Yuca root goes by many names. The yuca is often called cassava or manioc and is a woody shrub type plant. This plant is native to South America and can be found in many subtropical and tropical regions. Although the plant is not native to North America, it is grown in the Southwestern parts of the United States.
In South America, the yuca root is regarded as a staple crop and is extensively cultivated. It is a very starchy vegetable and is similar to a potato. This vegetable is commonly grown and consumed in places like Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and other parts of Latin America.
In many poor countries, the yuca is used as a survival crop. The crop can grow in desert-like conditions, and is a vital source of food in areas where other crops have difficulty growing. In some countries, yuca is considered a dietary staple. The plant is eaten steamed or boiled, and is a great source of carbohydrates and contains Vitamins A, B, and C.
The yuca root has many health benefits. The plant contains something called saponins, chemical compounds that are helpful to the human body. A saponin can be used to reduce muscle spasms and is an effective treatment for internal inflammation.
For this reason, some individuals choose to consume yuca in the form of a pill. The pill can treat a variety of problems such as arthritis, joint pain, colitis, and bursitis. Yuca can also be made into tea.
Yuca root must be properly prepared before it is consumed. First, the plant should be dried and thoroughly washed. Next, yuca needs to be boiled for a considerable amount of time. Once it is cooked it is bitter or sweet in flavor. Individuals that are interested in consuming yuca root should be able to find the plant in grocery stores.
Proper preparation of yuca removes a poisonous substance that lies underneath the outer skin of the plant. This substance is considered a cyanide toxin. If yuca is not properly prepared, it can cause a disease called konzo. Konzo has debilitating effects and can lead to impaired vision, paralysis, and a number of disabling diseases.