Corn, which is believed to be first grown by Aztecs and Mayans, can be prepared as a meal. But did you know that the thin thread-like strands that are pulled off from the husk of the corn can make a healthy tea?
In most cases, many people throw corn silk away because they do not know they can use it to make tea. Corn silk tea is not popular to many, and its benefits are also not well known to many.
However, this tea has been used by Native Americans since 5000 B.C as an herbal remedy for various diseases.
Modern research has shown that the Native Americans who used corn silk tea as an herbal remedy were right since this tea is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals.
Corn Silk Tea Health Benefits
Used by different races since ancient times for healing and medicinal needs, corn silk tea possess many health benefits. While a few of its benefits have been proven beyond doubt by scientific studies, research is still being done on many other benefits that corn silk tea may possess. Let’s look at the few scientifically-proven benefits of this healthy tea;
1. It Is a Diuretic
Even historically, corn silk was known to increase peeing rates among users. And although the mechanism of why and how it was able to induce this effect was not known, modern research done on rodents has shown that extract from corn silk inhibits chloride and sodium reabsorption, and also increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
The results of the study showed that extracts from corn silk has diuretic effects. Urine flow in the tested rodents showed a 135% increases compared to those that were not given the substance. (1)
Sodium and chloride are known to make the body hold more water, and thus by reducing their reabsorption, the rate of weight loss is accelerated.
Although this effect has not been clinically tested in humans, there is some truth in terming corn silk tea as a diuretic. By helping your body lose more water, corn silk tea can help reduce bloating of your belly as a result of water retention by the body.
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2. It Can Lower Blood Pressure
For people suffering from high blood pressure, corn silk tea may offer a natural way of regulating it. A clinical study conducted on 40 individuals showed positive results in terms of lowering blood pressure. 20 people with hypertension issues and 20 who had no issues with blood pressure. The patients were administered extract of corn silk in varying doses.
At the end of the trial period, individuals with high blood issues were found to have decreased their blood pressure. Also, it was seen that the higher corn silk doses, the higher the decline rate of blood pressure.
Therefore, we can conclude that although corn silk tea cannot be used as a substitute for your blood pressure medications, people with hypertension can drink this tea to keep their blood pressure in check. (2)
3. It May Be Useful In Treating Urinary Tract Infections
Native Americans were reportedly using corn silk tea to treat bladder infections, but it was not scientifically proven whether or not this tea was effective at treating the infections.
However, recently, a pharmaceutical college in Dubai tested different extracts of corn silk against various types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, and Salmonella typhi.
The study concluded that the extracts had antimicrobial properties that reduced the activities of microbial bacteria in the body. Since most of the urinary tract infections are caused by e-coli, which is one of the bacteria tested, we can say that this tea can help clear out urinary tract infections. (3)
In addition, since it is a diuretic, there is a reason to believe that it can help your infection clear out fast.
Another use of corn silk tea is in helping young children stop bedwetting. Many blogs and YouTube videos have recommended corn silk to parents whose kids are bedwetting at night. Although there are scientific studies on kids or adults, animal research showed that corn silk tea could increase urine production, and thus should not be taken at night. (4)
However, if taken earlier in the day, then we can theoretically say that it may lessen the amount of water in the body at the end of the day, and thus lower chances of bedwetting. However, it is not possible to say the time one should take this tea to prevent bedwetting.
4. Skin Lightening and Concealing Marks On the Skin
Powdered corn silk was used for makeup in the 1960s, but it did not last long because of the popularity of synthetic ingredients.
Today, many people are beginning to use corn silk powder on their face to brighten their skin and reduce redness, and there is scientific evidence to prove that this really works.
In a study done on 21 women for a period of 8 weeks in Korea whereby water-based corn silk extracts were applied on their faces. The concentration of the solution was 1.5%, and the changes seen after 8 weeks were noticeable. After 8 weeks, Korean scientists found out that corn silk had decreased production of melanin by 37.7%, and there were no signs of cell toxicity.
In conclusion, they said that corn silk might be used as a de-pigmenting solution for suppressing skin hyperpigmentation. In other words, corn silk was found to promote a healthy skin tone and even out pigmentation. (5)
Related Article: Jasmine Tea Benefits for Health and Skin
5. Might Aid Weight loss
Weight problems have become a health menace that affects many people these days. And although weight problems are caused by several factors including genetics, a lot of people experience weight gain due to excess water retention in the body, as well as toxic build-up in the digestive system.
Considering that corn silk tea is a diuretic and thus can help you get rid of excess water, and also toxins from the body, we can say that this tea can help you shed weight caused by excess water in the body.
There are scientific studies done on corn silk tea and how it can help with weight loss.
