, one must have the following essentials arranged.

Essentials to Gather

What you need depends on how you are planting an agave. The process varies concerning the use of a container. You’ll need all the gardening tools along with these special things as given below.

  • Planting containers
  • Drip trays
  • Seed starting mix
  • Plastic wrap/bags

Required Steps

Agave grows significantly slowly. It’s better to propagate the plant using tissue culture. Growing agaves from seeds is painstaking. Only some appropriate steps can lessen the nuisance to a great extent. Once you have arranged the essentials, follow the following steps to grow the long-cherished agave plant.

Step 1

If you are planning to grow agave plants on a container, this is the first step for you. In case of planting it on soil, you don’t need to use a container. Rinse the container with water before starting the process. Make sure the container is fully dry before using. The plant needs good drainage system. So, put some small holes on the bottom surface of the container to help the water runoff.

Step 2

There are commercially produced seed starting mix available in the nearest gardening stores. You can use that or prepare one by yourself. Mix pumice, sharp sand, sphagnum, vermiculite, and moss or coco coir together to get the best result. Sterilize the mix by baking it at 350℉ for about 30 minutes.

Step 3

Container and sterilized mix are ready. So fill the container with the mix.

Step 4

Scatter the seeds on the mix. One can keep the seeds either exposed to open sunlight or covered with thin layer of sterilized mix. The seeds need sunlight to germinate. So, don’t cover them deeply.

Step 5

Before watering the container containing the seeds, sterilize the water. One can sterilize water by boiling it for 5 minutes.

Step 6

Wrap the containers once the excess moisture drains off. This will ensure the consistency of moisture in your planting containers. Remove the plastic if any seedling becomes visible.

Step 7

Keep the seeds in a dry place with ample sunlight. The seeds will take about 14-21 days to sprout. If you plant more than one variant, the germination will occur at irregular intervals.

Step 8

Excessive moisture can cause the sprout to rot within a few days. Don’t water the sprout frequently; twice a week is perfect.

Step 9

After full-fledged germination, there will be 2-3 visible leaves. This is the time to transfer them to the target pot or the target place.

Step 10

Keep the pot containing the seedlings in a dry place with access to sunlight. And water them barely.

Planting in soil

Planting in soilThe origin of agave plants lies in the desert of Mexico and USA. The soil of these places is sandy, gritty and stony in some places. That’s why agave plants flourish to the full if planted to such places. You have to make this type of soil if it’s not naturally compatible with agave plants. So the real challenge is planting them in gritty, sandy soil.

Planting in gritty/sandy soil

Gritty and sandy soil is appropriate for a fast drainage system. Agave plants will die if the soil holds much water. Avoid clay or loamy soil to get rid of this crucial problem.

Building a bed if necessary

If the soil isn’t sandy and gritty, you have to build a raised bed for the convenience of the seeds’ growth. Construct a raised bed and put the ready soil to fill it. You can make it with wooden timbers or rocks.

Gathering a sandy soil mix

One can buy a readymade soil mix for the plant. Or create a mix by yourself using perlite, sand, organic compounds and some soil nutrients.

Checking the pH balance

The pH level of soil is a great catalyst that affects the growth of any seed or plant. Imbalanced pH will cause the plant to become pale within a few days. The suitable pH level for agave plant is estimated in between 6.6-6.8. You can purchase a pH checker kit from the local garden center.  Don’t take the surface soil as a sample. You have to dig deep to at least 4in to get the perfect result. If the plant grows with a natural looking green color, the pH is okay. Pale leaves suggest that there might be a problem regarding pH level. Add sulfur compound to lessen the pH and add lime to increase the pH. Measure the pH level before planting the seeds. Adjust it and water thoroughly after balancing the pH level to get the best result.

Exposing the plants to direct sunlight

As agave plants are originally from the hot and arid area, they are extremely heat and drought tolerant. Without ample sunlight, the growth rate will be so low that you’ll doubt if it is really growing. So, expose the plants to direct sunlight at least 6hours a day.

