Miracles of Yucca
Laxative and cleansing suds from the root, thread nets, rope and baskets from the leaves,waterproof sealant from the pitch, rafters from the stalks, paint from the blossoms, and food from the fruit and seeds.Since pre-Columbian time Indians from the southwest have woven every part of the beautiful desert yucca into the fiber of their daily lives.
It is believed that the saponin content accounts for the plants ability to flourish in the extremes of the desert.
Today new practical and healing powers of this marvelous plant are being revealed. Investigations by leading doctors and chemists at over 100 research institutes and Universities in 14 different countries are involved with the still viable uses discovered by the ancients. These modern professionals are adding further applications for human, animal, agricultural and industrial use.
Although the yucca is called the "Lord's Candle" because of its magnificent once in a lifetime bloom, it is not the blossoms of this ten foot giant but the sap and the tissue from the trunk that yield the plant's key ingredient, steroid saponins (sa'po nins).
Found in high concentrations in the yucca, it is believed that the saponin content accounts for the plants ability to flourish in the extremes of the desert. When experiments were conducted using the saponin with present day agricultural crops, the crops could better withstand drought and other stress conditions. The steroid saponin functioned as an antistress substance.
In a totally different application, the yucca is widely used at sanitation plants. In this situation, the saponin accelerate the breakdown of organic waste. This is possible because they directly influence the development of microscopic plants (bacteria) which are vital to the waste disposal process. In the early 70's, the yucca's ability to withstand stress and to accelerate the breakdown of organic waste prompted the investigation of its use in promoting animal and human health. By that time, its non-toxic nature had been well established not only by traditional usage but by the FDA. Since 1965, yucca has been on the famous GRAS list (Generally Regarded As Safe by the FDA) and used as a food flavoring adjuvant. Further testing has shown the absence of any evidence of absorption through the intestinal wall or of harmful side effects.
The theory that some forms of arthritis as well as allergic reactions, migraines and other stressful ailments, are caused by harmful bacteria and toxins in the colon, made yucca a natural choice for relief. In fact, veterinarians were using it to successfully treat digestive and arthritic problems in dogs and horses before it came into use by human subjects resulted in evidence that steroid saponin could not only reduce stress and reduce swelling but also improve digestion and decrease the tendency to develop toxic waste in the colon.
In one study, the yucca extract was administered to 149 patients. No therapeutic claims were made. Relief of pain, and swelling and stiffness were reported by 60.7% (The remainder reported no change). There were no ill side effects reported. According to the doctors involved in the testing, the yucca saponin reduces the production of inflammatory toxins in the alimentary canal, relieving the resulting stress problems