Plant Spotlight: Agave
Looks like a cactus, is pointy like a cactus, grows like a cactus… but is actually part of the Lilly family. Go figure. The agave plant creates an amazing spirit (tequila!), is used a plant medicine, and has a long history of ceremonial use. Taking 8 years to mature, although today this plant is primarily cultivated for tequila and mezcal, it is so versatile that it has been an important food source for southwestern Indian tribes, its leaves were used for roof thatching, clothing, ropes and its pulp for paper.
Folklore and History
Legend has it that the agave plant was a gift from the gods. An elixir (pulque) was made from the plant to help one find comfort. It was and still is used ceremonially. Even human remains dating back at least 10,000 years show the early uses of agave for food and fiber.
Agave is great for the skin, used for burns, abrasions, cuts, insect bites, wound-healing. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it great to be utilized as a healing salve. In Central America it is the juice of the agave plant that is used for its treatment of wounds. The Aztecs and Mayans added egg whites to the juice to make a poultice to speed healing.
Internally, agave is used to treat ulcers, stomach inflammation, liver disease, TB, and menstrual problems. It is also used to aid in digestion, for gas and constipation.
A poultice from the root, and leaves are used to treat toothaches. The plant can even be used to make soap because of the high amounts of saponins found in the plant. This truly is a versatile plant.
How We Use Agave
We honor this plant by drinking it in its most amazing form – as TEQUILA!!! Seriously, we do enjoy our tequila. We don’t utilize the plant in any of our products yet, but you never know what the future holds.