Agave americana. (Century plant.)

Botanical name: 

The only report we have of this agent is from Dr. Penn, U. S. A., in the treatment of scurvy:

"Every case has improved rapidly; the countenance, so universally dejected and despairing in the patient affected with scurvy, is brightened up by contentment and hope in two days from the time of its introduction. The most marked evidences of improvement were observable at every successive visit. From observing the effects of the Maguey in the cases which have occurred in this command, I am compelled to place it far above that remedy which, till now, has stood above every other—lime juice. The manner in which I use it is as follows: The leaves are cut off close to the root. They are placed in hot ashes until thoroughly cooked, when they are removed, and the juice expressed. The expressed juice is then strained, and given in doses of ℥ij. to ℥iij. daily."

I should be glad if some of our southern readers would try a tincture of the recent leaves, made by cutting them in small pieces and covering with alcohol. We want to determine its influence on the circulation and on the nervous system. The dose would be about ten drops.

Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.