That is what this post is all about. To know more, keep reading!
How Corn Silk Is Procured For Usage
Once you take off the greenish cover surrounding the corn cob, you get another layer of stringy stuff. This is known as the corn silk. You can use it in both fresh and dried forms. You need to pull out the golden-green strands off the corn and store them in a pot. If you want to store them fresh, put them in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. It lasts for a couple of weeks this way. Based on the weather, you may need to completely dry the silk for a few days, after which it can be stored for a long time.
How To Make Corn Silk Tea
There is no way you can eat the corn silk directly – it is not much palatable. You should take organic and fresh corn and gather the corn silk to get the maximum benefits. If you do not have access to organic or fresh corn, resort to the corn silk powders and capsules available in the market.
Below listed are two methods to prepare corn silk tea.
This is the usual method. You will need ingredients like:
- Dry or fresh corn silk
- Lemon juice
- You will need to boil water for some time.
- When it starts boiling, drop the dried or fresh silk atop.
- Let it boil for a few minutes and steep for a few minutes.
- This will turn into a brown hued caramel-like liquid.
- Strain and serve the tea. You may have it both cold and warm.
- Some people prefer adding lemon juice to add to the taste and flavor of this tea.
- Leftover tea can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days.
This method is ideal for those who want to obtain the natural benefits of corn silk. The ingredients are:
- Dried corn silk, chopped
- This method does not need boiling.
- Pour some water in a glass jar with a lid.
- Add the dried silk corn in the water.
- Put on the lid and then keep the jar out in the sun for an entire day.
- At the end of the day, bring the jar inside and add some honey to it and stir well.
- Keep it in the refrigerator and serve chilled.
Corn silk has been used by various races since the ancient ages, and it is said to possess a number of healing properties. Native American tribes, in particular, have used corn silk over the centuries for medicinal and healing needs. While a few such benefits have been found to be effective by scientific studies, the same cannot be said about all the claimed benefits. However, its nutrients and antioxidant content indicate that there are certain great benefits one can obtain by using it. It contains key nutrients like potassium, calcium and vitamins B2, C and K, among others.
Below listed are the prominent health benefits offered by corn silk:
1. Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Corn silk works as an anti-inflammatory agent for urinary tract infections. It basically coats the urinary tract lining and thwarts further irritation. Corn silk tea consumption helps soothe the inflamed bladder and the urinary tract. It makes you urinate, and thus reduces the risk of bacteria build-up in the urinary tract. It is also used to soothe the irritated prostate gland.
2. Works As A Diuretic Agent
For ages, corn silk tea has been used as a natural potent diuretic agent. It helps flush out excess water and waste from the body, thereby reducing complications related to water retention. According to studies, usage of diuretics helps get rid of several health hazards including congestive heart failure and kidney diseases in the long run.
3. Keeps Kidney Stones At Bay
Kidney stones are made of small crystallized deposits that can cause pain and annoyance. Corn silk has been used since the ancient days to prevent the occurrence of kidney stones. Corn silk usage can increase urine flow and decrease the chances of sediment formation in kidneys, which otherwise can eventually lead to kidney stone formation. However, remember that its use will not treat kidney stones that are already present.
4. Facilitates Blood Clotting
It contains vitamin K that helps in the blood clotting process. This ensures you do not experience excessive blood loss in the event of an injury.
5. Lowers Blood Pressure
A lot of people suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure issues nowadays. They can consume corn silk tea to reduce high blood pressure. This will ensure they don’t have to cope with the adverse effects of OTC blood pressure medications.
6. Helps Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
Taking corn silk tea helps those with blood sugar issues, as per the findings of studies conducted in the recent times. A study that was published in 2012 in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules showed the impact corn silk extract had on diabetes. The study was carried out on laboratory rats afflicted with diabetes, and the study authors noted that the application of corn silk polysaccharides helped reduce blood sugar levels. High blood sugar leads to a lot of ailments like stroke, kidney problems, and diabetes. Another study that was published in 2009 in Nutrition and Metabolism journal showed that corn silk tea aids insulin generation in the human body.
