Jude Okoro, Calabar The Federal Government has decried the incessant communal clashes between Ukelle community in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State and their Izzi neighbours in Ebonyi State. The government said crisis has not only affected the farming communities, but has far-reaching consequences on food security in the country. Read also: Anambra…
Today we shall be taking a look at something that Nature gives us as part of food but which we rarely eat. The food is corn, and the part we are considering is the silk.
Corn is one of our major staple foods. Some prefer it cooked, while others take it roasted. The cooked form is the most nutritious to the human body, but it depends on the method of cooking.
Some use the method of cooking the exposed corn, while others cook it with the husk still intact.
It has been established that those who eat corn cooked with the husk still intact are healthier than those who eat corn cooked when completely exposed.
What exactly makes one better than the other?
It is simply the presence of those other component parts, especially the silk while cooking. The fibres of the corn silk are laden with vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, which get infused into the corn during cooking.
The corn silk is not a food on its own, but is definitely a very useful medicine . Nature intends for us to find a way of eating the corn together with the silk as food so that it will also serve as medicine, and if we cannot eat them together, then we are to find ways of taking the silk alone as medicine.
How To Prepare Corn Silk Tea :
Collect a handful of fresh corn silk,or dried ones. Remove any particles in them, put in a pot and add two cups of water. Allow to boil for about five minutes, then put off the flame, and leave it for about five minutes. Sieve the water into a cup and sip slowly. You may add honey or lime juice for better taste, but DON’T add sugar or milk.
Uses of Corn Silk Tea :
Corn silk is used for bladder infections , inflammation of the urinary system, inflammation of the prostate , kidney stones , and bedwetting. It is also used as an adjunct to medications for treating congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue , and high cholesterol levels.
How does it work?
Corn silk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It also contains chemicals, which removes excess water from the body (diuretics), and it might alter blood sugar levels, and help reduce inflammation.
Health benefits of corn silk 1. Urinary Tract Infections
Corn silk works as an anti-inflammatory agent for urinary tract infections. It basically coats the urinary tract lining and thwarts further irritation. Corn silk tea consumption helps soothe the inflamed bladder and the urinary tract. It makes you urinate, and thus reduces the risk of bacteria build-up in the urinary tract. It is also used to soothe the irritated prostate gland.
2. Works As A Diuretic Agent
For ages, corn silk tea has been used as a natural potent diuretic agent. It helps flush out excess water and waste from the body, thereby reducing complications related to water retention. According to studies, usage of diuretics helps get rid of several health hazards including congestive heart failure and kidney diseases in the long run.
3. Keeps kidney stones at bay
Kidney stones are made of small crystallized deposits that can cause pain and annoyance. Corn silk has been used since the ancient days to prevent the occurrence of kidney stones. Corn silk usage can increase urine flow and decrease the chances of sediment formation in kidneys, which otherwise can eventually lead to kidney stone formation. However, remember that its use will not treat kidney stones that are already present.
4. Facilitates blood clotting. It contains vitamin K that helps in the blood clotting process. This ensures you do not experience excessive blood loss in the event of an injury.
5. Lowers blood pressure
A lot of people suffer from hypertension or high blood pressure issues nowadays. They can consume corn silk tea to reduce high blood pressure. This will ensure they don’t have to cope with the adverse effects of blood pressure medications.
6.Helps regulate blood sugar levels
Taking corn silk tea helps those with blood sugar issues, as per the findings of studies conducted in the recent times. A study published in 2012 in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules showed the impact corn silk extract had on diabetes. The study was carried out on laboratory rats afflicted with diabetes, and the study authors noted that the application of corn silk polysaccharides helped reduce blood sugar levels. High blood sugar leads to a lot of ailments like stroke, kidney problems, and diabetes. Another study that was published in 2009 in Nutrition and Metabolism journal showed that corn silk tea aids insulin generation in the human body.
7. Helps heal inflammatory ailments and conditions
Corn silk is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional medicine followers are of the view that it can be used to reduce the pain caused by inflammatory ailments like gout and arthritis. The diuretic action of corn silk may prevent excess uric acid formation in the body joints, which leads to gout pain. However, it should not be taken as a cure for arthritis related conditions.
PRECAUTIONS TO NOTE BEFORE USING CORN SILK :
#1.Don’t use it with anti hypertensive medications as the combined effect may cause too low blood pressure.
#2.Don’t use it with anti -diabetic medications as the combined effect may cause too low blood sugar.
#3.Not recommended for pregnant women after the first four months, as it can cause uterine contractions which can lead to premature labour.