I have a plant for you this week that has so many uses it boggles the mind!
The Yucca, (YOO-KA) a member of the Agave family, is a plant so diverse that it could only have been created by the genius of a higher power, I like to call him G-D.
I am not speaking of the edible plant we see in supermarkets.
Properly spelled "Yuca", it is actually Cassava, a different plant in the same family. Found in the vast deserts of the American Southwest and Mexico, the Yucca is a spiny, ropey plant of seemingly infinite variety.
The Joshua Tree, now a federally protected plant, was credited by the migrating Mormons with pointing the way to their refuge in Zion, the State of Utah.
The Yucca is one of the longest living of all plants, some over one hundred years and more.
Other Yucca resemble aloes, hugging the ground with spear-like leaves and producing a beautiful stalk of creamy white blooms.
We often see these in our own northern gardens, such is their hardiness. The Yucca plant was used by Native American tribes before they discovered how to make pottery.
The inventive Apache, Hopi and Navajo Indians created mats, sandals, rope, baskets and fencing from it's woody fibers and trunk. They also discovered the pithy interior of the plants produced a fine shampoo and detergent for washing. During World War 11, the U.S. government used Yucca for making burlap and splints for broken bones. But one of the real miracles of Yucca is the medicinal property of the plant.
Inside the stalks or trunks, there is contained a substance called saponin. Saponin, a corticosteroid, is created in our own adrenal glands where it helps to bind cholesterol into bile so it can be excreted by the liver. Not only does saponin lower cholesterol, it also stops bleeding, ends joint pain, heals sprains and bruises, eases arthritis and stops itching.
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It heals the skin with no side effects. If you have an itchy dog or cat, a spray containing Yucca extract. is the best way to help them get relief and heal without side effects or created steroids. Nothing soothes a flea bite faster! Because of it's ability to lower cholesterol, it is being studied as a remedy for heart disease. But before you think that Yucca or Agave is just for healing, it has some relaxing qualities as well.
The potent liquors of Mescal and Tequila are both made from Yucca, specifically Agave.. So whilst you are treating that arthritis pain, treat yourself to a Margarita and toast the Holidays with the amazing, incredible Yucca! And a Happy Hannukah, Kwanzaa and Merry Christmas to all! May we have peace.
Dr. Kleine regrets she cannot give advice by phone or e-mail. For an appointment call 631.472.8139, or e-mail us at Drfootsi@myway.com.