Cleaning with Silk

Inside the case that holds my eyeglasses is a small cloth designed specifically for buffing the lenses clean. I am notorious for wearing specs full of thumbprints and other smudges and frankly, once I’ve been wearing them, I don’t even notice it.

IMG_1111Sometimes it’s a bit the same for my digestive system. I’ve been running hard for a couple of weeks with lots of travel, meals out and a few glasses of wine. Without realizing it, my entire system is smudged or at least sluggish and could do with a good cleansing. There’s so much written about cleansing and the value of it to “reset” one’s system. If it were as easy as it is for my glasses, I’d simply pull out the cloth and work them over. One source on the internet says that silk is the best cloth to use.

I don’t know if that’s true as I’m fairly certain that the cloth I’ve been using is a synthetic variety. However, in order to get my body back into alignment, I think silk might be one source. For an easy summer refreshment that has detoxification benefits, consider making corn silk tea. Corn silk is almost always removed and discarded when making corn on the cob. Hence, this idea not only provides a benefit but also reduces food waste.

The corn silk is rumored to have numerous benefits. For me, the most promising is that of diuretic when searing summer temps create kankles. There appears to be volumes of legend on the perks of ingesting corn silk. In order to separate fact and fiction, I looked to the medical warnings regarding interactions.

  1. It is a diuretic and may interact with other medications taken for conditions requiring diuretics.
  2. Corn silk may decrease blood sugar and hence, those taking diabetes medications that also reduce blood sugar should be cautious.
  3. Substantial amounts of corn silk appear to reduce high blood pressure. Therefore, if you are taking blood pressure medication already, you may want to consider the effects of this tea.
  4. Corn silk is rich in vitamin K. Therefore, if you are taking medication that influences clotting, it would be best to understand the interactions.

Fortunately, I am not taking any medication that has a known interaction with Corn Silk and therefore, experiencing the diuretic benefits together with decreased blood sugar, blood pressure and more vitamin K, is something I’m up for. In reality, I could probably just eat the silk to receive the same benefits.

Corn Silk Tea
Happily giving credit where it is due but I’ve had this for so long that I honestly don’t know where it came from.

Serves 3

Ingredients:
  • Silk from 1 or 2 ears of corn (brown parts removed)
  • 3 cups of water

Bring the water to boil. Add the silks and allow to continue boiling for 5 more minutes. Drain and serve immediately if you prefer hot tea. Otherwise, let it cool and pour over ice it for a great cold drink.

How do you use other by-products of your produce?

Previous Post
Leave a comment

62 Comments

  1. I have eaten the odd bit of corn silk that is stuck to the corn cob but I didn’t know you could actually save all your corn silk, cook it and eat it and that it has so many nutritional benefits. I’ll have to try eating a bowl of this! xx

    Reply
    • I think you can probably just eat it straight off the ear and get the same benefit.

      Reply
  2. Good one – I’m all about nose to tail veggies :). Sounds like useful stuff – I had no idea.

    I’ve never heard the word kankle, but I like it… I’ll probably be using it several times today, all incorrectly, lol

    Reply
  3. I had no idea! thanks for this valuable tip. seems like the water in which the (poorly de-silked) corn boils would have similar value.

    Reply
  4. That’s fascinating, Tammy! I’ve never heard of that use for corn silk. I will give it a try. When I was a child, my friends and I made dolls from the husks and used the silk for the hair :)

    Reply
  5. Oh, this sounds lovely! I’ll definitely try it. Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Lisa H

     /  June 18, 2013

    Never heard of corn silk tea! I am definitely going to give it a try (farmer’s market tomorrow with fresh corn!!) I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure, so I look forward to testing out the tea.

    Reply
    • Tell me what you think.

      Reply
      • Lisa H

         /  June 30, 2013

        I definitely preferred it chilled over ice. It was refreshing, but not something I’d drink all the time. It was a great try, though, and something I would certainly prepare again.

        Reply
  7. Renee

     /  June 18, 2013

    I learned something new today! Thanks, Tammy!

    Reply
  8. I like to grill corn on the cob. I open the husks and remove most of the silk, then pull the husks back over the ear and grill it all together. I like the heightened corn flavor I get from the husks. I think that’s why tamales are wrapped in husks. I’ll have to try the silk tea.

