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  • Basic Info
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Generic: Agavaceae
               



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Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Antibacterial, bruises, constipation, diabetes, diuretic, dysentery, flatulence (gas), hair- restorer, hemolytic activities, indigestion, insulin resistance, jaundice, laxative, nutritional supplement, parasites, steroid source, swelling, syndrome X.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for agave in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for agave in children.

Safety

DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.

Allergies

People who have allergies to plants in Agavaceae family should be cautious in using agave. Contact dermatitis after exposure to the sap of Agave americana has been reported in rare cases.

Side Effects and Warnings

The stiff, erect leaves of some agave plants are tipped with sharp needles, which can cause injury upon contact. Multiple reports of skin rash from Agave americana exist.

Vascular damage from crystals in agave has been reported. There are reports of irritant contact dermatitis from Agave americana when used incorrectly as a hair- restorer.

Pulque consumption may be associated with liver disease (cirrhosis) and increased death rate.

Some constituents of Agave sisalana, have high hemolytic activity, and may be potentially toxic.

Calcium oxalate crystals, found in prickly pear and agave, may have caused microwear of human teeth.

Significant increases in homocysteine levels and a tendency to increase blood glucose concentration and to decrease insulin sensitivity were found in healthy, non- obese young men who consumed tequila daily.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Women from rural areas of the central plateau of Mexico drink a mild alcoholic beverage called pulque as to stimulate breast milk flow (as a galactogogue). The relatively small amount of ethanol taken in by infants through milk is unlikely to have harmful effects. However, pulque intake during breastfeeding may have adverse influences on postnatal growth in some Mexican populations.

Anordin and dinordin, prepared with steroids derived from the sisal plants Agave sisilana and Agave americana have been used for their antifertility effects. These agents, whose anti- fertility properties have been confirmed by scientists in Sweden and the United States, constitute a potential new family of contraceptives promising the advantage of having to be taken only once or twice a month instead of the 20 times per month necessary with the ordinary pill.

               
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