Corn Silk – A Traditional Diuretic with Vulnerary and Cosmetic Properties

Corn silk has been traditionally used for its diuretic properties and other beneficial effects on the urinary system. These properties were fairly praised, but for a long while it seemed that there is nothing more to corn silk than that. Modern science has found though many other medicinal and even cosmetic uses for it, the latter being mostly due to its content of allatoin, an ubiquitous compound of modern cosmetic products.

7 - Corn silk

Composition and properties

Corn silk is a rich source of dietary fibers and minerals such as manganese, potassium, a good source of vitamin K, zinc, magnesium, copper, and a relatively good source of calcium. Corn silk also contains phytosterols, flavonoids, saponins, allantoin and a number of other substances that are responsible for its impressive range of therapeutic effects. Its effects have been confirmed not only by extensive traditional use, but also by numerous modern scientific studies (allatoin alone, for example, being mentioned in more than 10,000 patents for cosmetic products).

Preparations

  • Powder: You can obtain it by simply rubbing the dried corn silk between your palms. Take ¼ teaspoon, 3 times a day, after a meal.
  • Infusion: Add 2 tablespoons of minced dried corn silk in 250 ml of hot boiled water and let steep for 30 minutes. Drink 2 cups a day.
  • Tincture: Add 2 tablespoons of minced dried corn silk in 100 ml of alcohol 40% and let them macerate for 10 days, shaking the recipient 3-4 times a day. Sift and let it decant for 6 days in the refrigerator, then transfer the more limpid part in another recipient. Take 30 drops in a glass of water, 3 times a day.
  • Medicinal wine: Add 5 tablespoons of minced dried corn silk in 1 l of hot boiled white wine and let them macerate for 10 days, shaking the recipient 2-3 times a day. Sift and let it decant for 6 days in the refrigerator, then transfer the more limpid part in smaller recipients. Take 3 tablespoons, 2 times a day, after a meal.

Medicinal uses

Internal use

  • Fatigue (through remineralization and the antioxidative properties of flavonoids)
  • Congestive heart failure (due mostly to the high content of potassium, calcium and magnesium)
  • High blood pressure (due mostly to the diuretic effect of potassium)
  • High cholesterol levels (due to the presence of phytosterols)
  • Water retention, kidney stones, bladder infections, inflammation of the urinary system (due mostly to the diuretic effect of potassium, the antioxidative properties of flavonoids and the anti-infectious activity of saponins)
  • Diabetes (due to the high content of dietary fibers and potassium)
  • Liver diseases (through remineralization and the antioxidative properties of flavonoids)
  • Wounds, bedsores, varicose ulcer (due to the presence of allantoin)

External use

  • Tired, dry and scaly skin, atopic dermatitis (due to the presence of allantoin)
  • Dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, scalp itching (due to the presence of allantoin)
  • Wounds, bedsores, varicose ulcer (due to the presence of allantoin)

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