Yucca and equine health

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This desert-dwelling plant has remarkable medicinal properties. Learn how Yucca schidigera may be beneficial for your horse.

A beloved medicinal plant, Yucca schidigera is indigenous to the deserts of southwestern America and Mexico. Also known as Mojave yucca, this flowering evergreen succulent is a hardy plant that thrives in sun and requires little water. Historically, Native Americans found many uses for this versatile plant, including fabric dyes, soap, shampoos and diet. Yucca’s herbal extract has been trusted for centuries thanks to its many compelling health benefits, and it can also offer a lot to your horse.

How can your horse benefit from yucca?

One of the richest sources of steroidal saponins (among nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories), yucca can reduce inflammation and pain in horses as effectively as conventional medicines – without gastric side effects or organ toxicity. This plant serves to cleanse the liver, kidneys, blood and lymphatic system. It increases circulation, encourages tissue repair and restores cartilage, making it an excellent healer of internal and external wounds.

Yucca’s resveratrol content acts as an antioxidant that gently detoxes the body, expels free radicals, reduces oxidative stress, protects against organ degeneration and helps prevent cancer. As if that isn’t exciting enough, the plant also detoxifies the intestinal track, reduces IBS and colitis, and aids in repairing perforations of the gut wall, popularly known as leaky gut. In turn, this helps the equine body absorb nutrients more efficiently and become less susceptible to allergies.

The succulent also helps prevent colic, and works as a digestive aid, with beneficial effects on intestinal flora and pH. It is commonly used to treat arthritis, ulcers and skin conditions. It also helps balance blood sugar, provide cardiovascular support, reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, and more. Additionally, the plant is antimicrobial and contains vitamins and minerals that help reduce stress and anxiety, balance blood pressure and boost the immune system.

Experts weigh in on yucca supplements for equine health

Yucca works in a number of ways. “When considering alternative treatments for your horse’s health and recovery needs, yucca is a safe, effective and trusted choice,” says herbalist Jenn Arruda.

Bethany Videto-Smith, an equine massage therapist, explains the benefits yucca has on equine back health: “Horses can easily become restricted and sore from tension in their backs and hind ends. Back tension can cause short striding, stiffness, a lack of willingness to stretch or round under saddle, and in some cases acting out to avoid painful work. Yucca helps the muscles by reducing swelling and increasing tissue repair rates. Proper consistent exercise and stretching, combined with supplementing yucca on a regular basis, would logically result in a stronger healthier top line, increased limberness and striding up out of the hind end due to an improved range of motion.”

This plant has been used successfully for hundreds of years, and its benefits as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant are supported by modern peer-reviewed studies. Whether you’re seeking a non-toxic alternative remedy, pain relief, or something to simply boost your horse’s overall well-being, Yucca schidigera is an excellent option.