4 health benefits of corn silk

 4 health benefits of corn silk

If you're like most people, you toss corn silk straight into the compost or trash. Those silky fibers that cover the corn can be a pain to remove - from the cob, your hands and your teeth. 

But American citizens and people living in China, Turkey and other countries have a different opinion about corn silk. For centuries, they have used corn silk as herbal remedies for medicinal purposes. Today, corn silk - and products like corn silk tea and supplements - are growing in popularity. 

Corn silk (Stigma maydis) is a shiny, thread-like fabric found between the kernels and the cob. Corn flowers can contain 300 to 600 grains of silk. They are the main part of the reproductive system of vegetables and are important for plant propagation. The mud holds the pollen which makes the ear of fertilizer and promotes the growth of the corn. In addition to the husk, corn silk also protects its cells, helping the corn retain moisture and softness. 

What are the nutritional benefits of corn silk?
Research shows that corn silk contains:

  • Carbohydrates.
  • Fiber.
  •  Minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, zinc and chloride. 
  • Protein.

Benefits of corn silk

Despite centuries of use of the herb, studies on the health benefits of corn silk are limited. Most of the existing research has been done on animals, not humans. Still, some research shows that eating corn silk and similar products can be good for your health.

 Four health benefits of corn silk include:

1. Improves your urinary system 

Corn silk extract can act as a powerful diuretic, making you urinate more. Increased urine output can prevent the growth of bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder infections. And if you're suffering from a UTI or urinary tract infection, remove the inflammation-reducing corn silk for pain relief.
Adding water can also help strengthen your gut. Health professionals sometimes recommend corn silk extract or teas for children with bedwettings and adults with urinary problems. Corn silk can also prevent kidney stones and protect against kidney damage caused by certain drugs or cancer treatments.

 The diuretic properties of corn silk can also lower blood pressure. But note that those who take diuretics or blood pressure medication may be at risk of potassium loss. This can lead to low potassium levels or hypokalemia. Low potassium is a concern because it can affect the way your heart beats. It is always important to consult your health professional before taking any supplement. 

2. Fights inflammation

The plant pigment or flavonoid that gives corn silk its green, yellow, brown or red color is also an antioxidant. In fact, corn silk has antioxidant benefits such as vitamin C. Antioxidants protect against inflammation and the effects of aging, as well as diseases such as cancer and diabetes. 

3. Reduces blood sugar

Corn silk extract is part of traditional Chinese and American medicine for diabetes management. The extract can lower blood sugar levels and help prevent complications such as diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), research has found. Other studies show that corn silk extract can make your body less likely to eat starchy foods, preventing blood sugar spikes. And if you're taking medication to lower your blood sugar. check with your healthcare provider before you start taking supplements. Low blood sugar can be dangerous.

 4. Improves cholesterol levels

The flavonoids in corn silk can improve your cholesterol levels by lowering triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). These types of bad cholesterol cause plaque to build up in your arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Can you eat corn silk?

Yes! Corn silk has the mild taste and flavor that one expects from corn. You can save the silks after sowing and use them fresh as a garnish in salads, potatoes, soups, tacos and more. You can also dry and store corn silk for up to a year. 

To dry corn silk:

  • Separate the silk thread as much as possible.
  • Place the wicks on a cool surface away from direct sunlight until the moisture evaporates and the wicks are small. (This cleaning step may take a few days or a week.)
  •  Place the wicks in a closed jar or paper bag and store them in a cool and dry place.
  • You can grind the dried fibers in a blender to get a silky powder and sprinkle it on eggs, salads, stews and smoothies.

     To prepare corn silk tea:


  • Fill a pot with two cups of water and two spoons of fresh or dried corn silk.
  • Cover the skillet and cook over medium heat until it boils.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and steep the tea (covered) for 30 minutes.
  • Use a strainer to soften the sprigs.
  • Enjoy your tea hot or cold. 

Who does not eat silk corn? 

Health experts don't know much about the dangers of consuming corn silk or products such as teas and supplements. Check with your healthcare professional before taking corn silk supplements, as there are currently no approved medications. Dosage varies depending on a person's gender, age, weight, medication and medical condition. At this time, do not add corn silk to your diet if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medications such as:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  •  High blood pressure medication.
  • Blood thinners
  • Diuretics.
  • Insulin or diabetes medicine.

But for many people, corn silk can add a healthy and fresh twist to your favorite foods. So don't throw away those corn silks. Save them for another tea, salad or smoothie! 


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