The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!



Common Names | Parts Usually Used | Plant(s) & Culture | Where Found | Medicinal Properties
Legends, Myths and Stories | Uses | Formulas or Dosages | Bibliography

Scientific Names

  • Agave americana L.
  • Manfreda virginica L.
  • Agave virginica L.
  • Agavaceae
  • Agave family

Common Names

  • American agave
  • American centaury
  • Century plant
  • False aloe
  • Flowering aloe
  • Rattlesnake master
  • Spiked aloe

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Parts Usually Used

The plant
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Agave is a perennial plant; the broad-linear, fibrous leaves grow upward from next to the ground to form a massive rosette. They are gray and smooth on both sides and have prickly edges. After 10 years or more, the plant produces a flower stalk which bears large yellowish-green flowers on many horizontal branches. The fruit is a 3-celled capsule. After flowering and fruiting, the plant dies.

Also called Agave (Manfreda virginica L.) also known as rattlesnake-master, and false aloe as well as the botanical name of (Agave virginica L.). Do not confuse this herb with another plant called Rattlesnake-master (Eryngium yuccifolium).
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Where Found

Grows in the arid and semi-arid regions of tropical America and in some parts of Europe.
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Medicinal Properties

Antiseptic, diuretic, laxative
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The agave is considered the Mexican Tree of Life and Abundance, probably because the people of that region have had so many uses for it. It provides them with food, fodder, paper, twine, soap, roofing, dye, and alcoholic drinks. Its popular name century plant comes from the mistaken notion that it blooms only once in a hundred years. Actually, it flowers after 8-10 years and then dies.
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The sap has antiseptic properties and is taken to stop the growth of bacteria in the stomach and intestine. Can also be used as a laxative. Used for syphilis. Recommended at times for pulmonary tuberculosis, diseased liver, and jaundice. Agave fiber soaked in water for a day is used as a scalp disinfectant and a tonic in cases of falling hair.
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Formulas or Dosages

Decoction: boil 1 tbsp. plant in 1 pint water.

Powder: take 1/2 tsp., 3 times a day.
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Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size: 1 x 100g 100
  • Calories: 68
  • Total Fat: 0.15 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 14 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 16.23 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6.6 g
  • Sugars: 2.58 g
  • Protein: 0.52 g
  • Vitamin A: 37 IU
  • Vitamin C: 4 mg
  • Calcium: 417 mg
  • Iron: 1.8 mg
  • Ash: 1.27 g
  • Starch: 0.24 g
  • Sucrose: 0.41 g
  • Glucose (dextrose): 1.19 g
  • Fructose: 0.98 g
  • Lactose: 0 g
  • Maltose: 0 g
  • Alcohol, ethyl: 0 g
  • Water: 81.83 g
  • Caffeine: 0 mg
  • Theobromine: 0 mg
  • Galactose: 0 g
  • Magnesium, Mg: 55 mg
  • Phosphorus, P: 7 mg
  • Potassium, K: 127 mg
  • Zinc, Zn: 0.15 mg
  • Copper, Cu: 0.138 mg
  • Manganese, Mn: 0.094 mg
  • Selenium, Se: 0.4 mcg
  • Retinol: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin A, RAE: 2 mcg_RAE
  • Carotene, beta: 22 mcg
  • Carotene, alpha: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol): 0.23 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Cryptoxanthin, beta: 0 mcg
  • Lycopene: 0 mcg
  • Tocopherol, beta: 0 mg
  • Tocopherol, gamma: 0 mg
  • Tocopherol, delta: 0 mg
  • Thiamin: 0.029 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.039 mg
  • Niacin: 0.162 mg
  • Pantothenic acid: 0.041 mg
  • Vitamin B-6: 0.055 mg
  • Folate, total: 7 mcg
  • Vitamin B-12: 0 mcg
  • Vitamin K (phylloquinone): 5.3 mcg
  • Folic acid: 0 mcg
  • Folate, food: 7 mcg
  • Folate, DFE: 7 mcg_DFE
  • Tryptophan: 0.008 g
  • Threonine: 0.014 g
  • Isoleucine: 0.014 g
  • Leucine: 0.025 g
  • Lysine: 0.028 g
  • Methionine: 0.009 g
  • Cystine: 0.008 g
  • Phenylalanine: 0.019 g
  • Tyrosine: 0.009 g
  • Valine: 0.022 g
  • Arginine: 0.106 g
  • Histidine: 0.008 g
  • Alanine: 0.024 g
  • Aspartic acid: 0.041 g
  • Glutamic acid: 0.052 g
  • Glycine: 0.019 g
  • Proline: 0.013 g
  • Serine: 0.021 g
  • Vitamin E, added: 0 mg
  • Vitamin B-12, added: 0 mcg


Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! The Rodale Herb Book: How to Use, Grow, and Buy Nature’s Miracle Plants (An Organic gardening and farming book), edited by William H. Hylton, Rodale Press, Inc. Emmaus, PA, 18049., 1974

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