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The beloved yucca is a perennial shrub and tree that graces the desert landscape. Recognizable by the barb-like leaves and beautiful stalks filled with lily-like white or yellow flowers that extend tall from the plant. Early settlers to the New Mexico region gave the name "Lamps of God" to the yucca for the beautiful display of flowering stalks. On March 14, 1927, the Yucca was suggested by school children to be the official state flower of New Mexico.
An iconic symbol of the Desert, the Joshua Tree is part of the yucca family, formally known as Asparagaceae and has over 4o species. The yucca is native to arid parts of both North and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The yucca plant is often confused with the Agave plant.
The Yucca requires dry, sandy soil for the production of blossoms. In the heat of the sun, the flowers point down towards the ground, and as the desert cools in the evening, the flowers turn upward and release a fragrance that attracts moths. Yucca's typically bloom in the late spring, early summer.
Reproduction of the yucca plant is through a symbiotic partnership with what are known as yucca moths which use the yucca blossoms to complete their life cycle, and in the process, pollinate the plant. Yucca flowers are edible and part of the food source for Mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and birds.
Native Americans used the strong leaf fibers to weave rope for baskets, and sandal making. The yucca seed pods and fruit offered nourishment and sustainability for the early settlers finding their way through the Americas.
The tubes and roots of the yucca plant contain calories, proteins, fat, carbohydrates, iron, and essential Vitamin B and C. Yucca is a typical dish in South American homes. The root, much like a sweet potato is common to fry into chips.
Yucca juice and gel provide powerful health benefits for boosting the immune system, offering anti-inflammatory support for arthritis, increasing heart health, aiding digestion, reducing cholesterol levels and helps with skin repair. Yucca leaves have a laxative property similar to the Aloe Vera plant. The beneficial gel needs to come from the plant's pulp and not the outer peel.
Yucca has photoprotective properties that are essential for protecting the skin against sun damage. The resveratrol in the yucca plant helps strengthen the skin and increase resistance to skin aging caused by free radicals and sun damage. Soaking yucca in water to release the starch can help with wounds and minimizing scars.
We suggest using yucca that has been professionally processed to avoid using parts of the plant that could be harmful or overly dehydrating. Hydrosols and processed supplements of yucca are available online and in most health food stores.
Purequosa uses yucca hydrosol in the Coastal and Desert scents. PQ's exclusive blend has been formulated to promote skin health and hydration.