Yucca is a popular herb made from a shrub which grows primarily in the deserts of the southwestern United States. The plant is related to the Joshua tree, and the stalk and roots are both used in herbal medicine.
Many people often confuse yucca plant with yuca, similarly spelled but botanically unrelated. Yuca roots are commonly sold in grocery stores but no supplements are made of this South American woody shrub, also known as cassava.
Yuccas are widely grown as ornamental plants in gardens. Many species of yucca also bear edible parts, including fruits, seeds, flowers, flowering stems, and more rarely roots. Native Americans used yucca to treat numerous conditions such as skin sores, sprains, joint inflammation, bleeding and other diseases. It is also reported that Native Americans washed their hair with yucca to fight dandruff and hair loss.
Today, yucca supplements continue to be popular in health food stores across the country, particularly for its ability to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Studies have shown that Yucca supplements promote healthy joints. Although the exact dosage of yucca for arthritis is unclear, some sources suggest up to 2 grams of yucca root in capsules per day. Yucca tea is also available and can be a pleasant way to improve joint mobility.
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