Corn silk (Zea mays)

Corn silk (Zea mays)

Other common names: Corn!, maize

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Family: Poaceae

Corn diagram

Diagram courtesy of Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen

*NOTE: Please be aware that many corn plants are genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides. For medicinal use, we only use non-GMO, certified organic material.

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Demulcent, specific affinity for the urinary tract, soothing diuretic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, lowers blood pressure, antilithic, tonic for the respiratory and genitourinary tissues, refrigerant, mild blood thinner, diaphoretic, lowers blood sugar.

Harvest: Corn silk is usually ready to harvest in early summer. Dry corn silk right after its harvested, as there is significant moisture content that can lead to moulding in storage if packaged incorrectly or not dried sufficiently.

Parts used: The silk (not referring to culinary uses of the fruit in this

corn silk

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / User: Rasbak

case, strictly medicinal preparations).

Constituents: Saponins, allatonin, potassium (although it also depletes potassium, so don’t use in those with low levels already), resins, glycosides, tannins, alkaloids, phytosterols, Vitamins C and K, and others.

Indications: Used to treat fevers, boils, diabetes, urinary tract infections, bedwetting, fluid retention (promotes urine flow without irritating), kidney infections, toning urinary tract tissues, healing internal tissues, improving prostate health, burns, skin irritations, kidney stones (prevention and treatment…but consult a doctor first if you have kidney or gallstones) and bladder control issues.

Medicinal preparations:

Internal

Used commonly in the tea or tincture form, less often as a capsule. Can even be taken for preventative health as a daily tea.

External

Apply as a poultice, wash or in a salve to soothe inflamed tissues, heal minor cuts/scrapes, burns or soothe skin irritations.

Contraindications:

corn field

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons

Use caution if you have hypoglycemia, diabetes or low blood pressure. Consult a physician before use if you are pregnant or nursing, have low potassium levels, using medications for blood pressure, blood-thinning or lowering blood sugar, or if you have gallstones or kidney stones, or obstructed bile duct. Taking corn silk along with other diuretics may result in a sharp decrease in potassium levels.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns. 

Energetic/traditional use: Corn is associated with a sweet, neutral, bland energetic orientation. As a food staple throughout history, it also has ties to fertility, abundance and prosperity. Some say it has female energy, but it also has been affiliated with the sun, and the elements of earth and fire. It is commonly used as an offering in harvest ceremonies and Shamanic rituals, due to its associations with the sacredness of nature.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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