Friday- The Yucca Plant

It's Friday! Yea! Today we are going back to the yucca plant. 
Remember that yucca grows primarily in the southwestern deserts of the United States, and it has a long history of medicinal and practical use, especially among Native Americans. It's been used to treat a wide variety of conditions, primarily the types that cause pain and inflammation, such as premenstrual syndrome, arthritis, and chronic headaches. It also has been used to treat skin conditions, ranging from skin cancer to the healing of wounds.

The Yucca plant is high in vitamins A, B, and C. It also contains potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese and copper, which makes it very soothing to the intestinal tract. The plant provides nutritional support to the structural system of our body, meaning the bones, joints, muscles. 

There are many different species of the plant, and not all of them have been the subjects of clinical testing. However, researchers have isolated and studied its saponins, its active phytochemical. 
In fact, one study showed that this extract helped relieve joint pain and stiffness for about half of the participants, all of whom suffered from arthritis. And there are other studies that show that some  species of yucca may help to reduce headache pain, as well as promote cardiovascular health by improving circulation and lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
It is also used to treat gout, and to promote healthy liver function and  digestion. However, the over use of yucca has been noted to cause diarrhea.

The yucca has not only been used nutritionally and medicinally, but practically as well. Native Americas use/used the yucca to make belts, sandals, ropes, cords, baskets, and mats from this plant. 

The yucca blooms at night,  and has fragrant white flowers which attract a specific moth, the Pronuba Moth. In fact, this moth is the only insect capable of penetrating the yucca bloom due to its shape. Without this moth the Yucca would die out, because its pollen is too heavy to be wind-blown, so it takes the moth to fertilize and propagate.

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