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What Is Yucca Extract?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2014
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Yucca is a flowering plant in the Lilaceae family that grows mostly in desert areas of the United States and Mexico. It typically has stiff leaves with needle sharp ends. There are dozens of varieties, such as Spanish dagger and giant Yucca, which can range in sizes. They tolerate high temperatures and sparse watering but may be killed by cold. Yucca extract is a consumable product derived from these plants.

The word “soap” is often used in conjunction with Yucca and Yucca extract. This is because the plant can be used to make soap products for both external and internal use. Native Americans are believed to have used Yucca extract and other parts of the plant for centuries.

Modern usage is mainly limited to the roots. This is from where yucca extract, which is noted for its soapy texture, is normally produced. That extract was believed to have been widely used by the Native Americans for making soaps and shampoos. Even today, people can be found who use it for this purpose.

When it is consumed, it can also act as a detergent for the digestive system. It is widely used to wash toxins from the intestines. Build up of toxins is believed to be the cause of many conditions such as arthritis, colitis, and migraines. These conditions are often alleviated as well.

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Since yucca extract is not a drug, it is typically classified as alternative medicine. There is not much reputable scientific support for its use. It does, however, contain many useful nutrients, such as iron, selenium, and vitamins A and B.

Yucca extract may be recommended for the use of several medical conditions. One of the most popular uses is to lower cholesterol. This may be possible due to saponins, which act as antibiotics for plants. Saponins are believed to bind with bile, which encourages the liver to produce more. To do this, cholesterol must be removed from the blood, and since it is not reabsorbed into the body, the cholesterol is passed as waste.

Many health food stores sell yucca extract. There are generally no side effects associated with consumption. It may be available in the form of tablets, capsules, or tea.

Yucca extract is also used to control the smell of animal waste. This is possible because saponins bind to ammonia and prevent the smell from passing through the air. It is commonly found in food for cats and dogs. It may also be found in cat litter.

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Discuss this Article

anon340295
Post 6

There is yucca extract in diet A&W cream soda.

anon330656
Post 5

Can it use as fertilizer, to store and save enough water?

anon292968
Post 4

I hope no one is using the yucca plant itself for their dog, cat or horse. I just read on the ASPCA

website that the plant is toxic to them. They don't mention the yucca supplements that you can buy, so I'm looking for information on that. If these are also toxic, how the heck are they allowed to sell them?

CopperPipe
Post 3

I am definitely not knocking yucca, but it's important to realize that with any herbal extract, you're still going to have side effects.

I know, because my sister-in-law takes yucca extract supplements for her arthritis. It works really well for her, but she has a friend that gets really bad side effects from taking the same supplement she does -- I guess it just reacts differently to different peoples bodies?

Anyway, just so you know, the most common yucca extract side effects are an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Also, I've read that pregnant womens shouldn't take it, but I'm not sure why.

So just remember that although there are awesome yucca extract benefits, you're most likely going to get some side effects too.

lightning88
Post 2

Did you know that there are also many benefits of yucca for dogs? When my dog got older, he started to have terrible arthritis in his hips, and the vet prescribed yucca supplements for him.

Another woman in my pet group did the same thing for her dog who had arthritis as well as stomach problems -- apparently yucca works well for both of those conditions in dogs.

I've heard that it's also a good match for other kinds of animals, pretty much any kind of mammal, from what I understand.

I only keep dogs, so I don't have any first hand information, but it's really worth looking into yucca supplements if you have a pet that is having arthritis, or simply needs a natural pain killer. From what my vet tells me, it's basically like an all-natural steroid for pets.

TunaLine
Post 1

Can you use an ordinary yucca house plant for yucca extract, or do you need to buy the yucca root extract in stores?

I had heard so many great things about yucca for lowering cholesterol, so I wanted to try it. However, since I live in the Southwest, I have a ton of yuccas right in my yard, so I wanted to know if I could just make use of those instead of going out and buying extract. I know that it's possible to make cooking extracts, like vanilla extract, etc. at home, so I wondered if I could do the same with yucca.

Do you have any advice for me on this subject, or can you tell me how to make yucca extract supplements at home, if it is possible to do so?

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