The American agave, pita or maguey is a plant belonging to the family of the Agaváceas which originates from the Central American zone.
It is perennial succulent with a large rosette of leaves of 30 to 60 cm, fleshy and with pointed teeth, that reaches 2 meters of height.
As for their flowers, they are presented in yellow bouquets of about 7 cm in diameter that appear on a stalk-like stem in plants of ten or more years.
Today it grows as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas around the world.
Related species The pita or agave is quite close to aloe vera or aloe vera . The two have similar medicinal uses. Sisal pita is grown in subtropical America and in Kenya as a source of hecogenin, a substance from which it is broken down to produce corticosteroids (steroidal hormones). The fiber obtained from sisal pita is used to make ropes and hammocks.
As a curious fact to prepare one of the agave liqueurs, you have to place a particular species of worm in the leaves and roots chopped during the fermentation process.
Healing properties of agave
The parts used for healing purposes are the leaves (fleshy leaves with spines) and the sap which is composed of isoflavonoids similar to estrogen, alkaloids, coumarins and vitamins pro-a, B1, B2, C, D and K.
Before the time of the Spanish conquest of America, the Aztecs and Mayas already used the agave and knew how to heal wounds. To do this, they usually mixed with egg white to join powders and gums and form pastes and plasters that were applied over the affected area.
The Badian manuscript (1552), the first herbarium that cited the plants of the New World, describes the Aztec treatment for diarrhea and dysentery in which sap, mixed with corn, freshly ground and extract of a plant of the Utricularia species, Gave as an enema using a syringe made with the bladder of a small animal and a hollow bone or a cane.
It is important to note that both tequila and mescal, Mexican alcoholic beverages, are distilled from the sap or fermented juice from the pitas. These drinks were used by Mexicans to treat nervous conditions.
The sap of the pita is demulcent, laxative and antiseptic. Also, soothing and restorative for many digestive ailments. It is used for ulcers and inflammatory problems that affect the stomach and intestines, protecting it from infections and irritations and favoring healing.
It has also been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, including syphilis , tuberculosis, jaundice and liver disease.
Below are several remedies with agave, pita or maguey that can be made at home.
Popular remedies with agave
Remedy with agave, pita or maguey for healing: Crush a handful of agave stems until you extract enough sap to soak a cloth. Apply this, in the form of compresses, on the affected area several times a day.
Remedy with agave, pita or maguey against impotence: Boil 10 sheets of maguey or agave and 3 g of roots of ginseng , previously washed and in a liter of water for 10 minutes. Let cool, filter and filter 3 cups a day
Remedy with agave, pita or maguey for wounds and chafing: Boil 20 leaves of maguey or agave in half a liter of water. Soak a clean gauze with this infusion and apply on a difficult healing wound .
Do not use during pregnancy. Overdose can cause digestive irritation and liver damage.
Prolonged external use may cause skin irritation.