brewing as a tea. 15 Entrance RD Navajo Historian, Wally Brown, teaches about the yucca plant and what it was used for traditionally. D. Publisher Timber Press. Agave, but Agave has broad, thick spiny leaves with frequent spines on the leaf single flower stalk arising from each stem. glucose levels in adult onset diabetes, similar to the way that aloe and prickly Soapweed yucca is one of the many varieties of yucca on the North American continent. In the southwestern … Mother Earth News provides the following instructions for making yucca root soap/shampoo: Choose a small to medium sized yucca root and clean it of all debris. (Remember, native plants can not be collected in the park.). Several tribes, including the Western Apaches on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona, use the plant today. People often mistake the yellowish-green fruit of this plant with the plant's flower bud. occur. The tea is sometimes effective for urethral and prostate Native Americans have traditionally used yucca root soap/shampoo to treat hair loss and dandruff and to relieve skin sores. multiple long spiny tipped leaves that rise from a central stem, either at Prickly Pear Cactus Soapweed also has a woody center from which the plant’s flower blossoms grow. Historically, Western Apaches mixed … The roots were used to treat gonorrhea and rheumatism. They used nearly every part of the plants. The crushed roots were soaked in water to make a hair wash. Dagger, Palmala. The Native American tribes have many recipes and tonics which use different plants for medicinal or ceremonial purposes. The roots of the plant were peeled and ground to produce a sudsy pulp. Twine made from yucca fiber was twisted with wet turkey feathers or strips of rabbit fur to made nice warm blankets. Amazingly, a two tablespoon serving contains only a few calories but as much calcium as a glass of milk. It has thin green leaves that terminate with a sharp needlelike point. does not include the outer peel, because of the laxative effects. Yucca as a source of nutrition Yucca is bursting with nutrition. Yucca flowers were eaten raw, boiled, or pickled. Yucca was a very important plant for the Ancestral Pueblo people because of its diverse uses. supplemental Vitamin A, D, E and K should be taken Decrease dose if loose stools Yucca is found in a wide range of elevations. According to Texas Trees – a Friendly Guide by Paul Cox and Patty Leslie, the trunks were used for stockades, and leaves, for thatching huts. Oregon. It is a rich source of vitamin C, A, and B-complex (especially folate), minerals, such as potassium, calcium, copper, and manganese. Leaves are made into brushes and used for decorating pottery, ceremonial masks, altars and other objects. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. Fibers of the leaves were used by Native Americans to make rope, sandals, and cloth. and other Native American tribes used Yucca filamentosa for a variety of purposes including food, medicine, cordage and even soap. understood. The roots, which contain saponin, were prepared by boiling and pounding for use as soap. Thick gloves, probably of rawhide, must have been worn during the collection process. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT NATIVE AMERICAN PLANT RESOURCES IN THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN AREA, NEVADA Interim Report November 1989 by Richard W. Stoffle Michael J. Evans David B. Halmo Institute for Social Research University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan and Wesley E. Niles Joan T. O'Farrell EG &G Energy Measurements, Inc. Goleta, California Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada … Yucca was a very important plant to traditional Southwest Indian life. Other Facts. Be sure to let your pysician know American Indians recognized the value of native yuccas. individualistic, and based on tolerance to the somewhat laxative effect. Photo by Cheryl Beyer. the Navajo, whose Yucca Clan is named Hashk'aa hadzohi. However, it can be identified by the fibers that protrude from the leaf margins. The various Indian tribes across the United States (and North America), sometimes employed these plants differently and for different psychoactive purposes. Unfortunately, it's like washing your mouth with soap since it tastes like detergent. Medicinal use by the Ancient Ones was for the treatment of Can be used The rigid stalk of the yucca, after maturation, is used as a substitute for eucalyptus to make didgeridoos. Juice made from the gel can be effective in lowering blood (The easiest way to dry is to break off the leaves, put them There are, however, a number of s… Yucca is also used for the preparation of various cocktails. Los Alamos, NM The Zuni used a mixture of soap made from yucca sap and ground aster to wash newborn babies to stimulate hair growth. Best to avoid the use of the roots, as they are toxic in large amounts and The flowers are lily-like, either For The pulp was mixed with water and used for soap or shampoo. study of plant resources used by Native American people in the study area. The pads contain a thick, mucilaginous fluid to help maintain moisture. Cut into strips, the pads are boiled. Roots of soaptree yucca (Yucca elata) are high in saponins and are used as a shampoo in Native American rituals. Yucca juice can even be used to stun or kill fish, and has been used for this purpose by many Native American tribes. 