The long, silky threads that grow on corn cobs are corn silks. Though it is frequently discarded during the preparation of corn for eating, it may have a number of medicinal properties.
For centuries, corn silk has been popular as a herbal remedy in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine. Many countries, including the United States, Turkey, France, and China, use it today .
This article discusses corn silk in detail, including its uses, benefits, and dosage.
What is Corn Silk?
It is the term used to describe the long, thread-like strands of plant material that grow beneath the husk that you can harvest in corn’s ear, corn silk.
In addition to assisting in the pollination and growth of corn, these gleaming, fine fibers are traditionally popular in herbal medicine.
It contains several plant compounds that can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans.
According to traditional Chinese and Native American medicine, it can treat various ailments, including malaria, prostate problems, heart disease, and urinary tract infections (UTIs) .
Research suggests that It may also be helpful lower cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels, inflammation, and the other benefits it provides .
You can consume it fresh, and it is more commonly dried and used as a tea or extract before being consumed. As an additional option, it is available as a pill.
Potential Benefits of Corn Silk
Although it is frequently popular in herbal medicine, there are only a few studies on this.
In the case of certain inflammatory conditions like heart disease and diabetes, Preliminary research suggests that it may be beneficial to health.
May Help Lower Cholesterol
Additionally, corn silk may help lower cholesterol .
Mice given corn silk extract had lower total and bad cholesterol (LDL) and higher good cholesterol (HDL), according to one animal study .
Another study found that mice fed a high-fat diet had significantly lower total cholesterol levels than mice who did not receive the supplement .
Nonetheless, human research is a need.
It May Help Lower Blood Pressure
It is an effective treatment for hypertension.
Corn silk extract also lowered rats’ blood pressure by reducing the activity of angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE) .
Researchers supplemented corn silk on 40 hypertensive patients over eight weeks at a dose of 260 mg per kg of body weight .
When compared to a control group, the highest dose recipients’ blood pressure dropped the most .
Nonetheless, additional human research is a need.
May Manage Blood Sugar
According to some studies, it may help lower blood sugar and manage diabetes symptoms.
Researchers gave corn silk flavonoids to a diabetic mouse in one study, and their blood sugar levels were lower than those of the controls .
According to a recent study, antioxidants in this corn product may help prevent diabetic kidney disease .
Despite the fact that these results are encouraging, more human studies is a need.
Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Inflammation is a normal immune response. We can link excessive inflammation to diseases like heart disease and diabetes .
Corn silk extract may reduce inflammation in test tubes and animals by inhibiting the activity of two major inflammatory compounds .
Having said that, human research is necessary.
Inflammation resulting from free radicals and oxidative stress is reduced by antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for good health. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and inflammation resulting from oxidative stress. Which is a significant contributor to the development of these chronic diseases and others [1,13].
It contains a high concentration of flavonoid antioxidants.
Numerous in vitro and animal studies demonstrate that its flavonoids protect against free radical damage and reduce oxidative stress .
These compounds may be responsible for a large number of its benefits of it.
Corn Silk Dosage
Due to the scarcity of human research on corn silk, numerous factors, including your age, health status, and medical history, may influence your body’s reaction to this supplement.
Based on available evidence, daily doses of up to 10 grams per kg (4.5 grams per pound) are probably safe for many people .
Corn silk supplements generally recommend 400–450 mg twice a day, which you’ll find on most labels.
Doctors recommend beginning with a low dose to ensure a favorable response from your body and then gradually increasing it if necessary.
Consult your healthcare provider if you are unsure of the proper dosage.
Corn Silk Side Effects and Precautions
Corn silk may not be suitable for everyone, despite the fact that side effects have been rare.
In the event that you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to corn or any of its byproducts, you should avoid using corn silk.
Additionally, if you are taking any of the medications listed below, you should avoid using corn silk as well:
- Blood thinners
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Diabetes medicine
- Blood pressure drugs
If you take potassium supplements or undergo treatment for hypokalemia, you should avoid this product because corn silk may increase potassium excretion .
Additionally, it is critical to consider the supplement’s quality.
Herbal supplements are not regulated in certain countries, including the United States. As a result, it is recommended that you select a brand that has been tested by a third party, such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP), ConsumerLab, or the NSF International.
Always check the ingredient list on the label, as additional herbs are occasionally added.
Consult your doctor if you’re unsure if corn silk is right for you.
Bottomline: Health Benefits and Side Effects of Corn Silk
It has been famous in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine for hundreds of years. Corn silk is a natural corn fiber that comes from the cob.
Although research on this supplement is not a lot, some studies indicate that it may help reduce blood pressure, blood sugar, and inflammation.
While corn silk is probably safe for the majority of people, you should consult your physician before taking it.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.