While yucca plants are an ideal option as indoor or outdoor design succulents, their fruit, flowers, seeds, and bark can also be used for medicinal and practical uses.
Generally, these parts are edible and can be incorporated into your diet. Yet, what to do with a yucca root?
Yucca root has many health advantages and is commonly used medicinally. Furthermore, it can be applied topically for treating skin problems or wounds.
Keep reading to know the worth-noting uses for yucca plant root, from medicinal to miscellaneous uses.
Yucca roots have active components like saponins and polyphenols, which has anti-inflammatory effects. Roots, though not as tasty compared to other parts, contain essential minerals like vitamins B and C, calcium, and iron.
The root extract is also said to help with arthritis, asthma, hypertension, and migraines.
Moreover, the yucca roots’ high vitamin C concentration and antioxidants strengthen the immune system and overall health. This protects us from cellular irregularities and damaging free radicals.
Likewise, when grown indoors, yucca has notable air cleansing abilities, which reduce airborne pollutants.
Yucca root extracts are also used in making skin-friendly shampoo and soap that help treat rashes and minor cuts.
To prove this, here are the four major uses of yucca roots.
Traditionally, yucca roots were used to cure scratches, wounds, and dry cuticles. Also, yuccas have anti-inflammatory effects due to the saponins.
To ease pain from inflammations, some healers and herbalists suggest boiling the roots for at least an hour and drinking them as tea.
While human studies are inclusive, some laboratory tests have shown that its components have similar properties to medications used to treat joint pain.
Historically, Native Americans used yuccas root extracts as a scalp cleanser to treat dandruff and flakiness. Yucca roots are naturally acidic, which helps in effectively cleansing the scalp and hair from excessive build-up of germs.
As a chemical-free cleanser, yucca has antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress, remove free radicals, and thicken hair strands.
In general, yucca is suitable for most hair types and reduces dry hair and irritated scalp. Although, people with natural curls or sensitive skin should use yucca root extract with caution.
Since yuccas are gentle on the skin, you can use them daily combined with your regular shampoo or simply use yucca as shampoo.
Diabetic patients can also benefit from yucca. The African Journal of Biochemistry Research study shows that yucca roots might help regulate blood sugar.
Including yucca extract in your diet may help normalize insulin and sugar levels, reducing blood sugar peaks and drops that lead to diabetes.
Although, the root extract’s efficacy in regulating sugar levels is still being studied. Nonetheless, taking yucca after meals seems to be a great option.
While you shouldn’t use yucca as a complete substitute for insulin or other diabetic prescriptions, still, it has the potential to support diabetes treatment.
Before taking it, always consult your physician.
Yucca plants are very efficient in clearing air toxins. In fact, yuccas rank among the top air-clearing plants for removing airborne pollutants, according to a NASA study.
These houseplants can produce high levels of oxygen and eliminate airborne pollutants.
We suggest placing a yucca root container with other succulents every 100 square feet for effective air cleaning.
Of course, it’s only a general guide since some indoor spots are more polluted, have poor ventilation, and have other environmental factors.
Generally, it’s best to place them near carpets, bookshelves, study, and office rooms because VOCs are common in these areas.
Yuccas provide lots of healthy benefits. Boosting the immune system, improving digestion, and lowering cholesterol levels are just a few.
Let’s take a deeper look at yucca plants’ excellent health benefits.
Unlike other edible roots, yucca has more vitamin C beneficial to your immune system and overall health.
The vitamin C content of yucca boosts the growth and function of white blood cells, which helps in the fight against infections and viruses.
In addition to that, yucca’s antioxidants protect us against cell mutations and damaging free radicals.
Yucca’s nutrient-rich roots are high in dietary fiber. This fiber can boost peristaltic movement in your intestines and keep you regular. Thus, reducing constipation and diarrhea.
A fiber-rich diet can also help you minimize bloating, cramps, extreme flatulence, and other severe gastrointestinal problems.
By regulating fatty acid levels, yucca’s dietary fibers lower bad cholesterol and promote a healthy heart.
Besides that, potassium in yucca also helps reduce tension in the arteries and blood vessels. Hence, reducing your risks of strokes, atherosclerosis, and cardiac arrest.
Vitamin C promotes the generation of and function of white blood cells. It also functions as an antioxidant, keeping free radicals from causing organ failure and cell mutation.
Yucca’s high potassium and folate content boosts the brain’s blood circulation and improves cognitive functions.
Reinforcing brain pathways and enhancing blood flow can also help treat cognitive issues, making you stay sharp until old age.
Vitamin C is necessary for collagen and elastin formation. It can influence tissue and muscle regrowth.
When you injure yourself, extra collagen is needed to heal the wounded or torn skin cells. Yucca can help cure minor cuts, abrasions, and scratches.
Taking yucca can also help in recovering from surgeries and prolonged sickness.
Yucca offers a photoprotective ability, which prevents sunburns better than other commercialized SPFs.
Yucca extract, often used in shampoos, soaps, and lotions, is effective in treating some skin conditions, such as:
- Fights Hair Loss
- Scratches and cuts
When you apply yucca extracts to your houseplants, they’ll get an extra dose of crop protection. These components can make plants thrive under harsh conditions, like drought and UV exposure.
Here’s what you need to know about yucca extract perks to your houseplant:
- Lowers the liquid molecule’s surface tension, allowing plants to absorb water
- It prevents fungi and bacteria
- Reduces plant abiotic stress resulting from extreme temperature, drought, and salinity
- Improves water, nutrient, retention, and soil absorption
Even though the benefits of yucca are evident, there are reports of digestive problems by people who have ingested large amounts of yucca, such as:
- Bitter taste
Children and expecting or nursing women shouldn’t take yucca supplements except under the guidance of a physician.
Remember that organic products aren’t always safe, and correct doses are important.
Regardless, always read the product label carefully and contact a physician or nutritionist before introducing another item to your diet.
So, what can you do with a yucca root?
Overall, yucca root is a versatile and potent component for therapeutic use. It’s rich in fiber, essential minerals, and antioxidants, which can help enhance your immune system, regulate sugar levels, and promote gut health.
Moreover, it’s said to have positive effects on plant growth and overall soil health.
Yucca’s topical forms are suitable to use as shampoos, soap, and lotions. You may also take yucca extract orally as liquid or powdered supplements.
While there aren’t established safe dosages yet, you may consult with medical professionals to determine one for yourself.
Remember, never take more than your recommended dose.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.