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Yucca has a rich history in the South Western areas, primarily amongst the many American Indian Tribes in that area. The plant was used for almost everything, from making clothing to medical applications.
he most important variety of Yucca is a desert plant sometimes known as Spanish bayonet. Its root has a high content of natural saponins. When it is chopped up in water, it makes a natural lather and is an effective soap substitute. The most common folk name applied to this plant is soap rope. Early settlers learned from the Indians that processed Yucca root made a sudsy shampoo or general purpose soap, particularly for clothing.
Yucca's root has a high content of natural saponins. Extracts from Yucca roots make excellent shampoo and soap, When it is chopped up in water, it makes a natural lather and is an effective soap substitute. A soap-like material, Yucca will actually lather like soap, because it holds water against the skin. This is why Yucca is used as a soap.
Testing further reveals it to be a hormonal material, a steroid. The adrenal hormone, cortisone is a steroid. Yucca has a definite action upon the intestinal bacteria, or intestinal flora, living within the human intestines, which actually helps with the digestion of food and prevents certain types of harmful bacteria from flourishing which could cause sickness if too many accumulate.
It is now known that Yucca's roots high content of natural saponins does not enter the bloodstream, but acts only on the intestinal flora to regulate the balance of the bacterial colonies in the colon. By stimulating friendly flora and inhibiting others, Yucca saponins may indirectly stimulate the absorption of other nutritional factors and decrease the amount of toxins available for absorption from the digestive system. The eliminative systems of the body (kidneys, liver, lymph, and blood) are thus less taxed to remove poisons from the body. This lowers the build-up of toxins in the joints and elsewhere which seem to be related to degenerative diseases like arthritis. The saponins provide a healthy alkalinity to an otherwise acid-ridden system full of toxic impurities. It has been found by its action, that the saponins somehow improves digestion and reduces the tendency to develop, accumulations of undigested toxic waste which decompose in the colon, producing foul-smelling gases.
In some clinics in the Sonoran desert region of Arizona, Yucca is the remedy routinely prescribed against arthritis, with impressive results. Yucca can occasionally be purgative and cause some intestinal cramping. For this reason, it is good to combine it with other complimentary anti-rheumatic herbs.
Yucca is most often included in formulas designed to "break up obstructions" especially to reduce the inflammation in joints, which include the chronic degenerative diseases, arthritis and rheumatism. Yucca has the ability to break up inorganic mineral obstructions and deposits.