Nine Health Benefits of Corn Silks

13 September, 2020
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, tea made from corn silks is very beneficial for relieving certain health problems. Learn more below!
 

Corn is an American vegetable that’s been a food staple for a long time. Most people consume corn because its a good complement to soups, cakes, chili, and other types of recipes. But what most of you don’t know is that the corn silks, which appear inside the husks, have concentrated properties that can be used for medicinal purposes. Is it true?

Although we tend to toss out the corn silks due to ignorance or stigma, the truth is that they can serve as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Today we want to share some of their main benefits and how to prepare corn silk tea to take advantage of its properties.

Main benefits of corn silks

It should be noted that many of these properties are still being studied. Therefore, what we’ll do is comment on the current scientific knowledge on each one.

Although researchers have partially proven some of these effects, for several of them more research is still needed to understand their specific mechanism of action and their true efficacy.

Researchers have tested some on animals, but not on humans. This shows how promising these properties are, but it also makes it clear that we can’t completely trust them or their efficacy.

1. Protects the urinary tract

Urinary tract.
 

The antiseptic and diuretic properties of corn silks make them a great ally against infections that affect the urinary tract. When you consume corn silks, it helps reduce inflammation, soothe irritation, and slow down bacterial growth.

However, the antiseptic effects haven’t been proven, while diuretics, which were confirmed by a study published in Molecules, wouldn’t be effective enough to generate results that really protect the urinary tract.

2. It fights joint pain

For years, researchers have thought that corn silks are a good complement for the treatment of joint pain. They based this on the anti-inflammatory properties that they found in their extracts in various investigations.

However, it’s appropriate to clarify in this regard: most of the studies, such as one from 2017 published in the Korean Journal of Food Science and Technology, have evaluated the properties against skin conditions, but not against joint pain itself.

The Molecules study cited above also speaks of this property in inflammatory diseases related to oxidative stress, such as joint pain. However, researchers haven’t fully confirmed these effects, so they need to do more studies on this topic more.

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3. Regulates high blood pressure

Doctor taking blood pressure.
 

The research published in Molecules mentioned above cites other studies confirming this property: corn silk helps maintain a balanced blood pressure level.

In this publication, they explain that its diuretic action —although limited— causes water and elements such as sodium and potassium to be expelled, which results in a drop in blood pressure. Beyond this, corn silk is contraindicated for people with blood pressure problems, either high or low.

4. It has antioxidant effects

The study published in Molecules details that corn silk flavonoids are antioxidant compounds that can help prevent oxidative stress damage in the body. They also have the property of contributing to the prevention of heart and neurological diseases.

5. Corn silks are good for the liver

Continuing with what was detailed in the same research, corn silk could have direct benefits for the health of your liver, thanks to the antioxidant effects discussed in the previous section.

However, it’s necessary to clarify that the research cited in the study was carried out in animals, so more studies are needed to confirm this supposed property, which was based on the maintenance of glutathione levels in the body.

6. Regulates blood sugar

Blood sugar.
 

According to popular belief, corn silk could help regulate blood sugar. However, again, there are no studies to confirm that this can be the case in humans.

Animal studies, such as one published in Nutrition & Metabolism, are promising: a significant decrease in the blood glucose levels of the study subjects is observed after the consumption of corn silk extract. This is due to the action of its compounds on the insulin receptors of the cells.

7. Relieves headaches

Thanks to its supposed anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, a corn silk drink could help reduce headaches.

This is one of the most studied topics on corn silk. Recent studies, such as one published by the Tropical Veterinarian, confirm these effects, but on animals.

Did you know? Incredible Natural Remedies to Relieve Headaches

8. Controls muscle tension

A woman with muscle tension.

Experts recommend corn silk tea for athletes as it would help delay the onset of fatigue when doing physical activity. However, this property cited in Molecules has not been proven in humans either.

9. Aids weight loss

Because it’s so low in calories and has diuretic properties, corn silk can support people who are trying to lose weight. Of course, this would imply combining it with a balanced, varied, and nutritious diet, in addition to regular physical activity.

 

How do you make tea with corn silks?

Corn silk tea.

Corn silk tea is an excellent way to take advantage of all the properties of this wonderful natural ingredient. Below is a popular recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp of corn silks
  • 1 qt of water

Preparation

  • Bring the liter of water to a boil. Then, lower the heat and add the corn silks.
  • Let this simmer for two minutes, remove from heat, and allow it to steep.
  • When it reaches a tolerable temperature, strain the liquid, and consume it.
  • Sweeten to taste, preferably with a sweetener, and drink.

Contraindications of corn silks

Pregnant or lactating women shouldn’t drink corn silk tea. Also, according to a WebMD publication, it is not recommended for those who suffer from kidney disease, diabetes, or blood pressure problems (both high and low).

Ultimately, you should take into account that, if you suffer from any of the pathologies mentioned in this article, you should consult your doctor. Consuming certain foods or natural remedies can complement drug treatment, but never replace it.

 
  • Guo J, Liu T, Han L, Liu Y. 2009. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Nutrition & Metabolism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19930631
  • Hasanudin, K., Hashim, P., & Mustafa, S. (2012). Corn silk (Stigma maydis) in healthcare: a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 17(8), 9697–9715. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules17089697
  • A.A. Adedapo, O.S. Babarinsa, A.A.O. Ogunshe, A.A. Oyagbemi, T.O. Omobowale, A.D. Adedapo. Evaluation of some biological activities of the extracts of corn silk and leaves. Tropical Veterinarian.
  • Kim, H.Y. & Lee, M.-J & Seo, W.D. & Choi, S.-W & Kim, S.L. & Jung, G.-H & Kang, H.J.. (2017). Anti-inflammatory and anti-atopic effects of corn silk (Zea mays L.) ethanol extracts. Korean Journal of Food Science and Technology. 49. 710-713. 10.9721/KJFST.2017.49.6.710.
  • CORN SILK. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-140/corn-silk