The silks are the stigmas of the female flowers of the maize and are fibrous and silky in nature, hence the name. When harvested for herbal use the fibres are taken before pollination.
Practitioners use cornsilk because it stimulates bile production and can be used for increasing a sluggish appetite as a result but it is also a diuretic and is used to prevent the formation of kidney stones and for clearing bladder and urinary tract infections. The powder can also be used as a poultice for helping with skin sores and boils by drawing out the infection.
It contains saponins, polyphenols, flavanoids, mucilage, natural sugars, and potassium. The essential oil contained in the corn silk contains carvacrol and other terpenes.
It has a traditional history of use in treating childrens bed wetting issues and can lower blood sugar levels.