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A Yucca Soap"

A Yucca Soap"

Yucca Soap

The various species of yucca — some of which are known today as Spanish bayonet, Adam’s-needle, soapweed, datil, whipple or dagger plant — were of prime economic importance to many native tribes of the American Southwest. The sharp-pointed, waxy leaves furnished excellent fibers for weaving. The long flower stalks and creamy white blossoms were used by the Apaches as food. And most important for our purposes, the roots of the yucca provided many native Americans with natural shampoo and natural laundry soap.Yucca root (called a mole) contains the compound saponin, which has detergent properties and seems to exert a particularly beneficial effect on the protein in animal fiber.

Yucca

Yucca root can be gathered at any time of the year, provided the ground isn’t frozen. However, since regulations regarding wild plant collection vary, be sure to check your state’s laws before you begin to dig. Then, if there aren’t any restrictions on gathering yuccas in your area, select a small- to medium-sized plant that can be dug up without too much difficulty — even a young bush will yield enough roots for a dozen or so shampoos.There is one word of caution concerning yucca shampoo, however: As with any new substance, be sure to do a skin test to check for possible allergic reactions before washing your hair with the pulp. Although anthropologists record that yucca roots were used by native Americans to bathe the entire body (and Walapai mothers even washed their newborns with the suds from a young yucca every day for a week after birth), I once used the root material as a facial cleanser and found that my skin became irritated. But I’ve had no ill effects from shampooing with the substance.

I’m having a really hard time fine tuning my opinion on this bar. I’m Diné and have psoriasis. I’ve been using natural hair care and body wash for a while now. My scalp was still flaky and giving me a hard time. I decided to find something with yucca root thinking maybe since my ancestors used it my body would be happy with it. I love how this lathers. It smells ok and once my hair is dry I like how it feels. The problem I have is the residue it leaves. It gunks up my brushes and drives me crazy. But that’s really my only complaint. The packing was also cute. I have hard water and don’t know if that effects how it rinses out but I’ve never experienced this problem with any other product before. Not sure if I’ll be purchasing again. GenuinelySoapweed yucca is one of about 40 yucca species, all of which are native to the New World. It grows in dry rocky soils throughout the Great Plains and is most abundant in short grass prairies and desert grasslands. These plants have a long history of beneficial use. As the name implies, the crushed roots of soapweed yucca produce a lather that makes a good soap or shampoo. The lathering substances called saponins are found in many plants, but are exceptionally concentrated in yucca roots. The dried leaves of soapweed yucca can be woven into baskets, mats, or sandals. The strong coarse leaf fibers can be extracted to make cordage. (Source:www.fs.fed.us)

 

 

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