Can yucca relieve arthritis pain?

Answer From Brent A. Bauer, M.D.

The bark and root of yucca — a group of shrublike plants native to the southwestern United States and Mexico — are ingredients in many dietary supplements that claim to promote joint health.

Parts of various yucca plants have been used for centuries in traditional Native American medicine. But the only direct evidence that yucca relieves joint pain comes from a single study published in the 1970s and never validated in later publications.

Since then, scientists have isolated several yucca compounds that may turn out to have medicinal value. In the laboratory, some of these compounds display properties similar to those of anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat joint pain.

What these yucca-derived chemicals do in the test tube, however, is likely to be quite different from what they do in the human body. Scientific studies have validated many alternative and complementary therapies for arthritis, but more research is needed to determine whether yucca is one of them.

July 07, 2017 See more Expert Answers

See also

  1. 6 ways to manage itchy skin when you have psoriasis
  2. After a flood, are food and medicines safe to use?
  3. Arthritis
  4. Arthritis pain: Do's and don'ts
  5. Arthritis rehabilitation
  6. Arthroscopy
  7. Botox injections: Can they relieve arthritis pain?
  8. Brucellosis
  9. Can arthritis pain medications be harmful?
  10. Chronic pain: Medication decisions
  11. Crohn's Crisis
  12. Crohn's disease
  13. Crohn’s disease: Can prebiotics help?
  14. Crohn's disease symptom: Is fatigue common?
  15. Crohn's or Colitis
  16. CT scan
  17. CT scans: Are they safe?
  18. Does smoking have an effect on Crohn's disease?
  19. Ease stress to reduce your psoriasis flares
  20. Eating well when you have Crohn's disease
  21. Exercise and chronic disease
  22. Exercising with arthritis
  23. Gluten sensitivity and psoriasis: What's the connection?
  24. Henoch-Schonlein purpura
  25. IBD and colon cancer: How often do you need screening?
  26. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  27. Integrative approaches to treating pain
  28. Isometric exercise
  29. Joint pain
  30. Joint pain: Rheumatoid arthritis or parvovirus?
  31. Joint replacement
  32. Living better with psoriasis
  33. Living well with Crohn's disease
  34. Psoriasis-related health risks
  35. MRI
  36. MSM for arthritis pain: Is it safe?
  37. nail psoriasis
  38. Paget's disease of bone
  39. Prednisone risks, benefits
  40. Prednisone withdrawal: Why taper down slowly?
  41. Pregnancy and breast-feeding with psoriasis
  42. Psoriasis
  43. Psoriasis and clinical trials
  44. Psoriasis and intimacy
  45. Psoriasis and your self-esteem
  46. Psoriasis diet: Can changing your diet treat psoriasis?
  47. Identifying psoriasis triggers
  48. Psoriasis: Get the most out of your treatment
  49. Psoriasis: How can I protect my skin during a workout?
  50. Fish oil supplements
  51. Psoriasis treatment options
  52. Psoriasis: What if I get psoriatic arthritis, too?
  53. Psoriasis: What to share with your doctor
  54. Resources to help you live well with Crohn's disease
  55. Scalp psoriasis vs. seborrheic dermatitis
  56. Seeing Inside the Heart with MRI
  57. Cane tips
  58. Slide show: 5 ways to thrive with psoriasis through the holidays
  59. Slide show: Caring for your skin when you have psoriasis
  60. Hand exercises for people with arthritis
  61. Joint protection
  62. Types of psoriasis
  63. Walker tips
  64. Staying active with Crohn's disease
  65. Tai chi
  66. Tips for easing stress when you have Crohn's disease
  67. Ultrasound
  68. Vasculitis
  69. MRI
  70. Tai chi
  71. Water exercise
  72. Alternative psoriasis treatments
  73. What are the risks of vaccinations for people living with psoriasis?
  74. What's the best way to manage scalp psoriasis?
  75. X-ray