Side Effects and Benefits of Yucca
Yucca schidigera is a medicinal plant native to Mexico. [6] Its soapy leaves benefit sprains, inflammation
and bleeding, according to folk medicine. Native Americans used yucca to treat hair loss and dandruff.
Yucca contains saponins. Preliminary study shows these saponins may benefit arthritis and its extract
may help fight
cancer. [1,2]

Potential Health Benefits of Yucca
Yucca extracts may have anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory effects.
The plant contains several physiologically active phytochemicals. It is a rich source of steroidal saponins.
Saponins have diverse biological effects, including anti-protozoal and anti-arthritic activities.

Yucca is also a rich source of phenolics, including resveratrol and a number of other stilbenes (yuccaols
A, B, C, D and E). These phenolics have anti-inflammatory activities. They are inhibitors of the nuclear
transcription factor NFkappaB. NFkB stimulates synthesis of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which
causes formation of the inflammatory agent nitric oxide. Yucca extracts and its phenolics are also anti-
oxidants and free-radical scavengers, which may aid in suppressing reactive oxygen species that
stimulate inflammatory responses. [6,9]

Yucca extract may have benefits of cutting risks of cardiac diseases.
Researchers from Poland showed that the phenolic compounds (e.g. resveratrol, 1 to 25 microg/mL) and
the extracts of yucca decreased platelet adhesion and secretion. [7] In addition, these compounds also
inhibited free radical generation in blood platelets in a different study. Thus, researchers considered
these phenolic compounds may be beneficial in protecting against cardiovascular diseases. [11]

Yucca extract may have benefits of anti-fungal activities.
A crude steroidal glycoside extract from Yucca gloriosa flower showed activities against a panel of human
pathogenic fungi, yeasts as well as dermatophytes and filamentous species. [8]

Yucca extract may benefit people suffered from high cholesterol.
Korean researchers demonstrated the cholesterol-lowering activities of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja
saponaria extracts in a study of hyper-
cholesterolemic patients. [10]

Yucca Side Effects
Yucca has been used in some beverages and supplements, no safety issues have been reported. [4]
Probably, short-term intake of small quantities is safe. However, yucca may cause hemolysis (burst of red
blood cells), and overdose of yucca may cause loose stool and bleeding. [3, 5]

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References 1. Bingham R, Bellew BA, Bellew JG. Yucca plant saponin in the management of arthritis. J Appl Nutr 1975;
27:45–50. 2. Foster S, Duke JA. A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants: Eastern and Central North America. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990, 18, 228. 3. Moore M. Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West. Santa Fe: Museum
of New Mexico Press, 1989, 134–5. 4. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A. American Herbal Products
AssociationÂ’s Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1997, 124. 5. Moore M. Medicinal Plants of the
Desert and Canyon West. Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 1989, 134–5. [6] Cheeke P, et al, Anti-
inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects of yucca schidigera: A review. J Inflamm (Lond). 2006 Mar 29;3:6. [7] Olas B,
et al, Inhibition of blood platelet adhesion and secretion by different phenolics from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark.
Nutrition. 2005 Feb;21(2):199-206. [8] Favel A, et al, Antifungal activity of steroidal glycosides from Yucca gloriosa L.
Phytother Res. 2005 Feb;19(2):158-61. [9] Piacente S, et al, Yucca schidigera bark: phenolic constituents and
antioxidant activity. J Nat Prod. 2004 May;67(5):882-5. [10] Kim SW, et al, Hypocholesterolemic property of Yucca
schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts in human body. Arch Pharm Res. 2003 Dec;26(12):1042-6. [11] Olas B, et
al,  Inhibition of oxidative stress in blood platelets by different phenolics from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark. Nutrition.
2003 Jul-Aug;19(7-8):633-40.
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