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 it works
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.
Not ProvenBedwettingBladder infectionsInflammation of the prostateInflammation of the urinary systemKidney stonesCongestive heart failureDiabetesFatigueHigh blood pressureHigh cholesterol levelsOther conditions
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.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Corn silk is safe forpregnantwomen when used in the amounts normally found infood. But larger amounts are unsafe, because corn silk might stimulate theuterusand cause amiscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of taking corn silk if you arebreast-feeding. It's best to stick to food amounts of corn silk if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.Are there any interactions with medications?
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.
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.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.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.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)
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.