Scientific: Stigma Maydis [WikiPedia]
Composition: Contains flavonoids, alkaloids, phenols, steroids, glycosides, carbohydrates, terpenoids and tannins
Appearance: Silken tassels on corn.
Parts Used: Tassels.
Common Uses: Corn silk is an
important herb used traditionally by the Chinese, and Native Americans
to treat many diseases. It is also used as traditional medicine in many
parts of the world such as Turkey, United States and France. Its
potential antioxidant and healthcare applications as diuretic agent, in
hyperglycemia reduction, as anti-depressant and anti-fatigue use have
been claimed in several reports. Other uses of corn silk include teas
and supplements to treat urinary related problems. The potential use is
very much related to its properties and mechanism of action of its
plant’s bioactive constituents such as flavonoids and terpenoids.
Although this plant is known to most as a valuable
food source, the silken tassels in the Zuni tribe legend “Corn Maidens”
danced upon, are one of the most popular form of medicine for the
herbalist. It was said that was the magic of the Corn Maidens turned the
hearts of the Zuni from war to farming. Their dance atop the corn
stalks, visible as the wind stirs the corn tassels, is a vivid reminder
of prosperity the Corn Maidens brought. When these goddesses were
pursued for selfish reasons, they fled, leaving the corn of the Zuni
people to wither and die.
Corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates,
vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains chemicals which might
work like water pills (diuretics), and it might alter blood sugar
levels, and help reduce inflammation. Corn silk is used for bladder
infections, inflammation of the urinary system, inflammation of the
prostate, kidney stones, and bedwetting. It is also used to treat
congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, and
high cholesterol levels.
Fresh green corn silk is collected from the cob and
dried for tea or processed into tincture. The concentration of potassium
in corn silk makes it a wonderful supplement for a variety of kidney
problems. Potassium is a key mineral in healing the kidneys. Corn silk
offers more per gram than bananas. Potassium is essential for
controlling blood pressure.
Alternatives and Adjuncts: Kidney tonic, combine with marshmallow, hawthorn, ginkgo or goldenrod.
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.