    Reply
  9. Never heard of corn silk tea. Or its many health benefits.

    Does it taste good?

    Reply
    • It tastes like corn silk. I don’t mind that taste. Do I think it’s delicious? No.

      Reply
  10. but how does it taste?

    Reply
    • It tastes like corn silk. I don’t mind that taste. Do I think it’s delicious? No.

      Reply
  11. I’ll add my voice the chorus of surprised readers. This actually sounds quite nice – and like it would taste of summer. Corn is back on my menu next week (thank goodness) – I’ll definitely be trying this out!

    Reply
  12. Never thought to put this in tea!

    Reply
  13. Oh my God! Tammy! And all these years I was giving it to my rabbit.
    Im definitely making these. I think somewhere Im very much like you. I wear thumbprint smeared glasses too and don’t think there’s anything wrong! :) And lately I have been falling ill quite frequently- blame outside food and wine. I definitely need system cleaning.

    Reply
    • I love to start the day with lemon juice and cayenne. I sweeten it with a little stevia. It helps.

      Reply
  14. Are you aware pf the fact that a lo of corn is now the genetically modified variety. No one yet knows the long term risks.

    Reply
    • I’m very aware. I should have mentioned that this corn is non-GMO and that’s the type that I feed my family. But you’re absolutely correct, almost all corn is GMO at this point.

      Reply
      • well done to you. We seem to have no say, almost all ours is GM and it is a staple for the poor. So worrying where this will lead to in terms of health care over the next generation

        Reply
  15. You always bless me and teach me, Tammy! Thank you for showing yet another idea on using for my good what I just throw away!

    Reply
    • If it doesn’t interact with any of the things that I’ve mentioned, then I think it’s a good use of a corn by-product.

      Reply
  16. This is fantastic! We used to always buy corn cobs with the silk and husk intact when we were kids, but I seldom see them like this now :)

    Reply
  17. Interesting! I was more excited before I heard the description of the taste, but still cool! Don’t have them anymore, but when we had chickens all food scraps like this would go to the little omnivores.

    Reply
  18. Wow! Had no idea you could boil the corn silk for use as a cleansing tool! I compost or cook veggie parts for a veggie broth. This is definitely on my list “to try.” Love your posts, always informative!

    Reply
  19. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the world *kankles* in print – thanks for making me smile!

    Reply
  20. Tammy,
    My son can live with his smudged glasses much easier than I can live with his smudged glasses . . .
    But corn silk tea–that’s a new one for me, and one that I will try. Thanks for yet another post to share on my FB page (your 8 ways with lettuce was already up there). This is a great idea.

    Reply
  21. I’ve never heard about using corn silk before! :D I hope the tea helps you to feel better!

    Reply
  22. That’s an interesting idea – I never would have thought to make tea out of corn silk. Since you said that you don’t think it’s particularly delicious, do you think that adding some honey to it would help the taste?

    Reply
    • I’m not much for sweet drinks but yes, it would help. The taste isn’t bad really.

      Reply
  23. I have never heard of this, Tammy. I love the idea of gicing the digestive system a clean out. Great plan.

    Reply
  24. How interesting! Our corn won’t be ready for a bit yet, but I’ll have to try the tea! I am planning to eat radish greens for the first time this year!

    Reply
  25. I saw a lady collecting corn silk from the waste bin provided in the store near the corn stand. I thought she was nuts, shame on me! She was definitely onto something I was totally ignorant of. Thanks for the info!

    Reply
    • Yes, that might have been the case. Unfortunately at the store, most of the corn is GMO (actually – some do not find this unfortunate). The corn in this post is a non-GMO variety grown with heritage seeds from my CSA.

      Reply
  26. Wow! I had no idea :) Thanks for sharing! And as always, thanks for linking up.

    Reply
  27. Wow, awesome idea. I always compost our garden corn silks, but now i have something else to do with them!

    Reply
  28. What a great & very useful post & a lot of info that I gathered now!

    Reply
  29. We have a rabbit that goes absolutely crazy for corn silk. It’s amazing to see a ball of silk disappear in seconds into that tiny mouth.

    Reply
  30. There’s a use for everything isn’t there, and I’ve learnt something new today about Corn silk. Thanks for the info

    Reply
  1. What’s in the Box? Recipe Roundup #9 | In Her Chucks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: