Tuesday, August 23, 2011

corn silk


Sweet corn, Zea mays, is a seasonal pleasure for us and these days we buy it at the farmers' market. I don't want to spend my time (life) outsmarting, as if that's possible, wildlife for corn. Whenever I prepare it, the corn silk is set aside to dry for a nice diuretic tea. Or sometimes I snack on its sweetness while I make the rest of our dinner.

On a corn plant, the male tassel is the bloom and the female corn silk is the stigma and style. Potential kernels, each with their own strand of silk, are the ovaries and a developed kernel is an embryo. Corn silk is the part used most often medicinally; it makes a nice-tasting diuretic and also a soothing treatment for urinary problems.  Feeling sort of bloated, I made myself a cup of hot corn silk tea this morning and refrigerated a little bit of it to have later on -- it's one of those that's so mild, it's good hot or cold.

Was reading recently about corn in flower essence form and learned some practical applications for an esoteric remedy . . . a corn flower essence helps us to establish and maintain a connection with the earth, especially when living in crowded conditions like an urban area, high density housing, prisons, and refugee camps. It's good for animals, too, who've been confined and need to adjust to a more open space. Sounds perfect for newly-adopted pets.


Corn silk tea: Pour a cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon dried corn silk. Cover and steep 10-15 minutes. Strain or lift out strands and drink hot or cold.

Also posted at Food Renegade.

7 comments:

deanna7trees said...

didn't know that about corn silks. i was wondering if one could hand spin it into yarn...

woman with wings said...

Deanna, there is a fiber called corn silk but it's made from the plant's starch. I had no idea. All kinds of possibilities are emerging, it seems. This site explains...


http://www.ehow.com/about_6324377_corn-silk-yarn-made_.html

deanna7trees said...

lots of good info on that site. thanks.

Notjustnat said...

Thanks Peggy, I always learn something coming to visit you. If I may please tell you that you can dye with corn husk too. The corn husk gives the silky smooth finished on silk. I love the feel corn husk dyed give to the silk - Hugs Nat

Mo'a said...

I will never throw the corn silk away again. You are amazing.

woman with wings said...

Nat, I didn't know that and I'm so excited to give corn husks a whirl in the dye-pot!! Then all parts of an ear of corn will be used -- I know there's stuff to make with husks but I'm not that interested in dolls, braiding, etc. this year although I have been in the past. Thank you!

woman with wings said...

Mo'a, so glad you could find corn silk useful, too -- and thanks!