Watering the plants

Agave plants are frost-tender and intolerant of water. Never water the plant more than twice a week. During the summer, fall and spring, water it once a week during the rainy or wet season, no more watering. You can water it moderately using a watering can and a soaker hose.

Being careful about winter care

Winter demands more care for the natural growth of agave plant. This plant is highly drought-tolerant, on the contrary, cant withstand frost at all. So, you should find a warm place for them in the winter. And, don’t water them during winter. Excess water will damage the plant entirely.

Putting fertilizer

Nobody is perfect, nor is the soil. Almost all kind of soils lack some important elements needed for the plant. That’s why we should put some external fertilizer to help the plant grow effectively. Don’t go overboard with the application of the fertilizers. Sprinkle the fertilizer in a small amount. Fertilizer is harmful if it gets direct contact with the leaves. So, wash off the fertilizer from the leaves after sprinkling them.

Planting in the pot

Planting in the potThe natural setting of soil is often adverse to the natural growth of the agave plant. And one cat changes the attribute of the soil of a large place. Engineering soil in a container or pot is easy. A container or pot is easy to handle. And the quality of the soil is easy to manipulate when it’s about a small quantity. That’s why growing agave in a pot is the convenient way to follow. Besides, agaves are known commonly as a beauty enhancer for houses. A pot can serve the purpose of beautification easily being conveniently portable to the desired places. Know how to pant an agave in the pot from the discussion below.

Planting in a container

You must arrange a good quality container beforehand. If the container isn’t clean enough, rinse it with water and dry it. Make some small holes at the bottom of the container. It will help the excess water runoff from the container. This step is very important as agave plants can tolerate wet soil. They are drought friendly, so a container having good drainage facility will promote natural growth.

Using potting mix

Cactus and agave plants hail from the similar type of soil. There is cactus mix available at the garden store. One can use that mix as well for agave pants. You can also make your own soil mix by using perlite and sand or gravel with other soil nutrients mixed with an organic compound. Then put the mix into the pot.

Placing the plant

When the soil is ready, place the plant carefully in the container. Make sure that the root goes deep down, and the leaves stay upfront.

Exposing the plants to direct sunlight

You already know that agave plants can’t withstand frost but are tolerant to hot weather. That implies that they tend to like sunlight. So put the pot in such places where direct sunlight is available almost throughout the whole day. But, be careful in winter. Keep the pot in a dry place where no snow will affect the plant. Anything less than 10℃ is not comfortable for the agaves.

Watering the plants

Agaves don’t need much water. Extra moisture cause root rot and the plant will die in the long run. So, the plant enthusiast must regulate the frequency of watering the agave plant. Water the plant once a week on a regular basis, this can be increased to twice a day to the max. During winter, the rate goes down significantly. Water the plant only once a month in winter. Remember, well-draining soil is a must.

Putting fertilizer

The growth of the plants depends on the health of the soil. Consider putting some fertilizer in the planting pot. Don’t apply the fertilizer when the underlying soil is dry. Because it may burn the plant roots. It’s better to put water-soluble fertilizer.

Controlling Diseases and Pests

Agaves are less prone to diseases, but pests are a considerable problem. Plant diseases like root, stem, crown, and collar rot rarely affect agave plants. Soils having poor drainage scope can cause this disease. Spraying a fungicide can help reduce this problem, and wet condition of the soil has to be checked simultaneously. Any sort of pests is a great nuisance for the gardeners.  Weevils, snails, and any soil bug can attack the plant very easily. Keep a close eye to this fact before it’s too late. Get rid of these pests as early as possible. Healthy plants are less favorable to the pests. So, make sure that your plant is growing normally. By any chance, the plant develops root rot; there’s nothing much to do anymore, replace it with a new one.

