Corn Silk

Zea mays, Graminaceae. This plant is also known as Indian corn and maize.

The stigmas (fine soft threads form the female flowers of maize) are the part of the plant that are used. The threads can be 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) long.

The stigmas are collected just before pollination occurs, the timing of which depends upon the climate. It is best to use the stigmas fresh as some of its activity is lost with time.

Functions of corn silk

Corn silk is a soothing relaxing diuretic. It:

  • is a treatment for acute inflammation of the genitourinary system and can be used in conditions such as cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis. It is particularly useful for calming bladder irritation and infection in children. It clears toxins from the kidneys and has gentle antiseptic and healing qualities. It can be used for kidney stones.
  • reduces fluid retention in the body and may therefore be of use in high blood pressure and by removing waste from the body it may assist in gout and arthritis.
  • soothing properties are helpful for relieving and healing wounds and ulcers.


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonsful of the fresh or dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 - 15 minutes. This should be drunk three times per day.

Tincture: take 3 - 6 ml of the tincture three times per day.


Hoffmann, D. 2000, The New Holistic Herbal. Element Pub.

McIntyre, A. 1995, The Complete Women's Herbal. Henry Holt Reference Books.




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