87544. Bandelier National Monument However, if you ever saw the cactus in bloom with its bright pink flowers the difference would be obvious. The yucca leaves were collected and stripped of fibers. These cakes were then cooked and stored for winter use. Yucca has These flowers are sweet and can be eaten raw. Blend the broken pieces into a pulp. Long term daily use can slow the intestinal convenience sake, it may be best to purchase the capsules from a health food makes you sick or gives you a rash, don't use it, and throw it away! Legend says that washing your hair with yucca shampoo makes the hair strands stronger and may even prevent baldness. Year 1998 ISBN 0-88192-453-9 Description Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Plants Used in Native American Rituals. edges and a tall branched flower stalk. The roots of young yucca plants were used for shampoo. The Apaches also use yucca leaf fibers to make dental floss and rope. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a … Anyway, the history of yucca officially starts in the 1750s when it was described for the first time by a botanist from Sweden whose name was Carl Linnaeus, though Native Americans used this plant long before that. If you've ever accidentally backed into a yucca plant you know a sharp, hard point tips each leaf. The seed pods could be eaten raw. Roots were beaten into a salve or poultice that would then be used to treat sprains or applied to sores on the skin. The young pads of the prickly pear cactus are also edible. The banana yucca was an important food among Native Americans. Milk was not available to Ancestral Pueblo people beyond infancy. The fibers were then woven into sandals, baskets, or rope. Common, but not always easy to recognize plant, as it is often Some Pueblo tribes also have a Yucca Dance In alternative medicine, yucca is thought to stimulate circulation, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain. EVERYTHING that you are taking. confused by newcomers to the desert with Century Plant, Sotol, and Beargrass. It removes product buildup and dirt from the scalp due to its anti-fungal properties. They used its root as soap, made ropes from … Yucca fruits and roots were eaten, and the tough yucca fiber was used to weave baskets and sandals. were used to make cordage for baskets, sandals, mats, string and rope. The yucca plant was used by several Native American tribes to encourage hair growth and to prevent baldness. Yucca … Among the Zuni people, the seed pods are boiled and used for food. The anti-inflammatory properties possessed by the plant help soothe and relieve the pain. pear juice works- just make sure that the juice is obtained from the pulp and Native Americans also used yucca plants for a variety of other non-medical purposes, including making sandals, belts, cloth, baskets, cords, and mats. The people could chew one end of a short length of yucca leaf, exposing the fibers and producing paintbrushes for decorating pottery. used the roots of eastern yucca species as medicine herbs, particularly to treat sores and rashes. Yucca plants are also used as a clan symbol in some Native American cultures. condition does not improve, see your doctor. Some … The fruit could be eaten raw or dried for use during the winter. All surface parts of the plant are heavily covered with needle-fine thorns. In early summer the yucca blooms with shiny white flowers. Native American Symbolism: Yucca is one of several plants with a name that comes from a Native American language– “yucca” comes from the Taino (Native Caribbean) name for the plant, yuca. Herbalists contend that these properties can aid in the treatment of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, migraine, diabetes, eczema, arthritis, stomach problems, skin infections, and liver and gallbladder disorders. Navajos would tie a bunch of yucca fibers … In fact, Navajos used the yucca root as a soap, pounding the dry roots and whisking them into cold water to create a soapy lather they used to clean clothes, hair and themselves. The root, though not as tasty, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, containing important nutrients such as vitamins B, C, iron and calcium. The plant has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of arthritis, colitis, hypertension and migraine headaches. Chances are, if you’ve been through the Great Plains, you’ve seen this prolific plant. Native Americans have long used yucca for relief from arthritis symptoms, and yucca supplements (often in tablet form) are frequently taken for the same purpose today. absorption of fat soluble vitamins, so should not be taken on a daily basis for It is estimated that there are about 500 species of plants present on the Rosebud reservation, many of which are extant throughout the state. Peel off the root covering and break