Propagation of Agave plants

Propagation of Agave plantsGrowing agave plants from seed is time-consuming. That’s why propagating agave plants from the parent plant is a more popular idea. The process is dead simple. Firstly, find the parent plant from which you want to take the pup. Choose a healthy pup and cut off the pup with a safe knife or by hand with little effort. Try to come away with a pup having some base roots if possible. It’s not mandatory but better. Now preserve the pup carefully until you’re going to insert it to the desired container. Put the pup into the previously ready container. Water the plant to enhance the moist level but don’t make it soggy. With a little care, the plant should start to flourish within 2-4 weeks. If it doesn’t start growing even after three weeks, check the factors that affect the natural growth of agave plants and act accordingly.

Uses of agave plants in daily life

Almost everyone thinks that the uses of agave plants are only limited to the production tequila and mezcal. This is a wrong conception about the uses of agave plants. Agave can do a lot more than that. There are approximately 200 species of agave. Some of theme are significantly useful for many reasons. For this reason, they have conquered the world despite deriving from some parts of Mexico and USA. The various uses of agave plants are as follows.

Culinary uses

If you have the knack of tasting traditional food, this will surely intrigue you. Because Native Americans had a tradition of roasting agave leaves in pits though it takes a couple of days to complete the process. People used to grind it to a powdery form and store it for years. This was of great use when there was a shortage of food. But, in modern time, agave is mostly known as an element of the production of tequila. Its more important use is being used as a replacement of sugar. Agave nectar is extracted from the pineapple-like pina/fruit of the agave plants. This is a natural sweeter which doesn’t affect the sugar level of the human body. It is gluten free comprising a low glycemic index. So, it is good for health. Before using it as a sweetener, keep n mind that it is sweeter than re3gular sugar. So, you have to regulate the amount as per the need.

Daily healthcare

Agave plants have a component named saponins in the roots and leaves. This is an element of soap. So, the extract of the agave plant can be turned into cleaning agents which will eventually turn into soaps. Another great use of agave plant is you can use it as an anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic on wounds and cuts. Apply the fluid of agave plants to the cuts or wounds and rub it gently as an antiseptic.

DIY purposes

Agave leaf works as a naturally attached needle and thread. But the thread must be extracted with great care. Otherwise, the whole thing will turn into a complete mess. Remove the terminal thorn carefully. There will be intact fibers of a few feet. Pound the leaves slowly until the leaf flesh is fully removed. Ten you will get the natural sewing kit made from agave plants. Use the fiber as thread and the thorn as needle and fix the things you want to patch up. Watch out the sharp thorns. They might find you off-guard and injure you. So use the agave plants in sewing and make a difference in your DIY sewing projects.

Household essentials

The native Mexican have a tradition of making rope, paper, and firewood from agave plants. At first, the leaves are burnt or boiled. The burning process continues until it becomes charred. Then exclude everything from the remaining part except fibers. The remaining fibers can be mold into the shape of a rope. Though agave-made papers will not be of high quality, it is quite easy to make this. Peel the leaves and let them dry completely. This is a convenient way. The wastage produced from tequila preparation can also be turned into paper. Make a pulp using the fiber of the wastage and compress it to make paper. The stalk of the flowers is handy if we can use them as firewood. They are a good burning element if dry completely.

Uses in home improvement

Agave plants find their ways even in the desert area, that made them adaptable to adverse hot climate. If your home situated somewhere hot with less water, they can be your best friends. Such weather damages the green plant, and your home may look pale without any green around it. Adopt some agave plants and put them in suitable pots or containers. It is a great landscaping choice for people living in arid places. Besides, you can use them to adorn your office too.

Uses in fashion

Don’t be surprised? You read that right. Agave plants have great use as an element of tattoo preparation procedure. Agaves were widely known to be associated with tattoos. The thorns are fierce enough to be used as the needles.  And don’t worry about the ink. The fleshy leaves are burnt and charred to make ink. So, you can use these natural needles and charcoal for designing tattoos. And, of course, natural materials are better than chemicals.

