Make Your Own Yucca Hair Cleaner


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These Yuccas looks exactly like the yuccas on our property. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

The Yucca* (yucca elata) is a perennial plant that is known as the soap tree. It is native to southwestern United States and grows in abundance on my four-acre property. It’s a pretty plant and puts out a tall stem from the center of a nest of spiky leaves. The spike is laden with edible white flowers that form seed pods when mature. The root is where most of the soapy properties are concentrated. Luckily, the yucca is not endangered so uprooting it is not a problem.

The substance in the roots is known as saponin. A little research informs me that saponins are a subclass of terpenoids, which is the largest class of plant extracts. Saponins are both water and fat soluble, which gives them their soapy properties.

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She combs the beautiful hair of her companion using a hairbrush made from stiff grasses.

7/23/2021 11:02:22 AM

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your question. I had to get MEN help to do so. The answer to your question is: I don't think so. When I dug up my plant - it was to be removed anyway - I did not see any side roots. All I saw was a large root with very small "feeler" roots. Not large enough to crush and make soap with. That being said everything I have read seems to indicate that yuccas are so resilient that you can't kill the plant unless you remove ALL of the roots even the side roots. It might take a while for the plant to come back but it probably will. We have mowed off yucca plants here and all of them are sending up new plants right where the old one was. I appreciate your sentiment about preserving the plant!

6/14/2021 2:34:15 PM

Thank you for writing this informative article. My daughter recently bought property that has a great deal of Wicca both on her property and surrounding it. I am definitely looking forward to harvesting some and making hair cleaner out of the roots. I was already planning on using the leaves to make paper out of. I did not know that the flowers are edible. I look forward to trying them in a salad. I do wonder... Is it possible to only remove a small root or two and leave the plant in the ground with the main tap root? I prefer to not kill the plant when harvesting if possible.

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