into small pieces. Cleansing. The stalks could be eaten once the thorns were removed. A soap for washing hair and clothes was made from the roots. For centuries, yucca plants have served American Indians for a variety of Various reports have pointed out that Native Americans have been using yucca for the treatment of arthritis pain and other symptoms [6]. Dried yucca leaves and trunk fibers have a low ignition temperature, making the plant desirable for use in starting fires via friction. cream or yellow, and usually close in the daytime. It is characterized by the same features of many species. Yucca Native American tribes in the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico found numerous uses for the yucca, dating back hundreds of years. The native Americans used yucca to treat arthritic symptoms. Historically cholla was considered a famine food, eaten only when food was especially scarce. Latin Name: Yucca (spp)    Common Names: (Broad One of my Native American instructors told me that H. whipplei fibers are easier to obtain, but Mojave yucca fibers are better. The soft, fleshy fruit of the yucca was a staple of Ancestral Pueblo diet. ground level, or from several trunks as in the case of the Joshua tree, with a - Plants most commonly used by Native Americans for fiber. Imagine curling up on a cold winter's night under a nice warm thick turkey feather blanket you had just made. Fights Hair Loss . If you find that Yucca works well for you in the But they were generally roasted, ground and kneaded into small sun-dried cakes. Walking Stick or Cane Cholla Yucca leaves are stiff and full of fibers. Plant Number of Uses; Western Red Cedar: 188: Broadleaf cattail: 105: Paper Birch: 59: Banana Yucca: 47: Stinging Nettle: 36: White Spruce : 35: American basswood: 35: Small soapweed: 35: Alaska cedar: 34: Indian hemp: 33: Wide array of products made from native plant fibers. more than a few weeks. If your inflammations. Such uses can still be found today among Hopi, Papago, and Ute Indians. in a paper bag and forget about them for a while!) Roots were used to make soap. If a preparation Native American Ethnobotany Publication Author Moerman. can cause cramping and diarrhea. Yucca leaves are also used ceremonially by the Navajos. Plants Used by Native Americans for Ceremony or Ritual. arthritic pain and joint inflammations, but the mechanism of action is not fully The fruit of prickly pear cactus, known as a tuna, would have been one of the few naturally sweet foods available to Ancestral Pueblo people. Plants have large, stiff, and sword like rosette leaves, are a genus of perennial trees and shrubs from the family Asparagaceae, and are contained within the subfamily Agavoideae. From the years 1917-1923 Buechel collected plants and built a herbarium; and many Native Americans at Rosebud helped him with the Lakota names and uses. However, during prehistoric times it is likely cholla was a food staple. I’d heard that one way to obtain the fibers from these plants was via soaking, so I soaked a Mojave yucca leaf for weeks and weeks. Soapweed yucca was a traditional Native American medical plant, used by the Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Lakota, and other tribes. https://www.nps.gov/band/learn/historyculture/native-plant-use.htm Yucca for hair growth. Leaf Yucca) Spanish Bayonet, Datil, Amole, Soapweed; (Narrow Leaf Yucca) Spanish The resulting food, called nopalitas, can have this same unappealing consistency. after drying, by preparing by splitting lengthwise and allowing to air dry, and If you're very hungry, you can even eat the root. Yucca was used by ancient Native Native American tribes in Northern Mexico and South America use yucca roots extract to help treat dandruff and dry scalp. treatment of arthritic pain, you may want to consult your physician, as Yucca is often confused with The most common use seems to be for hygiene. Yucca suds were also used in Native American rituals involving spiritual cleansing. Native American Symbolism: Cattails, also known as bulrushes, had a number of practical uses in traditional Native American life: cattail heads and seeds were eaten, cattail leaves and stalks were used for weaving mats and baskets, cattail roots and pollen were used as medicine herbs, and cattail down was used as moccasin lining, pillow stuffing, and diaper material. Cholla buds are rich in calcium. These sharp leaf ends could be used as needles for sewing when combined with the fibrous threads from the leaves. Native American tribes utilize juniper to treat arthritis and flatulence, as a diuretic, and as a topical remedy for skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema. Collecting the fruit and preparing it for consumption must be done with due caution. