Alternate Title

  • Adam’s needle

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

    Disclaimer

    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.

    H – H


    C – C

*Key to grades:

Tradition

    Disclaimer

    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.

Dosing

    Disclaimer

    The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • 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

    Disclaimer

    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

    Disclaimer

    Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. 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.

  • 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 ().

Bibliography

    Disclaimer

    Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to . Selected references are listed below.

  • 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.
    View Abstract
  • Favel A, Kemertelidze E, Benidze M, et al. Antifungal activity of steroidal glycosides from Yucca gloriosa L. Phytother Res 2005;19(2):158-161.
    View Abstract
  • 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.
    View Abstract
  • 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.
    View Abstract
  • 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.
    View Abstract
  • Mahillon V, Saussez S, Michel O. High incidence of sensitization to ornamental plants in allergic rhinitis. Allergy 2006;61(9):1138-1140.
    View Abstract
  • Munno G, Giannoccaro F, Riva G, et al. Allergy to yucca. Allergy 2001;56(9):921-922.
    View Abstract
  • 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.
    View Abstract
  • Poljacki M, Paravina M, Jovanovic M, et al. [Contact allergic dermatitis caused by plants]. Med Pregl 1993;46(9-10):371-375.
    View Abstract