Agave (Agave L.)

Agave is a genus of plants in the Agave family.


Agave has a shortened stem, with a rosette of large, fleshy and prickly leaves in many species. It blooms once in a lifetime at the 6-15th year (sometimes 50), forming a peduncle (up to 12 m high) with a large number (up to 17 thousand) of flowers; after fruit ripening, the aerial part of the plant dies off, and in a number of species new plants grow from the rhizomes. Over 300 species of agave naturally grow in Mexico and its surrounding areas. From the leaves of many species, fiber is obtained, from the sugary juice of some representatives, collected before flowering, alcoholic drinks are prepared – pulque, mezcal.

Contains active substances:

Agave leaves contain steroidal saponins, derivatives of hecogenin (12-oxothigogenin). Their aglycone is used for the synthesis of steroid hormone products – cortisone, progesterone. In China, the substances anordrin and dinordrin were obtained from agave, which make up a new group of contraceptives that have an important advantage: unlike conventional pills, it is enough to take them 1-2 times a month.

Medical use:

In medicine, two types of this plant are used – American (Agave americána L.) and Sisal (Agave sisalána). American is widely cultivated in the Mediterranean, India, Sri Lanka, Central America. In the CIS, it is cultivated in the Black Sea subtropics. And Sisalskaya is cultivated in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, Australia, East Africa. A valuable fiber, the so-called sisal, is obtained from Sisal. American agave is used in homeopathy.

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