9 Health Benefits of Corn Silks
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 they’re a good 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
Note that many of these properties are still under scrutiny. 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
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 considered corn silks a good complement for the treatment of joint pain. They base this on the anti-inflammatory properties they found in their extracts during various tests.
However, most of the studies, such as one from 2017 published in the Korean Journal of Food Science and Technology, evaluated the properties against skin conditions but not in regard to joint pain.
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.
Also read Five Teas to Naturally Relieve Cystitis
3. Regulates high 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 can also contribute 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 study cited was conducted with animals, so we need more studies to confirm this supposed property, based on the maintenance of glutathione levels in the body.
6. Regulates 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 infusion 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 only on non-human animals.
Did you know? Four Types of Headaches and Their Treatments
8. Controls 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 the efforts of people who are trying to lose weight. Of course, this would imply adopting a well-balanced nutritious diet, in addition to regular physical activity.
How do you make tea with corn silks?
Corn silk tea is an excellent way to take advantage of all the properties of this wonderful natural ingredient. Below is a popular recipe:
- 3 tbsp. of corn silks
- 1 qt. of water
- 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 isn’t recommended for those with kidney disease, diabetes, or blood pressure problems (both high and low).
Ultimately, you should consult your doctor, especially if you have any of the conditions mentioned in this article. Certain foods or natural remedies can complement drug treatment, but never replace it.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- 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