An Herbalist’s Point of View: Yucca (Yucca spp)


Yucca is a plant that has been used for centuries by many Native American tribes. These tribes used Yucca for food, soap and medicinal purposes. They even used the leaves and fibers to create clothing, footwear, rope and other textiles. There are 40 different species of plants that the name Yucca can be applied to. Yucca is in the LILIACEAE plant family and is also known by these common names; Spanish bayonet, Our Lords Candle, Joshua tree, Soap Tree and Adam’s Needle. Yucca mostly grows near the base of desert mountain ranges. Yucca plants thrive in the dry climate and can grow up to 60 feet in height.

Yucca plants have evergreen, sword shaped leaves that are stiff and crowded on a stout trunk. Yucca’s produces a beautiful white to green colored flower that shoots straight out from the center of the plant on a spear like stem. The trunk and flower stem can be dried and used as a soft wood.

Here is some Yucca growing near El Paso, Tx.

Here is some Yucca growing near El Paso, Tx.

All Yucca plants depend on a nocturnal Yucca Moth to pollinate them. Each variety of Yucca Moth is adapted to a single species of Yucca.

The Yucca root is used in soaps, shampoos, and food supplements. Mojave yucca contains saponins and is used for its long lasting soaping action, as a foaming agent in carbonated drinks, for flavoring and synthetic drug research.

Yucca contains steroidal properties which works with natural immune functions of the body which assists the body in using and producing the steroid related hormones.

Yucca has been discovered to often times stop, and sometimes even reverse, the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.20160510_102704


How to use Yucca:

Yucca can be applied topically to the skin for treating sores, skin diseases, bleeding, sprains, joint pain, baldness and dandruff. Yucca root can be eaten like a baked potato. Some have called Yucca the “new” white potato because of its health benefits. Yucca root can also be dried, grounded into a powder form and easily added to food or smoothes. It can also be used as a tea and pairs well with ginger, licorices and ginseng. Yucca is commonly taken orally 2-3 times a day in capsule form.


Properties of Yucca:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Analgesic (pain relieving)
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-tumor
  • Steroidal soponins

Yucca Helps:

  • Digestive System:
    • Colitis, stomach disorders, liver and gallbladder disorders, diabetes
  • Cardiac:
    • High Cholesterol (serum) levels, Poor Circulation, reduces blood pressure, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, Hypertension
  • Muscular:
    • strains and sprains
  • Nervous:
    • Migraines headaches
  • Skeletal:
    • Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis

Therapeutic concerns:

  • NO Known Drug Reactions
  • Might Cause: Bitter taste, indigestion,
  • Pregnant/Nursing: Not enough research has been done.
  • Therapy Length: LONG: it is suggested to take a day or two break per week if using it for a 6 week or longer period of time.20160512_110754

If you suffer from any of the above listed ailments Yucca might be a good alternative approach to help start feeling some relief. You should always consult a health care professional before adding any alternative herbal therapies or when trying to replacing any medicines you are currently taking.

Have you ever tried Yucca?

Brightest Blessings,

Janelle McCoy


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