Agave has been used in folk medicine for centuries, the Aztecs used alcoholic extracts from agave leaves to rub inflamed joints, and used fresh juice to rub rheumatized areas as well as on tired muscles. It was used to treat inflammation of the sciatic nerve and ischiasis. However, on badly healing wounds and ulcers, juice or cut agave leaves were applied.
How to make agave tincture? You will need fresh agave leaves and 40% alcohol, preferably vodka. Use ratio 1:4, so for 1 part of leaves use 5 parts of alcohol. It might be around 0.5 lb (250g) of agave for around 2 lb (1l) of vodka.
The leaves should be crushed, poured over with alcohol in an airtight jar and set aside in a dark place for 7 days. After this time, the agave tincture should be filtered and you can start using it.
Do you want to know more about agave tincture? Keep reading – I will cover uses, benefits, dosage, contraindications and at the end of the article you can also find a list of equipment that might be useful (here link to my article about supplies) when you will be making a agave tincture by yourself. I’m making tinctures from 2001 and have gathered and read dozens of books about them, so information that you will find in this article should be helpful 🙂
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Agave tincture uses and benefits, what is it good for
According to webmd.com agave tincture is good for:
- gas (flatulence),
- bloody diarrhea (dysentery),
- skin yellowing due to too much bilirubin in the blood (jaundice),
- hair loss.
Agave has compounds that show a strong protective effect. These are saponins that help lower cholesterol and inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, as well as inulin, a type of fiber that is a probiotic. The inclusion of agave syrup in the diet, according to Jonny Bowden, author of “The Healthiest Meals on Earth”, will not only protect us from many diseases, but also take care of the intestinal flora and reduce the risk of constipation.
Agave leaves contain many valuable ingredients, that can be extracted with alcohol, such as:
- steroid saponins,
- proteolytic enzymes,
- succinic and citric acids,
- vitamins B, C, E and provitamin D,
- phytosterols (beta-sitosterol),
Agave tincture dosage
Most sources suggest using agave tincture 2-3 times a days, you can take 10-15 drops of agave tincture after meals.
It can be used also to rub rheumatized areas as well as on tired muscles.
Agave tincture recipe without alcohol
Alcohol tinctures are probably the most potent way to get healing and balancing benefits of herbs and plants for our use.
But if you can’t or don’t want to consume alcohol, or you should not give it to kids, as a substitute you can make a glycerin-based, alcohol-free herbal extract, also called an herbal glycerite. Such extract is not as strong or long-lasting as alcohol tinctures, but it takes only up to 3 days to make it.
Recipe to prepare agave glycerite without alcohol: put leaves in a jar about 1/2 way, fill to the top with glycerine. Cover and put in a slow cooker (or Instant Pot with a slow cooker feature) that’s lined with a towel and filled with water — run on low for 3 days. After that remove and strain, keep in a dry and cool place in dark glass bottles.
Agave tincture contraindications and side effects
Tincture used for skin in small amounts is safe, but when overdosed might cause swelling and redness, skin sores, and swelling of small blood vessels (veins) within minutes to hours of exposure.
According to webmd.com taking agave tincture by mouth during pregnancy is unsafe because it contains alcohol. Drinking during pregnancy has been linked with smaller infant size and reduced mental performance during the first 6 months of life.
What type of alcohol is used for agave tincture?
Most spirits used for drinking will work, but vodka or other grain alcohols that are at least 40% alcohol by volume work best with fresh agave leaves.
How long does agave tincture last?
When stored in a cool, dry place, agave tincture lasts at least three years, if not longer. If you use dark bottles, it will last longer because the light will not damage it. If your area is humid or hot several months out of the year, try storing it in the refrigerator during the hot and humid season.
Recommened edequipment – what you may need to have to make such tincture at home
I hope that you have found my article useful. Below I’ve gathered all items that I am using when making my tinctures, some of them, like airtight jars, are necessary, some are just handy, you do not need to have them all to be able to make a good tincture.
- Airtight jars.
- Mortar for herbs – granite.
- Mortar for herbs – stainless steel.
- Funnels for filling bottles.
- Large bottles, dark glass.
- Medium bottles, dark glass.
- Small bottles with dropper, dark glass.
- Cloth for tincture filtering.
- Coffee filters for tincture filtering.
- Alcohol meter to check how strong is your vodka/spirit.
- Tincture press for better extraction.
Here you can also find a more detailed post with list of equipment that might be useful.
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Other names of agave
It is also known under such names: Agave americana, American Agave, American Aloe, Amerikanische Agave, Century Plant, Garingboom, Hundertjährige Agave, Maguey, Pita Común, Pite, Spreading Century Plant, Wild Century Plant.
Sources: if you would like to check more info about the agave here you can find a webmd.com article about it.