Barbe de Maïs, Blé d'Inde, Cheveux de Maïs, Indian Corn, Maidis Stigma, Maïs Violet, Maize Silk, Purple Corn, Seda de Maíz, Soie de Maïs, Stigma Maydis, Yu Mi Xiu, Zea, Zea mays.
The long shiny fibers at the top of an ear of corn are called corn silk. Corn silk is used as a medicine.
Corn silk is used for bladder infections, inflammation of the urinary system, inflammation of the prostate, kidney stones, and bedwetting. It is also used to treat congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, and high cholesterol levels.
How does it work?
Corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains chemicals which might work like water pills (diuretics), and it might alter blood sugar levels, and help reduce inflammation.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Bladder infections.
- Inflammation of the prostate.
- Inflammation of the urinary system.
- Kidney stones.
- Congestive heart failure.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol levels.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Corn silk seems to be safe for most people.
Corn silk can decrease potassium levels in the blood and can cause skin rashes, itching, and allergies.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Corn silk is safe for pregnant women when used in the amounts normally found in food. But larger amounts are unsafe, because corn silk might stimulate the uterus and cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of taking corn silk if you are breast-feeding. It's best to stick to food amounts of corn silk if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Diabetes: There is some concern that large amount of corn silk might lower blood sugar. This could interfere with blood sugar control in people who have diabetes.
High blood pressure or low blood pressure: Large amounts of corn silk might interfere with control of these conditions.
Blood levels of potassium that are too low: Large amounts of corn silk might make these conditions worse.
Corn allergy: Applying lotions that contain corn silk might cause a rash, red skin, and itchiness if you are allergic to corn silk, corn pollen, or cornstarch.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Corn silk might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking corn silk along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Large amounts of corn silk seem to decrease blood pressure. Taking corn silk along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Medications for inflammation (Corticosteroids)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Some medications for inflammation can decrease potassium in the body. Corn silk might also decrease potassium in the body. Taking corn silk along with some medications for inflammation might decrease potassium in the body too much.
Some medications for inflammation include dexamethasone (Decadron), hydrocortisone (Cortef), methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone (Deltasone), and others.
Warfarin (Coumadin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Corn silk contains large amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot. Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. By helping the blood clot, corn silk might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin). Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) might need to be changed.
Water pills (Diuretic drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Corn silk seems to work like "water pills." Corn silk and "water pills" might cause the body to get rid of potassium along with water. Taking corn silk along with "water pills" might decrease potassium in the body too much.
Some "water pills" that can deplete potassium include chlorothiazide (Diuril), chlorthalidone (Thalitone), furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ, HydroDiuril, Microzide), and others.
The appropriate dose of corn silk depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for corn silk. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
Hasanudin K, Hashim P, Mustafa S. Corn silk (Stigma maydis) in healthcare: a phytochemical and pharmacological review. Molecules 2012;17:9697-715. View abstract.