As you enjoy your lovely fresh, organic corn on the cob be sure to save some cornsilk. Cornsilk is a gentle herb that has been used for centuries by Native Americans and it’s an herb I recommend regularly. I even slip it diluted into my cat’s water.
In Western herbal terms – Cornsilk is a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and a urinary demulcent.
Cornsilk’s overall energetics – When you look at cornsilk through the lense of Asian/Chinese food energetics you can see why it’s an herb that I commonly recommend. Slightly sweet, cooling and astringing, cornsilk enters the Bladder, Kidney, Gallbladder, urinary organs, arteries and regulates fluids. It’s a dynamic herb that can drain and dry damp patterns or it can nourish yin and cool dry and hot patterns.
Promotes urination and clears toxins- Cornsilk is beneficial for the bladder at any time. It strengthens and tonifies the bladder organ, helps clear blocked urinary pathways, decreases irritation and helps alleviate irritation and pressure. It helps to clear uric acid and toxic conditions. Use with scanty, difficult or frequent urination. Use with chronic bladder infections or pain.
(Note – I use uppercase when discussing organs from a Chinese medicine perspective and lower case when looking an organ from a western perspective.)
Drains fluid congestion – Cornsilk helps to regulate all fluid pathways. It drains where there is excess and helps moisten where it is needed. Use with edema, bloating, even allergies that cause sinus or face swelling.
Softens hard masses and stones – Bladder, kidney or gallbladder stones? Drink or eat cornsilk. It softens hard masses and dissolves stones. Cornsilk is also great for fibrocystic breasts!
Clears heat, tonifies and strengthens the Bladder – Whatever your bladder pathology, cornsilk is my first go to. It doesn’t matter if the pattern is one of hot, cold, excess or deficiency. Cornsilk improves bladder conditions. In the mental and emotional realm, chronic Bladder conditions appear in long standing embitterment and jealously. Cornsilk is excellent for bladder weakness that may come about with postpartum or age. It helps to physically tone the muscles of the bladder and helps with hold and control. It is gentle enough to use with babies with colic or with elderly that might have incontinence or dribbling.
Reduces Liver stagnation and Gallbladder damp heat – Angry, irritated and yellow eyes are greatly helped by cornsilk. Liver and Gallbladder congestion appear as patterns of heat, frustration, anger, difficulty digesting heavy and rich foods. Look for pain in the diaphragm and flank, jaundice, cholecystitis, allergies and phlegm congestion. There is often dripping, scanty, painful or urinary pressure.
Contraindications? If you are allergic to corn choose a different remedy like cranberries.
Please get your corn organic! Corn is one of our beautiful crops that has suffered heavily at man’s hands. Much of it is GMO and heavily sprayed with pesticides. However, organic corn is available and the higher the demand for it the more we drive the industry away from toxins and GMO processes.
At Pulse Holistic Health – my therapy office – I sell cornsilk in combination with another native herb – pipsissewa.
To prepare fresh cornsilk simply remove the silk from corn as you husk it. Remove the dried ends, gently rinse and steep the silk of about one ear of corn in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Enjoy with another tea flavor if you like. Dry cornsilk and use through out the year for health and prevention. Drink 3 -4 cups a day during acute flare ups.
Here’s to better health!