Yucca has a long history of use as a folk remedy employed for treatment of arthritis and rheumatism and is cultivated as an important medicine plant and staple food in South America. The yucca root commonly used by herbal healers comes from the flowering yucca plant, a member of the lily family that can grow to heights of 40 feet or more.
The yucca root is rich in steroid-like saponins that elevate the body’s production of cortisone, possibly explaining the herbs reported ability to aid in managing arthritic pains. Currently researchers are debating the merits of various studies to determine the efficacy of using yucca in the treatment of various forms of arthritis. No study to date supports the use of yucca root at the expense of more traditional and effective therapies in the management of arthritis.
Though known to occasionally induce stomach distress, yucca is generally regarded as a harmless and maybe beneficial herb.