posted on May, 3 2011 @ 01:45 AM
Leaves make strong cordage
Mashed root for soap
Stalk for friction fire making
Root used as fish poison
One of the most important skills in survival is the ability to make cordage. Whether it's string for making traps, ropes for hauling or dental floss
so that your teeth don't rot out, the uses for cordage are as endless as they are vital. Plants capable of producing strong fibers are a valuable
asset and learning to recognize them gives you one more advantage if the SHTF.
Many will recognize Yucca as it's often planted around Mexican restaurants and looks like a miniature version of it's cousin, the Agave from which
Tequila is fermented. Yucca filamentosa or bear grass can be identified by the cluster of dark green dagger-shaped leaves 1' -2
' long sprouting all directions from central point near the ground.
Plant of the week #5 Yucca filamentosa
During the summer a long, green flower spike 3'-5' tall will shoot up from the center of the plant at the top of which large, waxy white flowers
will sprout. After Fall, the flower stalk will turn woody and brown. Though prone to being somewhat crooked, a long straight section of the yucca
stalk is an excellent material for creating hand drill fires.
In fact, yucca is one of the few plants that you can create an entire friction fire set out of while only using a single plant.
To Make cordage begin by laying a leaf on a piece of wood and gently pounding the fibers apart using another piece of wood, working from end to end.
Before you do this however, soak the leaves in water for a few hours to soften them. Once you have the fibers separated you can then twist and wrap
them to make cordage.
Native Americans used the root both as a poultice for bruises and sprains, but spread judiciously upon a small body of water would stupefy the fish,
bringing them to the surface. The fish would still be edible after using this method.
Soap and shampoo are 2 things difficult to create in survival situations. The root of the Yucca can be dug up, peeled and mashed in water to make soap
and shampoo. It should be thoroughly rinsed off after use as some people have a sensitivity to the saponins (chemical which makes the soap) in the
Yucca leaves are also very useful for weaving strong mats and baskets or even a
Don't be surprised to find Yucca growing deep in the woods. It was a valued ornamental and often remains growing near old homesteads that have long
since decayed. Everything that was planted on small farms was useful to people and can be for you as well should the need arise.
The Plant of the week is an ongoing series that you can hear on the All Things Survival Radio Show Thursday nights at 8pm EST at Illustrial.net