This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. South American Agave.
MEDICINAL PART. The inspissated juice.
Description. -- This plant, which is also sometimes called the Century Plant, from an erroneous idea that it blossoms but once in a hundred years, is the largest of all herbaceous plants. It is an evergreen, and does not blossom often.
History. -- It flourishes in the warmer latitudes of South America, where its juice is expressed by the natives and allowed to ferment. In this condition it is called pulque, and is used as an exhilarating beverage. The natives can drink large quantities of this liquor without getting very much intoxicated; but it is very severe upon those who are not accustomed to it.
Properties and Uses. -- The fresh juice is used by the South Americans to regulate the action of the bowels and kidneys, and is considered very valuable for dyspepsia and diseases of the bladder. The South American women use the juice and the decoction to promote menstruation. I can say of my own knowledge that, in proper combination, it is a superior anti-syphilitic, and that in scobutic affections it is without many superiors. The dose is from half a fluid ounce to two ounces, three times a day.
The Agave Virginica, or False Aloe, is not to be confounded with this, as that plant is a laxative and carminative.