San Clemente's Natural & Organic community foods store featuring Hanson's Deli/Raw Juice & Smoothie Bar, Organic Produce, wine, craft beers and a Health & Wellness Center. DISCOUNTS
Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Yucca (Yucca schidigera) Print

Yucca (Yucca schidigera)

Image

Also listed as: Adam's needle
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Adam's needle, Agavaceae (family), alexin, resveratrol, Yucca aloifolia, Yucca gloriosa L., Yucca recurvifolia Salisb., Yucca schidigera, yuccaols.

Background
  • Yucca is the common name for the more than 40 species of perennials in the Yucca genus. The plants are well known for their tough, sword-like leaves and a large spike of whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry parts of North America, Central America, and the West Indies, although they are popular landscaping plants and can be found worldwide.
  • There is insufficient evidence in humans to support the use of yucca for any indication. One human study indicates that a blend of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts may reduce cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. Preliminary studies also indicate that yucca may have antioxidant, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


A blend of partially purified Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts may reduce cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. However, additional study is needed in this area, with yucca studied alone.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • Antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, cancer.

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for yucca.

Children (younger than 18 years):

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for yucca in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to yucca (Yucca schidigera) or its constituents.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • There are very few reports of yucca and its adverse effects. Of the available literature, there is some information on contact hives and hay fever caused by yucca. Use cautiously in patients taking cholesterol lowering agents.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Yucca is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women due to a lack of available scientific evidence.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Alexin extracted from Yucca gloriosa flowers may have a broad spectrum of antifungal activity. Use cautiously when taking yucca with other antifungal agents.
  • Yuccaols and resveratrol from yucca may reduce inflammation. Use cautiously when taking yucca with other anti-inflammatory agents.
  • Ingestion of a blend of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extract filtrates may decrease total and LDL cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic patients. Caution is advised when taking yucca with other cholesterol-lowering agents.
  • Although not well studied in humans, yuccaols and resveratrol from yucca may reduce cell proliferation. Caution is advised in patients with cancer and in those taking anticancer agents.
  • Yucca may have antioxidant activity. Caution is advised when taking yucca with other antioxidant agents.
  • Although not well studied in humans, yucca leaf protein isolated from the leaves of Yucca recurvifolia Salisb. inhibited herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, and human cytomegalovirus. Use cautiously in patients taking antiviral agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Alexin extracted from Yucca gloriosa flowers may have a broad spectrum of antifungal activity. Use cautiously when taking yucca with other antifungal agents.
  • Yuccaols and resveratrol from yucca may reduce inflammation. Use cautiously when taking yucca with other anti-inflammatory herbs or supplements.
  • Although not well studied in humans, yuccaols and resveratrol from yucca may reduce cell proliferation. Caution is advised in patients with cancer and in those taking anticancer herbs or supplements.
  • Yucca may have antioxidant activity. Caution is advised when taking yucca with other antioxidant herbs or supplements.
  • Although not well studied in humans, yucca leaf protein isolated from the leaves of Yucca recurvifolia Salisb. inhibited herpes simplex virus type 1, herpes simplex virus type 2, and human cytomegalovirus. Use cautiously in patients taking antiviral herbs or supplements.
  • Based on a clinical trial, ingestion of a blend Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extract filtrates may decrease total and LDL cholesterol levels of hypercholesterolemic patients. Caution is advised in patients with hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia and in those taking herbs or supplements, such as red yeast rice, for these conditions.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Balestrieri C, Felice F, Piacente S, et al. Relative effects of phenolic constituents from Yucca schidigera Roezl. bark on Kaposi's sarcoma cell proliferation, migration, and PAF synthesis. Biochem Pharmacol 5-14-2006;71(10):1479-1487.
  2. Favel A, Kemertelidze E, Benidze M, et al. Antifungal activity of steroidal glycosides from Yucca gloriosa L. Phytother Res 2005;19(2):158-161.
  3. Hayashi K, Nishino H, Niwayama S, et al. Yucca leaf protein (YLP) stops the protein synthesis in HSV-infected cells and inhibits virus replication. Antiviral Res 1992;17(4):323-333.
  4. Kanerva L, Estlander T, Petman L, et al. Occupational allergic contact urticaria to yucca (Yucca aloifolia), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), and spathe flower (Spathiphyllum wallisii). Allergy 2001;56(10):1008-1011.
  5. Kim SW, Park SK, Kang SI, et al. Hypocholesterolemic property of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria extracts in human body. Arch Pharm Res 2003;26(12):1042-1046.
  6. Mahillon V, Saussez S, Michel O. High incidence of sensitization to ornamental plants in allergic rhinitis. Allergy 2006;61(9):1138-1140.
  7. Munno G, Giannoccaro F, Riva G, et al. Allergy to yucca. Allergy 2001;56(9):921-922.
  8. Olas B, Wachowicz B, Majsterek I, et al. Antioxidant properties of trans-3,3',5,5'-tetrahydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene against modification of variety of biomolecules in human blood cells treated with platinum compounds. Nutrition 2006;22(11-12):1202-1209.
  9. Poljacki M, Paravina M, Jovanovic M, et al. [Contact allergic dermatitis caused by plants]. Med Pregl 1993;46(9-10):371-375.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

Search Site