Yu Mi Xu is a term you’ve certainly heard of before. Perhaps Corn hair would make more sense. They are all names of the same sun-yellow corn or maize! It’s the golden fibrous strands found on corn – that’s generally known as Corn Silk and botanically called Zea mays L.
Although maize was first domesticated in Mexico some 9,000 years ago, and it currently makes up a significant portion of the US’s ethanol production, the Chinese are the ones who have truly discovered the benefits of Corn Silk.
What is the actual purpose of corn silk, you ask? MEDICINAL! Corn silk has many proven health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, treating heat in the body—particularly in the liver—and easing hypertension.
You might be surprised to learn that corn silk also offers certain advantages for your beauty and physical well-being. Furthermore, a plethora of studies on corn silk has shown that it helps your body eliminate toxins, maintain a healthy level of minerals, keep your digestive system functioning properly, and ensure that your external appearance is well taken care of. And the Chinese were probably the first ones to make the most of it!
It’s also a well-liked afternoon tea in various regions of China. These days, it’s processed, added to food products, and included in some skincare and hair care products since it works effectively even through topical applications.
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Is corn silk safe?
For millennia, people have utilized corn silk as a treatment for diabetes, and urinary infections, and to eliminate toxins. However, consuming corn silk will deplete your potassium levels, so avoid doing so if you’re already low. And if you have diabetes, you should only take small amounts, ideally after speaking with a physician. And consuming corn silk isn’t ideal if you are on blood thinners.
It Is important to check for allergies or rashes in case you have an unfavorable reaction to corn silk, even though that is extremely unusual.
While one cup of Corn Silk Tea is ideal, consuming more than two cups is not recommended for anyone.
Benefits of Corn Silk for Skin and Hair
There are numerous advantages of Corn Silk for your physical health. When consumed, it eases hypertension, removes stones, lowers cholesterol, and has anti-inflammatory abilities. It also offers some powerful benefits for your skin and hair when applied topically.
1. Lowers UV B Damage
Corn silk might help if you’ve had sun damage to your skin or hair. Applied topically, it might lessen UV-B ray damage to your skin and hair. Its antioxidant abilities are well known as it is extremely effective.
2. Reduces Skin Pigmentation
Melanin production and pigmentation are regulated by Tyrosinase. Research indicates that corn silk reduces the Tyrosinase Activity. Specifically, it can aid in lowering pigmentation. Also, if there is an accumulation of excess melanin, your skin may become lighter. However, it hasn’t shown any prominent whitening properties.
3. Anti-Microbial Effects
Corn silk has shown some antimicrobial activity. Some people may find that it helps decrease bacterial infections on their scalps and acne. However, eating it will improve your digestive system and support the growth of beneficial gut flora.
How to use Corn Silk for Hair?
Your hair might look fuller and your scalp can get healthier with corn silk. Its mineral makeup can help strengthen your hair and make your scalp more resilient.
You have two options: eat it or make a tropical remedy with it. In case you want to use it topically, you can follow the instructions listed below to make corn silk rinse for your hair
1. As a Hair Rinse For Shine and Softness
- First, preheat a kettle of water.
- Bring to a boil after adding the Corn Silk.
- Allow it to sit for an hour for sufficient infusion – the longer the better.
- After that, strain the water.
- Massage the liquid onto your scalp.
- You can wash it off immediately or leave it on for fifteen minutes.
You can apply this straight to your scalp before shampooing or as a last rinse after shampooing. Use this consistently for three months to start seeing results.
2. As A Hair Mask For Silky Smooth Hair
- Completely dry the corn silk under the sun and make a powder out of it.
- Take a tbsp of corn silk powder and mix it with a tbsp of yogurt.
- Mix well and apply it to your hair.
- Let it sit for some time and rinse it with water.
This hair mask along with smoothing and softening the hair, helps with promoting hair health. You can customize the hair mask with ingredients of your choice. Adding soaked fenugreek to it would help with tackling dandruff immensely.
3. Use Corn Silk Oil For Hair Growth
- Take a cup of carrier oil like coconut oil in a pan.
- Infuse corn silk strands in it. You can add any preferred herb like Brahmi, Bhringraj, Amla, etc.
- Heat them on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t bring it to a boil.
- Let it cool down and then strain the corn silk.
- Use the corn silk oil as you would use your regular oil – before or after hair wash.
This oil helps in strengthening hair strands thereby making your hair stronger. Consistent usage may help with reducing hair fall and aiding hair growth.
How to use Corn Silk for Skin?
It goes without saying that if your body is getting the proper nutrients and is in good health with fewer imbalances, your skin will look radiant and healthy. Consuming corn silk facilitates that. It helps to balance disturbed hormone levels, eliminates excess potassium and toxins from the body, and thereby improves the appearance of your skin- by making it clear and more radiant.
It can be ingested or applied topically. The aforementioned rinse can also be utilized as your last facial rinse or as a skin toner. However, consuming corn silk is preferable for the best results. The corn silk tea recipe that follows is customizable; you can add or remove any ingredients you choose, except corn silk, of course.
1. Corn Silk Tea To Detoxify For Clear Skin
- Heat water and then add corn silk along with your preferred ingredients.
- Bring corn silk to a boil.
- Strain it.
- Add Jaggery or Honey to add extra sweetness
- Enjoy it while it is still warm.
Corn silk has a mellow sweet taste in itself so add sugar only after tasting it first. And avoid excess consumption. Since it will affect your potassium levels in the body and blood pressure. It’s best to have one cup each day. If your skin is pigmented or if internal problems are the root of your acne, this will help you detoxify your body and clear up your skin.
2. Face Mask For Pigmentation
- Take a tbsp of dried corn silk powder.
- Mix it with rose water if you have oily skin or mix it with yogurt if you have dry skin.
- Apply the mask all over the face, extending to the neck
- Leave it on for 20 minutes and wash it off.
This corn silk in this face mask helps in reducing pigmentation and marks while yogurt containing probiotics, brightens and leaves the skin moisturized.
3. Corn Silk Ice Cube As A Face Soother
- Boil corn silk in water for 15 minutes.
- Cool down the water completely and pour the water into an ice tray.
- Put them in the freezer.
- Use them when needed.
The corn silk-infused ice cubes will soothe irritated skin, especially after sun exposure. You can also use them to tighten the skin after washing the face and before using a moisturizer.
How to store corn silk?
You can always buy dried corn silk, but if you happen to have some corn on hand, here’s how to store it.
Take the corn silk and place it to dry in a dry, warm shaded area.
Be careful not to expose it to direct sunlight.
It’s ready to store when it’s crisp and just a little bit dark.
Moreover, you can use it right away to brew corn silk tea or preserve it for as long as you’d like—ideally, a year
We hope Corn Silk has advantages for you too. We’ll be back with more such traditional skin remedies.
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Choi SY, Lee Y, Kim SS, Ju HM, Baek JH, Park CS, Lee DH. Inhibitory effect of corn silk on skin pigmentation. Molecules. 2014 Mar 3;19(3):2808-18. doi: 10.3390/molecules19032808. PMID: 24595276; PMCID: PMC6270964.
Shuangqi Tian, Yue Sun, Zhicheng Chen, “Extraction of Flavonoids from Corn Silk and Biological Activities In Vitro“, Journal of Food Quality, vol. 2021, Article ID 7390425, 9 pages, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/7390425
Sejal Jain is a passionate beauty content creator at TheBeautyInsideout. She believes that skincare is not just a superficial thing but more like an expression of self-love and respect for your body and yourself.