The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Corn Silk

Scientific Names

Corn

  • Stigmata maydis L.
  • Indian Corn
  • Zea mays
  • Gramineae
  • Grass family

Common Names

  • Corn
  • Indian corn
  • Jugnog
  • Maize
  • Maize jagnog
  • Sea mays
  • Turkey corn
  • Turkish corn
  • Yu-shu-shu

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Parts Usually Used

Stylus, fresh or dried flower pistils
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Too well known to describe. No American vegetable has gained more importance in the diets of the world’s population than corn. A tea made from corn silk, consisting of the stigmas of the flowers, has been valued as a diuretic.
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Where Found

Cultivated throughout America.
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Medicinal Properties

Diuretic, lithotriptic, cholagogue, anodyne, demulcent, alterative, stimulant
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Biochemical Information

Alkaloids, ascorbic acid, cryptoxanthin, fluorine, malic acid, oxalic acid, palmitic acid, pantothenic acid, resin, saponins, silicon, sitotsterol, stigmasterol, tartaric acid, and vitamin K.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

The common Indian corn is generally believed to have originated in the New World that would become the United States, where it was cultivated before Christopher Columbus discovered America. Columbus took it to Spain and many thought it was brought from Asia and it was frequently known as Turkey corn, or Turkey wheat. The active principle is maizenic acid.

Native Americans used corn silk as a filler with tobacco or with August flowers, or crushed Cubeb berries.

Before Columbus indian corn was unknown in the Old World. Grown on a wide scale by the Indians of the Americas, corn, as the sustainer of life, provided a major symbol in the rituals and mythologies of many tribes. One of the best known myths of the origin of corn is the one recounted in Longfellow’s poem Hiawatha. Longfellow’s source was a contemporary account written by a United States government agent, Henry Schoolcraft, who had married an Indian girl of the Ojibwa tribe from the Great Lakes region. According to Schoolcraft’s version of the myth; the Ojibwas myth has as its protagonist an Indian youth named Wunzh, who had reached the proper age to undertake a ceremony of ritual fasting. According to the custom of his tribe, he fasted for 7 days alone in a little hut in the forest to receive communication from his guardian spirit. During his fast a handsome young god wearing green and yellow garments and a plumed, feathered headdress came to him out of the sky. The god told Wunzh that he had information for him that would be of great benefit to his tribe, but that Wunzh must wrestle with him first. After 3 wrestling matches on 3 separate days, the god declared himself seduced and gave Wunzh instructions. He told him that they would wrestle again on the following day and that the match would result in the god’s death. He directed Wunzh to bury him and to water and cultivate the burial spot at certain intervals so that a corn plant would grow up there. The god told Wunzh how to harvest and cook the corn and described the process of growing it again from the kernels. Naturally, all these things came to pass, and the tribe had a great feast of celebration at their first corn harvest.

The corn harvest also provided a central focus for the religious ceremonies of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas, whose high levels of civilization were made possible by their well-developed systems of agriculture, with corn as the major crop. The Aztecs held a yearly pre-harvest corn festival in which a beautiful young girl representing the corn goddess was sacrificed in an elaborate ritual lasting several days.
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Uses

Aids the kidneys, bladder, and small intestines. Take for hypertension, edema, urinary tract dysfunction and stones, gonorrhea, gout, rheumatism, bed-wetting, jaundice, and painful urination caused by the prostate gland. Acts as a diuretic. Also indicated in dropsy and heart trouble.

Seed oil (corn oil) recommended as a health food for arteriosclerosis and high cholesterol.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 2 oz. of the herb in 1 pint of boiling water and drink several wineglassfuls a day.
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Nutrient Content

Fats, potassium, magnesium, niacin, protein and vitamins A, B6 and K

Corn nutrients

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How Sold

Capsules
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Bibliography

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! Chinese Medicinal Herbs, compiled by Shih-Chen Li, Georgetown Press, San Francisco, California, 1973.

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, Inc, 232 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, First American Edition, copyright 1993

Buy It! Indian Uses of Native Plants, by Edith Van Allen Murphey, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1958, print 1990

Buy It! Secrets of the Chinese Herbalists, by Richard Lucas, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., West Nyack, NY, 1987.

Buy It! Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, by Steven Foster and James A. Duke., Houghton Mifflin Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10000

Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Prairie Smoke, by Melvin R. Gilmore, Minnesota Historical Society Press, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, copyright 1987.

Buy It! Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements, by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C., Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, NY

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts, by Frances Densmore, Dover Publications, Inc., 180 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014, first printed by the United States Government Printing Office, Washington, in 1928, this Dover edition 1974

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! A Useful Guide to Herbal Health Care, HCBL (Health Center for Better Living).,1414 Rosemary Lane, Naples, FL 34103., Special Sale Catalog, 1996

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