The agave was already used by the Aztecs as a food and medicinal plant. Even today, some products made from the desert plant are used in folk medicine for the treatment of diseases and for prevention. However, the user should pay close attention to the dosage.

Occurrence & cultivation of the agave

The agave was already used by the Aztecs as a food and medicinal plant. Even today, some products made from the desert plant are used in folk medicine for the treatment of diseases and for prevention.

The agave species Agave americana, which is still used medicinally today, is one of about 400 types of agave that are native to the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Agaves are a special plant: they form an inflorescence after 15 years at the earliest and usually die off at the age of 20 years. The perennial plant is actually one of the succulents, as it has a high water storage capacity like the cacti.

It grows up to three meters high and has fleshy, at the edges gezähnte and sometimes even there with thread-like fibers equipped leaves. The pale green agave leaves usually have a lancet-like shape and are provided at the top with a thorn. Some species have no thorns and showy red tips. Others are bordered by a white border.

The agave leaves are used as a water reservoir, so that the crop can survive dry periods well. So that the stored liquid can not evaporate, the fleshy leaves have tiny pores on their surface. Agaves form spindle-like rhizomes that grow horizontally and are cut off to propagate the plant in close proximity to the mother plant. For this, however, the rhizomes must first be at least 15 inches long.

The agave inflorescences can grow up to twelve meters high and bloom in July / August with many panicles that carry up to ten-meter-tall single flowers. The capsule fruits have three chambers in which the black seeds are. The agave occurs in the south of North America, in Central America, Venezuela, Colombia and in the Canary Islands. Your medically used parts can be collected all year round.

Anyone who would like to grow agaves in this country chooses a warm, sunny and dry location for them and overwinters them at four to six degrees Celsius indoors in a bright and cool place. The undemanding plant needs only two parts of ordinary plant soil and one part of coarse-grained sand. The outer leaves can be shortened as desired, as long as the sensitive Agave core is not damaged.

Effect & application

Agaves contain fructans such as agavin, rhamnose, saponins (hecogenin), xylose (sugar), oxalic acid, essential oils, polysaccharides (especially inulin), beta-carotene and vitamins B, C, D, and K. Da agave products are mildly toxic they may only be used externally, homeopathically, in low doses and as an admixture in herbal teas.

The Agave ingredients have an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, bone-strengthening, sweat-inducing, analgesic, weight-reducing, diuretic, psychoactive (in case of overdose), aphrodisiac and laxative effects. The remedies used are the leaves and the gel and juice (agave syrup, agave syrup).

The thick juice contains inulin and is used to sweeten food. The basic sweetener is especially popular with vegans and raw food and is obtained from the colorless or yellowish juice of several Agave species. It has a high concentration of fructose and a lower content of glucose. Since it has a low glycemic index, it can also be used by diabetics.

The homeopathic Agave americana has the same uses as the traditional plant parts, but is made exclusively from the leaves of the Mexican Agave. It is given as globules and as a dilution. The Agave syrup, if inadvertently in contact with the skin, can be highly irritating to the skin due to its pungent essential oils and can also cause conjunctivitis.

In people with fructose intolerance, the thick juice can lead to increased uric acid production, metabolic syndrome and hypertriglyceridemia. If he is accidentally overdosed, it leads to indigestion. Pregnant women should not consume him.

Importance for Health, Treatment & Prevention

Agave syrup is an effective light laxative because of its laxative effect and has an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory effect on gastric ulcers. According to recent clinical studies, the active ingredients of the Blue Agave - from which the Tequila is extracted - support the immune system in its important task of ridding the body of unwanted substances and pathogens.

Agavin, included in the US Agave, has been shown to increase blood calcium levels in 2010, according to a 2010 clinical study, protecting bones from osteoporosis. Thus they are no longer deprived of calcium, although it is more urgently needed in case of a shortage elsewhere. In addition, the elevated calcium level has a positive effect on heart health.

In addition, the agave has proven itself as a remedy in traditional folk medicine for back pain, eye diseases, rheumatism and diabetes prevention (Agavin). The Agave Dicksaft can also be applied externally: It is simply applied to wounds, burns, skin fungus affected areas, warts and ulcers.

In joint inflammation and pain, sliced ​​and salted leaf cortices are applied. The active substances disinfect, have a decongestant effect, accelerate the healing process and relieve the pain. The Agave Dicksaft can be used for a short-term detoxification cure, because it has a strong diuretic effect and thus quickly releases inflammatory substances, metabolism-degradation products, food toxins and drug residues.

In this way, people with chronic inflammatory diseases can relieve their suffering. The sweat-inducing properties are used primarily for colds to reduce fever.

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