Medicinal Uses

Agave plants are rich in minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc. Minerals are very important for our health. It also contains saponin which works great against cholesterol. And the use of agave nectar in the place of sugar is highly recommended by the doctors. Because it doesn’t help the sugar level go high. Besides all these, agaves have the following medicinal benefits.

Indigestion

Agave contains prebiotic fibers which help our body nurture good bacteria. The presences of these bacteria ultimately results in proper digestion.

Constipation

A good digestion system can eradicate the problem related to constipation. Fiber-based food works greatly to heal constipation.

Dysentery (Bloody Diarrhea)

Agaves leaves are believed to be effective to cure dysentery. Before eating agaves, make sure that it is washed very well. And watch out the thorns.

Gas (Flatulence)

Agave is fibrous. These fibers have some elements that fight against gastric pain. It lessens the gas formation in stomach according to gastrologic study.

Jaundice (Excessive bilirubin in the blood)

Jaundice isn’t fatal, but it can make your life worse. The chemical in agaves is good for liver functions. Take 2ml sap of agave with lukewarm water once a day to cure jaundice.

Bruises

The anti-inflammatory quality of agave plants is widely known for excellent efficacy. Put some agave sap on the bruises and rub that evenly to help the skin heal.

Hair loss

Hair loss is one of the global health issues at present. Guess what? You can use agave plants to nourish the hair just like Aloe Vera.

Cancer

The saponins present in agave leaves can hinder the growth of cancer cells. Well! It can’t cure cancer, but it can earn a place in the list of cancer patients’ diet.

Promoting labor

Pregnant women often face a problem with labor. They try to induce labor, but it becomes a tough job to accomplish. Agave plants can help her in promoting labor.

Increasing milk supply

Good news for the new mothers. Drinking Pulque is a Mexican way to increase the milk supply for breastfeeding. This beverage helps the women increase milk production.

Possible Side Effects

Almost all the medicinal uses of agave plants are associated with some side effects. We’re stating the facts. No scope to get deluded only by the positive aspects of anything. It’s useful to help a person heal the wound, and at the same time, some people may give allergic reactions to the direct contact with agave leaves. And, the thorns are sharp enough to cause the skin to swell.

It promotes labor, but it may also cause a problem when you’re not expecting labor. Some pieces of evidence prove that agave stimulates the uterus and cause muscle spasm which isn’t good for pregnant women. The saponins present in the agave can stimulate uterine blood flow thus induce a miscarriage.

Pulque is believed to play a role in increasing the milk supply for the new moms. It does so, but there is the possibility of a slower growth rate of the infants. Using it while the physician doesn’t recommend pregnancy or breastfeeding.

A never-ending debate goes on about the effectiveness of agave nectar as a substitute of sugar. Yes! It’s good until it’s not extracted through a complex industrial mechanism. Raw nectar is good, but only a few are extracted in natural process. Ultimately, agave sweetener also contains some harmful chemicals.  And this sweetener has dangerously high fructose.

Recommended Dosage

The efficacy of any medicine largely depends on proper dosage. The right amount of medicine better the things and wrong amount makes it worse. So the dosing must be right on the money. Though agave is a natural product, its dose is related to some key factors such as users’ health, age, the condition of the disease, etc. so the dosing is a crucial aspect to get medicinal benefits. Go through the directions of the labels of the medicine or consult a professional before taking the agave-based product.

Conclusion

Agave is indigenous to the desert area of Mexico and the USA. Its adaptive and tolerant nature has helped it spread worldwide. Though we think them nothing more than a decorative plant, they have a lot more to offer. Blue agave is the salient ingredient of tequila, and agave nectar is a substitute to sugar. It also has some household and medicinal uses associated with a few side effects. It’s not good for pregnant women, and direct contact with the skin may cause allergic reaction to some people. The wide variety of agave species makes it more attractive as a landscaping element. But before handling the plant, be cautious about the fierce thorns.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your name here
Please enter your comment!