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Yucca is also known by the names Spanish Bayonet, Guardian Of The Desert, Needle Palm, and Soapweed. Yucca, a member of the lily family, grows in abundance throughout the Southwestern United States and Mexico. The part of this plant used medicinally is the root. The name "Yucca" comes from the Caribbean name for "cassava", which was once considered part of this genus. Traditionally, this herb has been used for soap because of its foaming agents. Native Americans used the soapy leaves from yucca for numerous health conditions. Yucca is used today to treat inflammations caused by degenerative diseases like arthritis and rheumatism. The authors of a study looking at patients with osteoarthritis & rheumatoid arthritis speculate that Yucca saponins block the release of toxins from the intestines, which tends to inhibit normal formation of cartilage. Rich in Vitamin A, B-complex, and Vitamin C, Yucca is also a good source of calcium, copper, manganese, potassium and phosphorus. But the primary chemical constituents of Yucca are the saponins which have natural steroid properties. Yucca also contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that contribute to cleansing of the colon, purifying of the blood, and helping to keep the kidneys & liver free of toxins. The fresh (undried) flowers of Yucca are currently being investigated for their potential anti-tumor activity. Topical applications of this herb have included its use as a poultice for sprains. And when the root is chopped & mixed with water, it lathers, making it an excellent biodegradable soap or shampoo. This herb is also good for dandruff and hair loss. Yucca is also approved for use in foods as a foaming agent (particularly in root beer). The common name Yucca includes the species Yucca glauca, Yucca baccata, and other Yucca species, which are used interchangeably with Yucca filamentosa.