Corn Silk

Corn Silk (Yu Mi Xu)Corn Silk (Yu Mi Xu)

Botanical Name: Maize, Zea mays

Corn Silk has a long history of gently and thoroughly treating urinary complaints. The word “maize” derived from Mexican native languages meaning “mother” or “mother of life.” Corn Silk is also used to treat coronary heart problems as it lowers blood pressure and eases hypertension. It is native to Mexico and was spread throughout the Americas around 2500 years ago. It is considered by many native tribes to be a gift from the gods.

Below is an overview of Corn Silk, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Corn Silk.

Have we sparked your interest?

Sign up, FREE, for access to all of WRI Healing Herb Fact Sheets and Exclusive Member Only Offers! Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.
Get a free Fact Sheet about this herb and many more!

Western

Western Name: Corn Silk

Also Known As: Maize, Corn, Indian Corn, Sweet Corn, Purple Corn

Organs/Systems: Urogenital Organs, Kidneys, Heart, Skin

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Diuretic, Demulcent, Antibacterial, Kaliuretic, (encouraging the retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium.) Emollient, Antioxidant, Anti-fatigue, Antidepressant.

Eastern

Pin Yin: Yu Mi Xu

Also Known As: Yu Mi Shu (Translates as “Jade Rice Whiskers”)

Meridians: Kidney, Bladder, Liver, Gall Bladder

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Clears Damp Heat from the Liver and Gall Bladder: Bloating, rheumatism, skin eruptions, gout, wasting and thirsting disorder, hepatitis, cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, hypertension. Promotes and Regulates Urination/Reduces Edema: painful urination, frequent urination, bedwetting. Softens Masses: stones. Restores Essence.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Corn grows to be 10 feet tall or higher. The leafy stalks produce ears which contain seeds called kernels. The stalk superficially resembles bamboo canes with internodes commonly 7 inches. The female flower produces the corn. The ears are female inflorescence tightly covered with several layers of leaves and so closed in by them that they do not show themselves easily until the emergence of the pale yellow silks from the leaf whorl at the end of the ear. The silks are elongated stigmas.

Corn (maize) is believed to have been domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico around 9,000 years ago.

Corn Silk (Yu Mi Xu)Parts Most Frequently Used: Corn silk (stamens) of the corn plant.

Flavors/Temps: Bit Bitter, Sweet, Astringent, Cooling, and both Drying and Moistening.

Caution: Corn silk is a very mild herb considered very safe. Do not use if you are taking Lasix (furosemide).

History/Folklore: Native to the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, it was domesticated about 9000 years ago. Centuries of indigenous selection resulted in the development of maize plants capable of growing several cobs per plant. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated it in numerous varieties for cooking, grinding and processing. It was spread to the US around 2500 B.C. and then to Europe in the late 15th and 16th Centuries. It is the most widely grown crop in the US, mainly used to make ethanol. Transgenic (genetically modified corn) makes up 85% of maize planted in the US as of 2009.

The botanical name “Zea” derived from the Greek word meaning, “to live.” The word “maize” evolved from Mexican native languages meaning “mother” or “mother of life.”

The Chickasaw tribe squeezed oil from the plant and rubbed it into the scalp to prevent dandruff. Other Eastern tribes used it in poultices for boils, burns and to treat inflammation.

Typically, corn silk is harvested when corn kernels are in the milk stage. You can steep a handful of corn silk in water and drink it to help prevent enema.

Not everyone benefits from the plant’s excretion of potassium, but people with chronic fatigue, adrenal burnout and general “cold” symptoms may. Corn silk continues to be studied for its possible cancer reducing effects as it reduces certain cancer forming compounds. It also has an estrogenic and ovulation induction effect observed in animal studies.

Corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some of the plants compounds are believed to work like diuretics, help blood sugar levels and help reduce inflammation. It contains many of the phytochemicals found in barley greens, the thymol found in thyme and also the menthol found in mint. A complex polysaccharide (which activates macrophages, white blood cells, to engulf and dissolve infectious microorganisms) is also present. Corn silk also has volatile oils that can neutralize fungi and yeast.

Corn silk can be mixed with corn oil for application to the skin. Corn silk tea is a great remedy for incontinence, urinary tract inflammation, cystitis and prostatitis. Even if you feel fine, corn silk makes a nice cup of tea that you can simply enjoy at any time. (2 cups of water to 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried corn silk)You can use fresh corn silk, or mince it into small pieces as a topping for salads.  You can dry corn silk by laying it on a flat basket or mesh and set it out on the counter to dry, not in direct sunlight. When it is dry and crispy it can be stored in a jar or paper bag where it will keep it for about a year.

When treating urinary tract infections of kidney stones, you can confidently recommend 10-15 grams or 4-5 cups a throughout the day until the condition relaxes. A large handful of the herb steeped for 20 minutes in a liter of boiling water is a common recipe. It can also be combined with goldenseal or marshmallow enhancing each of the herbs therapeutic abilities.

Cornmeal can be used as a binder for poultices and cornstarch is a remedy for iodine poisoning. Starch from maize is made into plastics, fabrics, adhesives and many other chemical products. Though technically a grain, maize kernels are used in cooking as a vegetable or starch. Corn husks were used to make masks, baskets, dolls and sleeping mats. After eating, the left over corn cobs were used to make darts, burn as fuel or made into ceremonial rattles.

Key Constituents:

High concentration of Potassium, Vitamin K (depending on how it is stored.),  8-Cineole, Alpha-terpineol, Beta-carotene, Beta-sitosterol, Saponins, Glycosides, Geraniol, Hordenine, Limonene, Menthol, Niacin, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thymol, Vitamin C, Calcium, Sterols, and Vitexin.

Did you know?

Evolution of Maize

Thousands of years of cultivation by the Native Americans of Mexico and North America evolved maize from a tall grass with small kernels into today’s delicious plant with corn cobs and corn silk.

Facts

Up to 39 Feet Tall

Some varieties of corn (maize) can grow to be 39 feet tall.

Fun fact!

An Excellent Tea

2 cups of water to 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried corn silk makes an excellent tea.

FREE!

Healing Herb Fact Sheet

Download. Print. Share. (PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader required.)

Download Now

Online Courses

Take a Health Break!

Get and give the best of Western Scientific, Eastern Energetic (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Ancient, and Traditional Perspectives.

Learn More

50 Fact Sheets at Once

Save Time with eBook Volumes!

Download 50 Fact Sheets at once in our NEW easy-to-download and print eBook Volumes. (Each volume contains 50 different EWHA™ Healing Herb Fact Sheets!) It’s fast and simple.

Learn More

Want to Learn More?

Join us for FREE to receive Special Offers and updates about our upcoming courses, FREE materials and more.
 
Join, FREE!

References: For a complete list of references please visit our References and Resources page. Disclosure: If you purchase from some links on this web page, we may receive some kind of affiliate commission. However, we only ever mention products we would recommend whether we were being compensated or not. Thank you so much for your support of White Rabbit Institute of Healing!

ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

Health Break: Detox, Strengthen & Cleanse

Join our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge!

A Health Boost and Reset to Balance Body, Mind, & Spirit Using Traditional Chinese Medicine. You'll also recieve our Free Healing Herb Fact Sheets and latest news. Your privacy is guaranteed.

Thank you, you have joined our wait list! We'll let you know when our next 30-Day “Love Your Liver” Detox Challenge is open.

Healing Herb Fact Sheets

Download. Print. Share.

Complete the form below for immediate access to ALL our Herb Fact Sheets.

Thank you for joining us! Please check your email for details on how to access our free Healing Herb Fact Sheets. Be sure to check your spam folder and promotions tab if you have one.