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|DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.|
There are five basic types of corn with many varieties representative of each: DENT Corn (white to yellow), FLINT Corn (all colors; shrinks on drying), POPCORN (hard grain), SWEET or VEGETABLE Corn (high sugar content), WAXY Corn (starchy with a waxy appearance). Flint and Dent corn are used for Oil, Cereal, Flour, and Animal feed. Waxy Corn is used mainly in the Far East for its tapioca-like starch.
Corn was one of the Americas important gifts to the rest of the world. Native to Central, South, and North America, it grows 6 to 8 feet (depending on moisture available) with bright, shiny, green LEAVES and a thick, fibrous STALK. The EARS are covered by husks with a layer of CORNSILK between them.Has an important place in Aztec herbals. Aztec and Mayan cultures revolved around Corn, even to the extent of human sacrifice to satisfy the Corn god and insure a satisfactory harvest. Corn arrived late in China, but was included in Chinese herbal literature after 1600. Cornsilk appeared in the USP from 1894-1906 and in the NF from 1916-1946. §
CONTAINS: FLOWERS CONTAIN: Allantoin, alkaloids.
|PROPAGATION:||By SEED in spring. Annual. Garden and farm crop.|
|NEEDS||70 to 80 day growing period. Full sun. Rich fertile soil (some varieties are adapted for a dry climate). Does best with a soil addition of well-rotted compost as it is a heavy feeder. Since it is wind-pollinated, it is best grown in a block. Susceptible to damage by birds, raccoons, and other animals. Gardeners using Biodynamic methods encourage the growth of Purslane, Pigweed, and Lambs Quarters around the corn to provide a ground cover to hold moisture and bring up nourishment from the subsoil and make it available for the corn. Native Americans traditionally planted in hills with Pumpkin and Beans, the Pumpkins providing the ground cover with its large bristly leaves that helped to discourage predators like raccoons.|
|HARVEST||Creamy tassels (silks) before they turn brown (for medicinal use); lay on non-metallic screens or muslin to dry in a warm airy place out of direct light (1 to 2 weeks); used fresh or dried (must be COMPLETELY DRY before storing). The ears when ripe are a familiar food for both man and animals.|
|PART USED||Cornsilk (fresh or dried; replace each year), Kernals, Oil, Cornstarch|
|FORM||Infusion, Decoction, Tincture, Fluid Extract, Cornstarch, Oil, Poultice, Ointment|
|SOLVENT||Water, diluted Alcohol|
Z.m. 'Black Aztec': Kernals are blue-black at maturity. Eaten fresh when young, or ground for blue cornmeal when mature.|
Z.m. 'Strawberry Corn': Ornamental with Mahogany colored kernals. The whole head is dried for decoration.