Amul has many medicinal properties that are useful to the Tongva.  Amul has many uses as a skin treatment.  The Tongva use amul sap to treat fresh wounds. The roots can be crushed into a soap and can also be made into a facial cream.  This plant also acts as a refreshing, invigorating tonic: the large, broad leaves are cut into small pieces and chewed. 

Amul is an important staple for food and trade.  The flower buds may be eaten or left to dry for later use.  They are gathered in spring and late autumn and boiled briefly to remove the bitter taste.  Also, buds may be cooked in earth-ovens for twenty-four hours or more. Cooking the buds in this way reduces them to a gummy state so they can then be worked into cakes.  These cakes are eaten and in the past were used in trade.  The Tongva often traded acorns and baskets in exchange for amul. 

Finally, amul has many uses in daily and ceremonial Tongva life.  Its leaf fiber is used to make baskets.  Awls and tattoo needles are made from the thorn tips, while burned leaves are ground into charcoal for tattoos.  Cordage is made from the leaves for nets, bowstrings, snares, and netting for the ceremonial eagle skirts.

Agave americana

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  Mario Incayawar, M.D., 2010

Disclaimer: All material provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.