Corn

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  • Botanical: Zea mays
  • Family: Poaceae
  • Hits: 3631
Corn

Botanical

Zea mays

Family

Poaceae

Known as

Maize, Mais,

Old Use

culinary

Collection Times

June to October

Parts Used

leaves, roots, seed

Aroma

earthy, oriental

Medicinal

anemia, anxiety, anorexia, amenorrhea, arthritis, bleeding, bile weakness, cancer, cholesterol lowering, circulation, cystitis, diabetes, gout, high blood preasure, menstrual cramps, menstrual problems, urinary infections, vaginitis, warts, wounds, gynecological issues

Heart & Circulation

arteriosclerosis, bleeding, dropsy (edema), hemostatic, high blood pressure

Hormone & Sexual Organs

menstruation promotion, uterine bleeding, vaginitis

Muscle & Joints

arthritis, rheumatism

Mind & Nerves

anxiety, cravings, irritability, obesity

Stomach & Intestinal

cancer, constipation, diabetes, kidney stones

Skin & Hair

burns, warts

Properties

cholagogue, diuretic, hypotensive, stimulant

Description

A monoecious plant. Male flowers in terminal racemes; spikelets, two-flowered glumes nearly equal, herbaceous, terminating in two sharp points; females, axillary in the sheaths of the leaves.

The spikes or ears proceed from the stalls at various distances from the ground, and are closely enveloped in several thin leaves, forming a sheath called the husk; the ears consist of a cylindrical substance, a pith called the cob; on this the seeds are ranged in eight rows, each row having thirty or more seeds.

From the eyes or germs of the seeds proceed individual filaments of a silky appearance and bright green colour; these hang from the point of the husk and are called 'the silk.' The use of these filaments or stigmata is to receive the farina which drops from the flowers, and without which the flowers would produce no seed. As soon as this has been effected, the tops and 'the silk' dry up.

The maize grains are of varying colour - usually yellow, but often ranging to black.

Properties & Uses

A decoction of the leaves and roots is used in the treatment of strangury, dysuria and gravel. The corn silks are cholagogue, demulcent, diuretic, lithontripic, mildly stimulant and vasodilator. They also act to reduce blood sugar levels and so are used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus as well as cystitis, gonorrhoea, gout etc. The silks are harvested before pollination occurs and are best used when fresh because they tend to lose their diuretic effect when stored and also become purgative. A decoction of the cob is used in the treatment of nose bleeds and menorrhagia. The seed is diuretic and a mild stimulant. It is a good emollient poultice for ulcers, swellings and rheumatic pains[4], and is widely used in the treatment of cancer, tumours and warts. It contains the cell-proliferant and wound-healing substance allantoin, which is widely used in herbal medicine (especially from the herb comfrey, Symphytum officinale) to speed the healing process. The plant is said to have anticancer properties and is experimentally hypoglycaemic and hypotensive. 

Other Uses
A glue is made from the starch in the seed. This starch is also used in cosmetics and the manufacture of glucose. A semi-drying oil is obtained from the seed. It has many industrial uses, in the manufacture of linoleum, paints, varnishes, soaps etc. The corn spathes are used in the production of paper, straw hats and small articles such as little baskets. A fibre obtained from the stems and seed husks is used for making paper. They are harvested in late summer after the seed has been harvested, they are cut into usable pieces and soaked in clear water for 24 hours. They are then cooked for 2 hours in soda ash and then beaten in a ball mill for 1½ hours in a ball mill. The fibres make a light greenish cream paper. Be careful not to overcook the fibre otherwise it will produce a sticky pulp that is very hard to form into paper. The dried cobs are used as a fuel. The pith of the stems is used as a packing material[

Cautions

None known

Distribution

Original habitat is obscure, probably South America or Mexico.

Constituents

Starch, sugar, fat, salts, water, yellow oil, maizenic acid, azotized matter, gluten, dextrine, glucose, cellulose, silica, phosphates of lime and magnesia, soluble salts of potassa and soda.