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. Table 1. The Native Americans used it for a variety of purposes including food, medicine, cordage and soap. Roots of the yucca baccata are pounded to remove extracts that are made into shampoo and soap. Be sure of the identity of the plant before you use it. Amounts to use are highly Although Ancestral Pueblo people were not totally reliant upon gathering like their predecessors, the Paleo-Indians, they still depended upon native plants to supplement their diet and numerous other uses. Yucca was used by ancient Native Americans as an effective shampoo, the fruit as a food source, and the fibers were used to make cordage for baskets, sandals, mats, string and rope. It could be eaten raw, cooked, or mixed with other ingredients. Yucca flowers and fruit are nutritious and high in carbohydrates. Both concurrent studies are based on interviews with Native American people. The evidence supporting these claims is generally sparse. Jelly or candy made from the cooked fruit is still sold locally today. Juniper is also widely used as a flavoring agent in stews and soups. store, until individual tolerance is determined. Of the 293 species in his collection, about 245 have Lakota names. Americans as an effective shampoo, the fruit as a food source, and the fibers Eucalyptus to make a hair wash anti-fungal properties, by preparing by splitting lengthwise and allowing to air,... Are heavily covered with needle-fine thorns used by Native Americans for Ceremony Ritual... Filamentosa for a variety of American Indians for a variety of purposes including food, called nopalitas, can this... Done with due caution in Arizona, use the plant 's flower bud eucalyptus to make a hair.... A yucca plant and what it was used to treat hair loss and dandruff to! Have been worn during the collection process hair wash these sharp leaf ends could eaten. Year 1998 ISBN 0-88192-453-9 Description very comprehensive but terse guide to the somewhat effect... A salve or poultice that would then be used after drying, by preparing by splitting lengthwise and allowing air... On interviews with Native American tribes in the southwestern … yucca flowers eaten... Plants have served American Indians for a variety of purposes including food, eaten when... Be done with due caution used for the Ancestral Pueblo people beyond infancy parts the! Were soaked in water to make didgeridoos for use as soap treat symptoms... And other objects these sharp leaf ends could be used to treat gonorrhea and rheumatism for this purpose many! In starting fires via friction if you ever saw the cactus in bloom with bright! And for different psychoactive purposes been through the Great Plains, you ’ ve been the... His collection, about 245 have Lakota names must be done with due caution Historian, Brown! Raw or dried for use in starting fires via friction fur to nice... Yucca flowers were eaten raw, boiled, or rope on interviews Native. Tribes across the United States ( and North America ), sometimes these! And may even prevent baldness under a nice warm blankets close in the treatment of arthritis colitis... Many recipes and tonics which use different plants for medicinal or ceremonial purposes ceremonial.. Cold winter 's night under a nice warm blankets Americans to make rope, native american uses for yucca, and.... To help maintain moisture tonics which use different plants for medicinal or ceremonial purposes which saponin! Break into small pieces Arizona, use the plant desirable for use starting. The tough yucca fiber was twisted with wet turkey feathers or strips of rabbit fur to made warm... Study of plant resources used by several Native American instructors told me H.... Americans used yucca to treat sores and rashes, and Ute Indians yellowish-green... Been shown to be beneficial in the study area a woody center which!, called nopalitas, can have this same unappealing consistency individual tolerance is determined in large amounts and cause... Wally Brown, teaches about the yucca baccata are pounded to remove extracts are! S flower blossoms grow yucca ( yucca elata ) are high in carbohydrates raw. Studies are based on interviews with Native American rituals involving spiritual cleansing tribes have recipes. Amounts to use are highly individualistic, and cloth study area does not improve, your... To purchase the capsules from a health food store, until individual tolerance is determined into. To Ancestral Pueblo people because of its diverse uses southwestern … yucca flowers and fruit are nutritious high! The plant today even be used after drying, by preparing by splitting lengthwise and allowing to air,. The capsules from a health food store, until individual tolerance is determined root soap/shampoo to treat hair loss dandruff. Making the plant before you use it, and usually close in study. Are toxic in large amounts and can be used as a shampoo in Native American people in the …! For Ceremony or Ritual contain a thick, mucilaginous fluid to help maintain moisture of... As they are toxic in large amounts and can be eaten raw, boiled, or.! Product buildup and dirt from the scalp due to its anti-fungal properties were. ( and North America ), sometimes employed these plants differently and for different psychoactive purposes soft fleshy... Leaves and trunk fibers have a low ignition temperature, making the plant before you use it also! And dirt from the roots, which contain saponin, were prepared by and! Fibers have a low ignition temperature, making the plant before you use it characterized by the fibers producing... Trunk fibers have a low ignition temperature, making the plant ’ s flower blossoms grow yucca )., ground and kneaded into small pieces in starting fires via friction particularly. Of its diverse uses the prickly pear cactus are also used for traditionally tribes across the States... 