7. Helps Heal Inflammatory Ailments And Conditions
Corn silk is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional medicine followers are of the view that it can be used to reduce the pain caused by inflammatory ailments like gout and arthritis. The diuretic action of cork silk may prevent excess uric acid formation in the body joints, which leads to gout pain. However, it should not be taken as a cure for arthritis related conditions.
8. Helps Fight Cholesterol
Cholesterol in the bloodstream leads to the onset of several critical ailments in the long run (including cardiac complications). Keeping cholesterol levels in the blood low is the key to staying healthy and avoid heart hazards, say the doctors. A study carried out by Jilin University scientists in China showed that corn silk consumption brings down cholesterol in rodents.
Corn silk contains vitamin C, which is ideal for boosting immunity. It also plays a pivotal role in regulating a myriad functions in the human body.
10. Helps Fight Obesity
Obesity is a major health menace affecting a large part of the human population nowadays. While obesity is caused by more than one factor including genetics, some people put on excess weight owing to excess water retention and toxin accumulation in the body. Since corn silk helps eliminate excess water and waste from the body, such people will find it helpful to evade weight gain. They can have this tea twice or thrice a day for maximum benefits. However, it would be wrong to assume that it is a cure for obesity.
You can also use corn silk topically. The tea made with it can be applied topically to deal with skin problems like boils and rashes. It also helps alleviate itching and pain caused by skin wounds.
Additional Health Benefits
While these are not yet accepted scientifically, consuming corn silk tea can offer you many more health benefits. A study published last year in the Life Sciences magazine showed that corn silk has an antioxidant named maysin that battles oxidative stress and prevents the onset of certain types of cancer. Besides, a Korean study published in 2014 stated that maysin has immunity booster properties.
Following are the additional health benefits of corn silk:
1. Helps Relieve Skin Pigmentation Issues
A number of studies have shown that the consumption of corn silk can help in coping with skin pigmentation issues. This can be helpful for people afflicted with vitiligo.
2. Balances Mineral Levels In The Body
Taking this tea helps balance the levels of vital minerals in the human body, which is essential for healthy living. It helps retain the ideal level of sodium in your body. Besides, corn silk can also remove extra potassium from the body. Sodium plays a pivotal role in the development of mental and cognitive abilities and the regulation of blood pressure.
3. Facilitates Recovery From Edema
Edema occurs when the heart either fails to function or becomes weak. Because of this, the heart will not be able to pump enough blood to various body parts. This leads to weakened kidneys and fluid storage in the knees and lungs. According to studies, using corn silk may aid recovery from pulmonary or peripheral edema.
Safety Issues You Need To Keep In Mind
In general, consuming corn silk tea is safe, and adults and children can take it without major concerns. However, you need to keep a few aspects in mind before starting its use.
- Consuming of corn silk can result in a reduction of potassium levels in the blood. This may lead to skin problems and allergies.
- In most cases, women who have conceived or are breast feeding can take corn silk tea in moderate amounts. However, it is not advisable to drink this tea in larger amounts as it can lead to uterus stimulation and even miscarriage. So, it makes sense to seek medical advice before starting the use of corn silk tea if you are pregnant.
- While this is not very common, a section of people is allergic to corn. It is possible that they will develop an allergy after drinking corn silk tea too. The reactions are, however, not very serious, and are only limited to the skin.
- You also need to be careful about the chances of corn silk interacting with specific medications. This is because the use of corn silk reduces blood sugar levels. The same happens when you use specific diabetes drugs. If you use both at the same time, your blood sugar levels may fall abysmally, which is not desirable. The same can be said about those coping with high blood pressure. People who have blood sugar in high amounts or are dealing with elevated blood pressure levels should take this tea after consulting a doctor.
- If you are using blood thinning medications, taking this tea will reduce their efficacy.