Antiseptic. The sap is diaphoretic, diuretic and laxative. An infusion of the chopped leaf is purgative and the juice of the leaves is applied to bruises. The plant is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, constipation, jaundice and dysentry. Steroid drug precursors are obtained from the leaves. A gum from the root and leaf is used in the treatment of toothache. The root is diaphoretic and diuretic. It is used in the treatment of syphilis. All parts of the plant can be harvested for use as required, they can also be dried for later use. The dried leaves and roots store well.
People often ask if this is the Agave grown for tequila. Technically, tequila is a type of mezcal, but all mezcals are not tequila. To be a true tequila, it must be derived from Agave tequilana Weber azul, or more commonly known as the Webers Blue variety of Agave tequilana. Most of the mezcal beverages are made from one of 5 or 6 species, of which A. americana is reportedly one.
Seed - surface sow in a light position, April in a warm greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 20øc. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of well-drained soil when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a sunny position in the greenhouse until thay are at least 20cm tall. Plant out in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts, and give some protection from the cold for at least their first few winters. Offsets - potted up at any time they are available. Keep in a warm greenhouse until they are well established.
data regenerated on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:46:20 -0500