Yucca (Yuh-Kuh) Root - It's Benefits and Why We Use It

Yucca Root - and Why We Use It

You set your surfboard on its rack after giving it a fresh rinse. Preparing for your fresh rinse, you step under the cool-streamed shower, pulling your Surf Soap All-In-One out of your beach bag. You pull the bar out of its tin, lemongrass filling your senses, and as you scrub the salt and sand out of your hair you wonder, what's in this bar that makes it so effective?

When you arrive home, you head to the Surf Soap website, checking the description of ingredients for All-In-One, to find that the scrub that’s offered in your bar is provided by yucca root. You think to yourself, “What is this yoo-ka or yuh-ka root?”

Girl in the water

The Origin of the Yucca

Yucca, pronounced “yuh-ka” is a genus of more than 40 known species of perennial shrubs and trees. It’s native to the hot and dry regions of the Americas, the southwestern United States, and the Caribbean, known for its sword-like leaves and clusters of white blossoms. While yuccas bear edible seeds, flowers, and fruits, they don’t have edible roots.

Its root and bark have been used as traditional medicines by Native American cultures for thousands of years. The species most typically used for these practices is Yucca schidigera or Spanish dagger. Yucca can often be mistaken for yuca, an unrelated South American plant with a different form of pronunciation, “yoo-ka.” 

Today, we still use yucca root for its medicinal properties much like the Native Americans, but there is little evidence that shows it’s 100% effective in curing any illnesses.

Yucca plant

How Do They Grow?

Yucca can be grown indoors and outdoors due to its liking of warm, dry temperatures, and slow-growing pace. Its sword-like leaves and broad stature are a great addition to the inside, or outside of your home.

Yucca can grow as tall as 10 feet with leaves that reach 2 ½ feet in length. It thrives in soil that drains well and grows best in full sun. Its rubbery, creamy white flowers bloom most sufficiently in full sun during mid to late summer. Although it’s typically grown in warmer climates, yucca can withstand temperatures as low as 10 degrees! 

They’re extremely drought tolerant, so if you ever decide to grow a smaller genus in your house, it would require very little maintenance

Yucca plant

Why It’s Fantastic for Our Bodies

The root of the yucca plant is used for its medicinal properties. Yucca is most commonly used for osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, inflammation of the intestine, high cholesterol, stomach disorders, diabetes, and liver and gallbladder disorders. When applied directly to the skin, it can treat sores, skin diseases, bleeding, sprains, joint pain, baldness, and dandruff. 

That’s a lot of benefits!

Yucca root contains high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants that benefit the immune system and overall health. Vitamin C stimulates the production and activity of white blood cells, which fight infections. The antioxidants in yucca protect us from cell mutations and destructive molecules known as free radicals. Yucca’s also rich in compounds called phenols which are known to exert an anti-inflammatory effect.

Girl in the desert

Why Does Surf Soap Use It?

Here at Surf Soap, we like to include the very best and most effective ingredients in our products; that work to cleanse and restore your hair and skin without damaging our oceans. This is why we include yucca root in our All-In-One shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bar.

As stated previously, yucca provides multiple skin benefits. Studies have shown that yucca has photoprotective properties that can protect against sun damage better than some commercial SPFs - so every time you lather yourself in All-In-One you could be protecting your skin from any harm the sun may cause you.

Yucca also works to treat a variety of skin conditions such as dandruff, balding, sores and cuts, sprains, and skin diseases - so every time you scrub your hair with our bar you’re working to maintain the health of each beautiful strand of hair on your head.

The folic acid found in yucca may help improve overall skin and eye health. The high amounts of Vitamin C aid in the production of collagen, the main protein of the skin.

I guess “yucca” say that when we formulate our products, we make sure to keep the best ingredients to suit your hair and skin’s needs. ;)

Written by Mia H. - Staff Writer

Surf Soap Co. Hawaii

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