I hate to think about all the corn silk that I wasted over the years not knowing it held so many wonderful medicinal benefits. Oh well, know better do better. Hopefully after reading about the benefits of Corn silk you will be convinced to try it in your tea too!
Benefits of Corn Silk
Corn silk (Zea mays) has historically been used as a diuretic and cooling remedy in Mexico. In folk medicine it is known as a remedy to give children for bed wetting. Many herbalists also suggest adding watermelon seeds to the Corn silk for this.
Corn silk has a special affinity for the urinary tract and is very useful when someone is experiencing a UTI. There are many other conditions that could potentially benefit from drinking Corn silk tea such as prostatitis, postpartum bladder weakness, interstitial cystitis, kidney stones, loss of bladder control due to age, gout, hyperglycemia and also hypertension. Corn silk is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, amino acids, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
An excellent review on the scientific research of Corn silk can be found here.
How To Make Corn Silk Tea
You can use fresh or dried Corn silk for tea. One ear of corn should give you enough silks for 2-3 cups of tea. Dry any extra you have for future use. I leave the silks unchopped because it is easier to remove from the water after steeping. Gather what appears to be a Tblsp worth and place in a mug. Pour hot water over it and let steep for 10-15 minutes. Sweeten with honey and drink 3 times daily for acute issues. I like a bit of Hibiscus and a squeeze of an orange slice in mine because it’s flavor is so mild.
Other Ways To Use Corn Silk
If you aren’t much of a tea drinker or thinking that it might be hard to get your child to drink the tea then consider making a tincture from cornsilk. Simply fill a jar 2/3 of the way full with fresh corn silk and top with vodka. Cover and let sit for 4 weeks shaking frequently. If you happen to be reading this post and the growing season for corn is over then you can grab a premade tincture here or dried Corn silk in bulk here.
One way I sneak herbal teas into my kids diets is by using them in smoothies. You could add frozen strawberries, bananas and honey to the Corn silk tea and make a healthy smoothie! Read more on the smoothies we make here.
There is some exciting research showing Corn silk can be used topically to reduce discoloration. According to the study the application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. If you would like to test these results out at home I would suggest either infusing dried Corn silk into witch hazel to use as a toner or make a Corn silk infused oil. In both recipes I would fill a jar halfway full with dried Corn silk and top with either witch hazel or jojoba oil. Place a cap on the jar and let sit for 4 weeks shaking frequently.