While many people enjoy the crisp taste of corn on the cob, far fewer realize that when they shuck the corn and throw away the cornsilk, they are throwing away perhaps the most beneficial part of the corn plant. The cornsilk is the stigma on the female flowers of corn plant.
Most Popular Use of Cornsilk
Cornsilk is known to help inflamed bladders and the prostate gland. It relieves some of the pain these two organs can cause a person when they aren't healthy. It has also been used as a diuretic and for cystitis. Because of this diuretic effect, cornsilk helps maintain a healthy bladder, kidneys and small intestine. It can open the urinary tract and remove mucus from urine (when used with other herbs for the kidneys).
What Cornsilk Does
Cornsilk coats the lining of the urinary tract, which helps keep material moving through. It also reduces sediment formation in the kidneys. The diuretic effect comes about because cornsilk keeps the body from retaining water.
Other Benefits of Cornsilk
Cornsilk has also been used to: • Help lower blood sugar • Stimulate bile flow to improve digestion • Reduce bed-wetting • Help reduce the formation of gallstones and kidney stones • Help with hypertension and COPD • Provide Vitamin K, which helps control bleeding • Help relieve gout • Help relieve carpal tunnel syndrome
One way to consume cornsilk is to make it into a tea. One simple recipe is to boil ½ oz. of fresh ginger in 2-3 cups of water for five minutes. Steep the cornsilk from a couple of ears of corn in the mixture for three to four minutes.
Another recipe is the simply boil 50 grams of fresh cornsilk in a liter of water and drink throughout the day.
What's in Cornsilk?
Cornsilk contains saponins, allantoin, various sterols including B-sitosterol and stigmasterol, plus vitamins including C and K. It is best used fresh, although it is available in powder and capsules.