A perennial plant with basal juicy thick green or green-variegated large leaves. There are about 300 species in the genus. Basically (with rare exceptions) it is a plant with fleshy succulent leaves collected in a root rosette. Along the edges of the leaves are thorns. The leaf blade ends with an awl-shaped solid tip.
In natural conditions, plants reach large sizes, the diameter of the rosette can reach 4-5 m, while the smallest rosettes of agave are no more than 3-4 cm. Agaves bloom rarely, most often once in a lifetime, after flowering for several months, the plant dies. The lifespan of agaves is up to 30 years. The peduncle is disproportionately long, but it bears numerous flowers (sometimes more than 10,000).
Agaves of American origin, their number in Theropean landscape design and indoor floriculture is associated not with beautiful flowers, but with wide long leaves, sometimes bright and inimitable color.
The most common species in the cultures of different countries is the American agave with green-blue leaves. All members of the genus are very unpretentious plants.
Agave preparations can cause an increase in the perestalsis of the large intestine, as a result of which a laxative effect occurs 8-10 hours after administration. Agave leaves have analgesic, antipyretic, disinfecting, expectorant and anti-inflammatory effects.
The plant has a calming effect, contributes to the rapid cure of neuralgia. Agave improves the metabolic process, promotes the removal of excess fluid from the body, the rapid healing of irritations of various tissues, normalizes the activity of the digestive system, breast, gallbladder.
For medicinal purposes, leaves (older than Zlet) and fresh juice are used. By evaporation, thickening and hardening, the juice of the leaves gives a yellow-green powder with a peculiar smell and bitter taste when rubbed.
The composition of agave includes aloins, which are mixtures of anti-glucosides, which, when split, form eludine (trioxymethylanthraquinone) and sugar – arabinose. In addition, resin, essential oil and some other substances are also contained.
Agave leaves are used in the form of compresses for wounds, abscesses, etc. in fresh form – splitting the leaf and applying it to the sore spot with the cut side. A particularly good effect is given by the use of agave in sciatica (inflammation of the sciatic nerve).
Agave leaf juice is used as an external agent for burns, non-healing (old) wounds, ulcers, for the treatment of purulent wounds, inflammatory skin diseases, etc. As well as for neuralgia, radiculitis, sciatica, headaches.
The substances anordrin and dinordrin contained in agave inhibit childbearing, so they are used as an effective contraceptive.
For the breakdown of agave anti-glucosides, the presence of bile in the intestine is necessary, so agave preparations should not be used for patients with liver and gallbladder diseases.
With external application of agave in some people prone to allergies, the site of the plant's application may become somewhat inflamed. Unpleasant sensations soon pass, in order to reduce them, you can make a compress from fresh cottage cheese.