Yucca root has been used for hundreds of years as both a food and medicinal remedy, and Native Americans used yucca as a natural soap. Today, yucca root is still a food staple in many parts of the world and may have some uses in treating arthritis. It generally has few significant side effects, but you should always discuss with your doctor any herbal remedies before taking them.
The most common side effect of taking yucca root is diarrhea or loose stools, particularly if you take too much of it. You may experience diarrhea if you take several times the recommended amount, which is 2 grams of yucca root capsules or a quarter-ounce of whole root daily, notes the University of Michigan Health System. Other reported gastrointestinal-related side effects of taking yucca root include nausea, stomach upset and vomiting.
Potential for Hemolysis
Test tube studies have indicated that the saponins contained in yucca root may cause hemolysis, a condition in which the red blood cells burst, says the University of Michigan Health System. Although the potential of this side effect exists, no cases of hemolysis have occurred in humans from taking yucca root by mouth.
Yucca root may cause mouth and throat irritations, Drug Digest says. People who’ve taken yucca root orally have reported sore throat, mouth irritation and a bitter taste in their mouths. If you use yucca root topically on your skin, you may also experience irritation of open wounds or cuts.