Yuca, or Cassava, is indigenous to the rainforest, but is now grown
all over the tropics. It is one of the main crops for farmers and a
primary source of carbohydrates for the people. Yuca is found everywhere
among the Amazon rainforest and is a daily food source for the people
of the lowland tropics.
The roots, which resemble sweet potatoes and are eaten in much the
same way, yield yuca starch. The root can be boiled, baked, or roasted.
yuca roots are also used for laundry starch, and are the source of tapioca,
a preparation of cassava-root starch used as a food, in bread or as
a thickening agent in liquid foods, notably puddings but also soups
and juicy pies.
In processing tapioca, heat ruptures the yucca starch grains, converting
them to small, irregular masses that are further baked into flake tapioca.
A pellet form, known as pearl tapioca, is made by forcing the moist
starch through sieves.
The root is also used to make alcoholic beverages by chewing the root
and spitting it into a large pot where the saliva begins the fermentation
Medicinally, the juice from the root is squeezed out and used to treat
scabies, skin problems, diarrhea, fever, chills, sore muscles.The yuca
is native to Amazonia and has long been cultivated there by the indigenous