Botanical: Zea mays
Family: Poaceae/Graminaceae (haygrass)
Other common names: Indian Corn, Maize Silk, Zea, Maidis Stigma, Stigma Maydis
Corn Silk is an old remedy for urinary tract ailments, including bed-wetting, painful and frequent urination, stones, bloating, gravel in the bladder and chronic cystitis and prostatitis. It is also thought to help relieve edema and the painful swelling of carpal tunnel syndrome and gout. Corn Silk is an old-fashioned, gentle, but effective, diuretic - without the loss of potassium!
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Corn Silk is a collection of the stigmas (fine, soft, yellowish threads or tassels) from the female flowers of Corn (maize), and they are four to eight inches long with a faintly sweetish taste. The wild origins of Corn are impossible to trace, because it has been cultivated for so many centuries, but it is thought to come from Mexico or subtropical regions and is cultivated in warm climates throughout the world. Archæological evidence from the Tehuacan caves in Puebla, Mexico, suggests that people were using Z. mays from about 5000 B.C. It is an annual plant, and its hardiness varies according to the cultivars. Corn thrives in rich, well-drained soil in sun and may be propagated by wind pollination, and better if grown in a block. Maize was eaten and considered an important food source throughout much of North America and Central America, and it became the center of art and religious life for many Amerindian tribes. Moreover, many tribes used it in a variety of medicinal ways. The name corn is actually derived from an Anglo-Saxon word for a collective group of grains of cereals grown for food, but Maize/Corn did not actually reach the Old World until after Columbus discovered America, from whence it was carried back to the Old World and elsewhere. Columbus brought maize grains back to the Spanish court, originating from the Greater Antilles in the Caribean, and these were grown in Spain in 1493. Basque companions of Pizarro brought maize grains back from Peru and introduced maize growing to the Pyrenees. Maize growing spread rapidly in Europe, although only in southern Europe did it become a major crop. Maize was introduced to Africa in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and was readily accepted by African farmers, and the Portuguese are credited with the introduction of maize to Asian regions where it became widely grown. In nineteenth-century North America, with the aid of draft animals and ploughs, European settlers rapidly developed the prairie grasslands of the eastern United States into what is now referred to as the "Cornbelt." Corn is America's greatest contribution to the food of the world (both human and cattle feed). Among the manufactured commodities produced from Corn are cornstarch, corn oil, corn sugar, gums, gluten, dextrose, grits, glycerine, soap, dyes, resins and herbal medicines, and nearly one fourth of the total crop is utilized for these special products. Corn Silk is a sweet, cooling, soothing herb that is considered an exceptional diuretic. Some of the constituents in Corn Silk include beta-carotene, betaine, beta-sitosterol, caffeic acid, campesterol, geraniol, glycolic acid, maizenic acid, chlorophyll, sugar, cellulose, limonene, saponin, thymol, vitexin, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, a high level of potassium, B-vitamins and vitamin C.
Corn Silk is an old and effective diuretic that promotes the flow of urine, relieving excess water retention, and it has been used to treat acute and chronic bladder infection, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis (and other prostate disorders) and also combat urinary stones. Unlike other diuretics, however, the high level of potassium in Corn Silk offsets potassium loss caused by the increased urination when used as directed. The herb is also believed to relieve bladder irritation caused by the accumulation of uric acid and gravel and eases the pain of burning urination. When Corn Silk is given to children (or adults) several hours prior to bedtime, it is said to diminish the occurrence of enuresis (bedwetting). Because it soothes bladder irritation, Corn Silk generally helps to reduce the occurrence of frequent urination problems.
Corn Silk helps to ease edema and swelling caused by many inflammatory conditions, such as gout and carpal tunnel syndrome, and as a demulcent, it helps to soothe inflammation, especially inflamed mucous membranes. It is also used to alleviate the bloating and discomforts of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Corn Silk is thought to be a mild stimulant that promotes bile flow and prevents the formation of gallstones. In Chinese medicine, Corn Silk is used to treat jaundice, hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver.
Some new research claims that Corn Silk may help to lower blood sugar levels and reduce blood-clotting time.
Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Corn Silk Herbal Supplement.