The plant most revered by the Maya, corn is an annual, cultivated plant growing to 6.5 feet tall. Its leaves droop, and its seeds, known as kernels, grow on a woody axis known as an "ear". The color and size of the seeds vary greatly by region. It was originally domesticated in ancient times by the people of Mesoamerica.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Midwest of the United States, as well as minor crop distribution elsewhere, predominantly on the East Coast; China; Mexico; Indonesia; India; France; Ukraine; South Africa; Brazil; Argentina; and minor distribution elsewhere
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic. Treats ailments of the urinary tract, such as bladder infections and kidney troubles. Also used for hangovers, prostate health, liver ailments, lymphatic infections, bruising, skin conditions, arthritis, gout, bedwetting, gonorrhea, diarrhea.
For bruises, swelling, boils, and itching, mash uncooked corn kernels, and apply directly to the affected area for 1 hour. For arthritis, gout, and water retention, drink the cooled water in which fresh corn ears were boiled. For bedwetting, consume a cup before bedtime.
For diarrhea, roast three cobs of corn. Remove the kernels, and grind into a paste. Stir into 1 cup room-temperature water, and drink in one sitting. For gonorrhea and burning during urination, boil a handful of corn, a pinch of gum arabic, and 2 tablespoons sugar with 3 cups water. Strain and sip throughout the day. For all other ailments, boil the silk from 3 ears of corn in 3 cups water for 5 minutes. Sip throughout the day.
CORN SILK TINCTURE Makes 2 cups
This gentle yet effective tincture treats all listed conditions, and is especially great for bladder and kidney infections, water retention, and bedwetting. You will need a 16-ounce jar with lid for this recipe.
V2 cup fresh, chopped corn silk 2 cups 100-proof vodka
¥ Pack a jar one-quarter full with fresh, chopped corn silk.
¥ Pour in 100-proof vodka to fill the jar.
¥ Tightly screw on the lid, and store in a cool, dark place for six weeks, shaking occasionally.
¥ Strain before use. The tincture should keep for up to 1 year.
Take 1 teaspoon three times per day.