One such study done by a Chinese pharmaceutical university and published in 2017 involved testing corn silk polysaccharides on rats with insulin resistance. It was found that this treatment significantly reduced weight loss, blood glucose, and insulin levels, and also improved glucose intolerance
Therefore, by taking one or two cups of corn silk tea every day, you can benefit greatly in terms of weight loss. However, it should not be used solely as a solution to weight problems. (6)
In another Chinese study whereby rodents with type 2 diabetes were administered flavonoids from corn silk, it was revealed that the corn silk flavonoids significantly reduced weight loss, water consumptions, and reduced blood glucose concentration in the body. (7)
Although these studies we have quoted here were not geared towards finding the effects of corn silk on weight loss, the results showed that it is effective at weight loss. Of course, there is a need for studies to be done on human beings, but it is promising.
Related Article: The 5 Best Teas to Lose Weight Fast, #3 Is My Favorite
6. It Can Help Manage Kidney Problems
Corn silk tea is a great remedy for kidney problems. This tea is helpful in treating conditions associated with kidney such as inflammation of the urinary system, kidney stones, bladder infection, prostate problems, etc.
In a study done by the South Korean university showed that corn silk tea could help reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells. However, this was just a lab study conducted using cultured cells. (8)
As discussed earlier, corn silk tea consumption can help improve urine flow and reduce possibilities of formation of sediments in the kidney, which can ultimately result in the formation of kidney stones. However, it is important to mention that consumption of this tea will not treat kidney stones- it only helps prevent the occurrence or worsening of this problem.
Now that we have discussed the amazing health benefits of corn silk tea let’s talk about adverse reactions you can experience by drinking corn silk tea.
Possible Side Effects
- Low potassium levels
Even though corn silk has high potassium levels, it is a diuretic, and this may lead to potassium deficiency. This can result in dizziness, muscle cramping, headache, and diarrhea.
- Irregular heart rate
Potassium deficiency can result in irregular heart rates. However, if you are eating a balanced diet that adds more potassium to your body, this should not be a problem.
- Low blood sugar
People with low blood sugar should not drink corn silk tea as it can decrease the levels of their blood glucose, thereby complicating their problems further. Also, those who are on medication to regulate blood sugar should not take this tea without consulting their doctors.
If you are allergic to corn, you need to avoid corn silk tea.
When Should You Avoid This Tea?
- If you are a breastfeeding mother or pregnant, avoid this tea as there is no enough evidence to show that it is completely safe for you or your young baby.
- If you are under prescription medications such as those treating diuretic conditions and diabetes, you should avoid this herbal tea. Since it is a diuretic, it may interfere with the functioning of prescription drugs
- If you have a history of liver problems or kidney problems, you should talk to your doctor before drinking this tea. It is true that corn silk tea can help prevent the occurrence of kidney problems, but you may need to talk to your doctor if you already have these problems to avoid neutralizing the effects of the medication you are using
Away from side effects, let’s talk about preparing corn silk tea
How to Prepare Corn Silk Tea
It is easy to make a delicious cup of this healing tea in your kitchen. All you need is fresh or dried corn silk, water, boiling pot, teapot, and flavors.
Note: Dried corn silk can still be used to make this tea, but fresh corn silk is more effective.
Now let’s make our herbal tea;
- Boil water to 100 degrees Celsius
- In a teapot, place about ¼ cup of corn silk and pour one cup of boiling water. If you have already dried and made a powder or corn silk, add two teaspoons to your teapot
- Allow the corn silk to steep for about 10 minutes and ensure your teapot is sealed with a lid
- After that, strain your tea into a mug and drink 3 cups a day. You can add your preferred flavor such as lime or lemon, to make your tea more flavorful. If you want to sweeten it, you can add honey
- You can also add fresh ginger root to your tea as it steeps to enhance the flavor of your drink. This not only makes it more delicious but also boosts its health benefits
- Avoid adding milk to this tea as it hinders the health benefits of tannins in it
- For people who prefer taking a cold beverage, you can wait for your corn silk tea to cool down and serve it over ice in hot afternoons
Make the most of this tea by adding more healthy flavors such as lemon, ginger, and honey to it.
There is ongoing research being done on corn silk tea and how it can be beneficial for your health. If you are looking for a natural, gentle remedy that can help to better your health, this is a fantastic beverage to add to your daily diet. It has a great taste and is filled up with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin.
It also has polyphenols that help it prevent many diseases. This explains why corn silk tea is becoming a popular beverage among many. If you want to improve your overall health, we can recommend this tea.
Besides, it is an efficient natural remedy for conditions such as high blood pressure, skin problems, urinary tract infections, and many others.
Therefore, add one or two cups of corn silk tea in your everyday diet to enjoy the wonderful effects of this tea on your body. It is an all-natural remedy you need to consider.