Maize - Best Herb for Kidney Problems


Zea mays Poaceae Also called Sweetcorn, Corn.

A robust annual, maize is native to the Andes and Central America. Its stalk can grow as high as 3m, with long, ribbon-like leaves curling downwards from it at regular intervals. The female flowers,Jound halfway up the stalks, produce the cobs, which are long, cylindrical ears if corn, surrounded by a mass if silky stamens then large bracts, and topped with a tuft of feathery styles. Delicate strands of tiny male flowers grow in loose clusters from the top if the stalk.

Parts used

  • Stamens and seeds of female flowers (corn cobs)
  • The corn cobs are picked during summer, before pollination, and the stamens, also known as 'cornsilk', are carefully removed.
  • These must be dried quickly, but can also be used fresh. Preparations made from cornsilk include infusions and extracts.
  • Corn oil is extracted from the seeds. It is used for cooking, and in medicines and cosmetics.


Maize stamens contain saponins, tannins, phytosterols, mucilage, potassium and an essential oil. The oil that is found in the seeds, or corn kernels, makes up to about 20 per cent of their content and is rich in healthy, unsaturated fatty acids.


Cosmetics containing maize oil have been known to induce contact dermatitis in people who have particularly sensitive skin.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume large amounts of maize (corn) oil.


For internal use

TO TREAT cystitis, inflammation of the urinary tract, water retention caused by kidney problems, kidney stones INFUSION Put 1 teaspoon (2g) of dried cornsilk into 1 cup of water. Bring rapidly to the boil, then infuse for 5 minutes. Drink 1 cup three times a day. CAPSULES (150mg dry extract) Take 2-4 capsules a day.


Medicinal uses

Maize stamens are mainly used for their anti-inflammatory and general healing powers, which have been confirmed by a number of scientific studies. It is because of these powers, coupled with cornsilk's ability to act as a diuretic, that its preparations are most often used to treat urinary tract problems such as cystitis, water retention caused by kidney problems and kidney stones. Sometimes the plant's ability to ease inflammation is employed in treating gout.

Cornsilk preparations are also reputed to stimulate the secretion of bile, which is why they are often prescribed for liver and gall-bladder disorders. It is also believed that cornsilk can help to lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Maize oil from the seeds, or kernels, is an ingredient in cosmetics used to soften and moisturise the skin, and to combat wrinkles.


Maize can be grown from seeds. Plant them in late spring in any rich, well-drained soil. The plant grows best in a sunny location.


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