Yucca

What other names is Yucca known by?

Adam's Needle, Aloe Yucca, Arbre de Josué, Bear Grass, Dagger Plant, Joshua Tree, Mohave Yucca, Mojave Yucca, Our-Lord's-Candle, Soapweed, Spanish Bayonet, Yuca, Yucca aloifolia, Yucca angustifolia, Yucca arborescens, Yucca brevifolia, Yucca filamentosa, Yucca glauca, Yucca mohavensis, Yucca schidigera, Yucca whipplei.

What is Yucca?

Yucca is the common name for the more than 40 species of plants in the Yucca genus. The root of the non-flowering plant is used to make medicine.

Yucca is used for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine (colitis), high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, poor circulation, and liver and gallbladder disorders.

Some people apply yucca directly to the skin for sores, skin diseases, bleeding, sprains, joint pain, baldness, and dandruff.

In manufacturing, yucca extract is used as a foaming and flavoring agent in carbonated beverages. Many compounds from yucca have been used in the manufacture of new drugs.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of yucca for these uses.

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How does Yucca work?

Yucca contains chemicals that might help reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It might also reduce arthritis symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Are there safety concerns?

Yucca is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in the amounts normally found in foods. Yucca is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth short-term. It can cause side effects such as stomach upset, bitter taste, nausea, and vomiting.

Not enough is known about the safety of taking yucca by mouth long-term or applying it to the skin.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking yucca if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Dosing considerations for Yucca.

The appropriate dose of yucca depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for yucca. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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Reviewed on 9/17/2019
References

Balestrieri, C., Felice, F., Piacente, S., Pizza, C., Montoro, P., Oleszek, W., Visciano, V., and Balestrieri, M. L. Relative effects of phenolic constituents from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark on Kaposi's sarcoma cell proliferation, migration, and PAF synthesis. Biochem Pharmacol 5-14-2006;71(10):1479-1487. View abstract.

Favel, A., Kemertelidze, E., Benidze, M., Fallague, K., and Regli, P. Antifungal activity of steroidal glycosides from Yucca gloriosa L. Phytother.Res 2005;19(2):158-161. View abstract.

Hayashi, K., Nishino, H., Niwayama, S., Shiraki, K., and Hiramatsu, A. Yucca leaf protein (YLP) stops the protein synthesis in HSV-infected cells and inhibits virus replication. Antiviral Res 1992;17(4):323-333. View abstract.

Kim, S. W., Park, S. K., Kang, S. I., Kang, H. C., Oh, H. J., Bae, C. Y., and Bae, D. H. Hypocholesterolemic property of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts in human body. Arch Pharm.Res 2003;26(12):1042-1046. View abstract.

Mahillon, V., Saussez, S., and Michel, O. High incidence of sensitization to ornamental plants in allergic rhinitis. Allergy 2006;61(9):1138-1140. View abstract.

Olas, B., Wachowicz, B., Majsterek, I., Blasiak, J., Stochmal, A., and Oleszek, W. Antioxidant properties of trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene against modification of variety of biomolecules in human blood cells treated with platinum compounds. Nutrition 2006;22(11-12):1202-1209. View abstract.

Poljacki, M., Paravina, M., Jovanovic, M., Subotic, M., and Duran, V. [Contact allergic dermatitis caused by plants]. Med Pregl. 1993;46(9-10):371-375. View abstract.

Kanerva, L., Estlander, T., Petman, L., Makinen-Kiljunen, S. Occupational allergic contact urticaria to yucca (Yucca aloifolia), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), and spathe flower (Spathiphyllum wallisii). Allergy. 2001;56(10): 1008-11.

View abstract.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182

Tyler VE, Brady LR, Robbers JE. Pharmacognosy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lea & Febiger, 1988.