It's no secret food is medicine, fueling the body for a long and healthy life. Yucca is one such food source that evolved into a nutritional supplement after word of its benefits began to spread.
Yucca (Yucca schidigera) is a type of tree native to Mexico. The roots of the plant are thick and starchy and are used to create supplements and medicine, in addition to being consumed as food. There are certain compounds within yucca known as saponins. Saponins are both water and fat soluble and are thought to be what’s behind yucca’s benefits. The other type of beneficial compounds within yucca are called phenolics, which are a kind of antioxidant. Antioxidants shield the cells of the body against the potential damage of free radicals.
Yucca for Arthritis
Arthritis is a chronic condition caused by either inflammation or degeneration due to age, injury or strain. It can cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints, making movement difficult and uncomfortable.
The saponins within yucca may be helpful for arthritis by assisting in the production of collagen, blocking toxins produced by the intestines that can inhibit this process. Yucca also has anti-inflammatory benefits that can help improve arthritis, which can also be caused by the buddy’s inflammatory response. These benefits were confirmed in a 2006 review published in the London-based Journal of Inflammation, which hailed yucca as a possible treatment for arthritis.
Yucca for Heart Health
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of yucca can also benefit the heart. Reducing inflammation and the threat of free radicals can help keep the heart strong and beating properly to bring oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. This supplement may also help keep blood pressure and cholesterol within the desired range, which lowers your risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
A 2003 study published in the medical journal Archives of Pharmacal Research found yucca, when taken in combination with soapbark (Quillaja saponarion) on a daily basis, did help lower cholesterol within four weeks. Research continues to determine the role yucca can have in lowering and managing cholesterol, so as to determine a recommended formulation and daily dosage.
How to Get More Yucca
Yucca has long been cooked and eaten as food, but you can find it in supplement form for a stronger dosage. Yucca is best taken for a short amount of time. If you’re currently suffering from arthritis or are looking to support your heart health, consult your doctor before adding it to your routine. Anyone taking medication or with a diagnosed medical condition should check with their doctor first to determine if yucca is right for them as well as the proper dosage or length of treatment.
Yucca can cause digestive upset when taken in too high an amount, so be sure to follow instructions carefully and pay attention to how you feel. It isn't recommended in supplement form for women who are pregnant or nursing.
You can find yucca supplements at eVitamins at great prices. Let us know how it works for you!
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