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  • Mj Pettengill

The Health Benefits of Corn Silk

Updated: Feb 24


The steady song of the cicada emerges in August, signaling the winding down of the summer season. Family and friends gather together and celebrate the bounty of the earth. Fresh corn on the cob is a definite favorite here in New Hampshire and throughout the country.

Just in case you didn't know, there are amazing health benefits in corn silk. I recommend that you save it (the silk) when husking the corn. Remember, it's best if your corn is organic. With the harmful practices and chemicals present in commercial, factory, and even some local farming, I insist.

The Good News Dried corn silk creates a very pleasant and somewhat sweet tasting tea; you don't have to be feeling poorly to enjoy it. The use of corn silk as a remedy for bladder and urinary issues dates back to the Incas. It has been a common practice in both native traditions and folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory tea for the urinary tract. Up to two cups a day for several weeks helps to address cystitis, urethritis, and prostatitis. It is also an effective tonic for the prostate and urinary tract, and keeping harmony within the bladder functions. Many herbal teas have restrictions and possible interactions and should be discussed with your medical practitioner. It is important to know that corn silk is a safe herbal tea for people of all ages, including children and the elderly. Corn silk soothes and relaxes the lining of the bladder and urinary tract by relieving irritation and improving flow and elimination, therefore helping to reduce, prevent and/or alleviate infection.

This is an excellent remedy for people with incontinence and any discomfort associated with the urinary tract. If you are prone to urinary tract or bladder infections, corn silk is the herb for you. Corn silk tea has a rich, sweet flavor and can be enjoyed as a beverage tea without any health issues in mind.

Preparation and Storage Remove the silk from the husk and set aside. Separate the silk with your fingers so that it doesn't bunch together. Fill a tea-ball or reusable teabag* with the "fresh" corn silk, steep in just under boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Add honey or additional sweet blossoms to taste. *1 tablespoon of fresh ~ 1 tsp of dried* You can dry the corn silk and use for up to a year. Loosen and spread the silk out on a screen or on a flat basket. The drying time depends on the weather. Check it daily so that you can put it up and out of the warmth, light, and air. Once the silk is completely dry, store it in the refrigerator in a mason jar or paper bag.

Guess what? Corn silk is often used to address the issue of incontinence in dogs as well! Corn silk -- loose dry form or powdered -- is on the market for canines, but you can elect to administer your own brewed tea. Why buy it when you can make your own? Suggested Dosage: 1 tablespoon of corn silk herb per 2 cups of boiling water. 1 teaspoon of tea per 20 pounds of body weight twice a day. Consult with your veterinarian.

Although some people treat their cats with corn silk, unless you are a qualified traditional, homeopathic, or holistic veterinarian, it is a high risk to take. Felines are prone to more serious urinary conditions and infections that result in death, should they go untreated or not monitored. Don't take a chance on your cat. It is best to visit the veterinarian and go from there.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ During the harvest, in addition to anticipating the scrumptious corn on the cob, I look foward to the corn silk tea as well. Fortunately, I do not require this as a medicinal. However, I do enjoy it as a beverage tea.


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