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The Natural Benefits of Corn Silk

Corn silk, botanically known as Zea mays, is a rather interesting herb, or should I say “silk”?  The silk refers to the soft, fine, yellow threads that are found on the tip of an ear of corn. They’re not technically an herb, and are rather referred to as the “stigma and style.” The benefits of corn silk have a long history.

Corn silk has been used for kidney problems, inflamed bladders, and also inflamed prostate glands. In addition to these conditions, I also use it when there is urine retention, or difficulty removing water from tissues, and for conditions when uric acid builds up. 

On the flip side, corn silk has been known to be beneficial for the youngins who have trouble with bed wetting, especially if it is due to uncontrollable swollen bladders. 

The benefits of corn silk first became known here in the Americas through notes written by Garilasco de la Vega (1539-1610). He found corn silk in use amongst the Incas for treating urogenital infections. When consumed as a tea, it has a slightly sweet taste and is soothing to the tissues.  

The Nutritional Benefits of Corn Silk

Corn silk is very high in silicon, a naturally occurring substance that is defined as a mineral. It is high in natural fats and iron, and is not to be confused with silicone. Additional nutrients found in the stigma and style of this herb are chromium, which many diabetics have a difficult time absorbing, and zinc, which is wonderful for the immune system and men’s health. There are also potassium salts. 

The benefits of corn silk are rather specific and lean towards being used more as a food than an herbal remedy. Either way, it is amazing in what it can do, and we shouldn’t poo poo it simply because it looks funny. 

With Thanksgiving coming up soon, corn silk can be easily harvested at home too. Be sure to buy only clean, organic corn from your local farmer. When you start shucking it simply pull the silk out and let it dry well. Store it later and make some sweet and tasty tea!

Uses of Corn Silk

This fine, silky part of the corn plant has many uses. These are a few of the most notable effects that corn silk has on the body. 

  • Alterative: Cleansing, stimulating efficient removal of waste products
  • Cholagogue: Stimulates the flow of bile from the gallbladder and bile ducts into the stomach
  • Diuretic: Increases the secretion and flow of urine
  • Demulcent: Softens and soothes damaged or inflamed surfaces

Over the years I have used Corn Silk for a variety of conditions, including: 

  • Hypertension
  • Certain types of gallstones
  • Uric acid build up 
  • Edema
  • Digestive problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Bladder problems
  • Prostatitis
  • Hyperglycemia (including Diabetes)

CAUTION: Corn silk is not recommended if you have any kind of bile-duct obstructions.

Corn silk is a wonderful herb, but don’t get crazy with it, or really any herb. Our diets play a huge role in our health and they always make a good starting point. Think nutrient density, fiber, water, and physical exercise.

Each of us has a different story so our current health depends on the person and the situation. If you have a lot of health issues, ask your ND, Herbalist or practitioner about using corn silk or other herbs you are unsure of. They will be able to guide you in this. You can book a consultation with me here, too. 

Products to Get the Benefits of Corn Silk 

IC Tea: This blend of herbs creates a tea that is specific to assisting people with interstitial cystitis. If this applies to you, get some here!

Blood Sugar Balancer Tea: This masterful blend of herbs helps the body balance blood sugars, while supporting the kidneys and immune system. Pick some up here.

Bladder Builder Tea: These soft and mildly sweet herbs have been used for centuries to support and maintain healthy bladder function. They can help anyone with “the drips” too. Get it here.


*For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. (Because why would we want to do that?)

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