Corn Silk

Latin name: Stylus zeae mays, Zea mays L.
Chinese name: yu mi xu
Other names: Indian corn, maidis stigma, maize silk, stigma maydis

What is Corn Silk?
If you have ever shucked an ear of corn, you know all about corn silk. It is the thready whiskers that lie between the husk and the corn. Though these are very useful to the corn by fertilizing each seed with pollen, most corn shuckers consider corn silk a nuisance—trying to get it off the corn before cooking can take several minutes. What you might not know is that this is a useful medicinal herb.

What are the health benefits of Corn Silk?
Corn silk is used in Western and Chinese herbal medicine, mainly to treat urinary problems, specifically painful or difficult urination. As it helps drain the body of extra fluid, it can be an effective treatment for certain kinds of arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. In conjunction with other herbs, it is also used to treat poison ivy and oak.

More information about the healing powers of Corn can be found in the Food section.

What are the guidelines for taking Corn Silk?
Corn silk is usually taken as a tea. It is also available in powder, capsules, as a tincture, or mixed with corn oil for topical application.

Where can I find Corn Silk?
Corn silk can be found at nearly any grocery store inside unhusked corn. It can also be found online through herb suppliers or at the offices of Western and Chinese medical practitioners.

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This entry was posted in Foods, Herbs, Natural Health Dictionary.