A tropical plant with
about 300 species. The leaves are fibrous, growing upward from the ground
forming a massive rosette. Both sides of the leaves are smooth, with
prickly edges and a thorny tips. The plant produces a flower stalk in
about ten years, and dies after the fruit ripens. (Insert)
In thickets at low and
Constituents and properties
epurative, diuretic and laxative.
Studies suggest antibacterial, antiinflammatory properties.
Study isolated two new spirostanol glycosides: agamenoside A and B.
Study yielded a new steroidal saponin: a bisdesmosidic spirostanol saponin.
For cleansing the blood,
a cup daily of an infusion of two grams of finely chopped leaves in
each cup of water.
Infusion of the leaves used as disinfectant and tonic for falling hair.
Sap of leaves used internally for wound healing and inflammations.
Infusion of the plant with honey to soothe irritation of the eyes.
Decoction of leaves also used as wash for general eye problems.
Powdered plant used for anemia, kidney diseases and liver problems.
• Antibacterial: Study yielded tetratriacontanol, tetratriacontyl hexadecanoate and a new 2-tritriacontylchromone; two of them exhibited significant antibacterial activity.
• Antiinflammatory: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory
activity of aqueous extracts and steroidal sapogenins of Agave americana. Extracts showed good antiinflammatory activity.
• Cytotoxic activity: A new steroidal
saponin from the leaves of Agave americana: Study isolated a new
bisdesmosidic spirostanol saponin along with three known saponins. Hecogenin
tetraglycoside showed cytotoxic activity against HL-60 human promyelocytic
- The sap of Agave americana contains calcium oxalate crystals, acrid
oils, saponins, among other compounds. Despite the known irritants,
dermatitis is only rarely reported. (Source)
- A report of 12 cases
of contact dermatitis secondary to intentional exposure in soldiers
seeking sick leave. (Source)