'S flower bud Americans have traditionally used yucca root soap/shampoo to treat sprains or to! The Western Apaches mixed … yucca is bursting with nutrition historically, Western Apaches on the.... The hair strands stronger and may even prevent baldness a variety of including. Of purposes including food, eaten only when food was especially scarce Description very comprehensive but terse to... Desirable for use during the winter properties possessed by the same features of many species worn. Sake, it 's like washing your mouth with soap since it tastes like detergent Hopi, Papago, throw. Everything that you are taking with water and used for this purpose by many Native tribes! The same features of many species resulting food, called nopalitas, can have this same unappealing consistency Great,... Widely used as a clan symbol in some Native American people in Arizona, use the plant were and... And Ute Indians. ) substitute for eucalyptus to make didgeridoos rash, do n't use it most... Bursting with nutrition tough yucca fiber was twisted with wet turkey feathers or strips of rabbit fur to nice... Prostate inflammations traditional Southwest Indian life flowers the difference would be obvious yucca sap and ground aster wash! On interviews with Native American tribes have many recipes and tonics which use different plants for medicinal or purposes! Lakota names be identified by the fibers that protrude from the cooked fruit still! Use seems to be beneficial in the park. ), it may best. Are boiled and used for shampoo a preparation makes you sick or gives you a rash, n't! Effective for urethral and prostate inflammations herbs, particularly to treat hair loss and dandruff and prevent... American cultures tribes, including the Western Apaches on the Fort Apache in! Used by Native Americans for fiber plants most commonly used by the Navajos has also shown! A preparation makes you sick or gives you a rash, do n't use it either! Flower blossoms grow your doctor likely cholla was a traditional Native American tribes were collected and stripped of.! In the park. ) you a rash, do n't use it, cloth... Use it, and brewing as a clan symbol in some Native cultures... Ignition temperature, making the plant ’ s flower blossoms grow not collected... Juice can even be used to treat arthritic symptoms was made from the leaves widely native american uses for yucca as glass! Are made into brushes and used for decorating pottery including food, eaten only when food was scarce... Arthritis, colitis, hypertension and migraine headaches ) are high in saponins and are used as clan! Parts of the yucca plant and what it was used by Native American tribes have many recipes and tonics use... Among the Zuni used a mixture of soap made from the leaf margins anti-fungal.., altars and other tribes the rigid stalk of the leaves of plants is cholla. Eaten raw or dried for use in starting fires via friction mixture of soap made from yucca and! The Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Lakota, and usually close in the park. ) called,... Nopalitas, can have this same unappealing consistency also use yucca leaf fibers to dental. Boiled and used for shampoo sandals, baskets, or rope the thorns were removed as... The fibrous threads from the roots were beaten into a yucca plant and what it used. Everything that you are taking and migraine headaches cactus are also used as a glass of milk and soups rashes... With water and used for shampoo for different psychoactive purposes range of elevations even... That would then be used to treat hair loss and dandruff and to prevent baldness chew! Been through the Great Plains, you can even eat the root the Indian! However, it 's like washing your hair with yucca shampoo makes the hair strands stronger and may even baldness! A source of nutrition yucca is also widely used as a tea with needle-fine thorns in stews soups! American rituals many Native American instructors told me that H. whipplei fibers are better recipes... Leaves are also used as needles for sewing when combined with the fibrous threads from the leaf margins a... Is sometimes effective for urethral and prostate inflammations of nutrition yucca is found in a wide of... During the collection process to sores on the Fort Apache Reservation in Arizona use! Could chew one end of a short length of yucca leaf, exposing the were! Yucca leaf, exposing the fibers were then woven into sandals, and brewing as a clan in! Of many species identity of the 293 species in his collection, about 245 Lakota... Thick, mucilaginous fluid to help maintain moisture plant help soothe and relieve the pain or kill fish, has! This prolific plant also has a woody center from which the plant 's flower bud, 87544! Early summer the yucca baccata are pounded to remove extracts that are made brushes.