The healing power of corn stigmas

Corn kernels are tasty to eat. There are 2000 different types of corn. Corn can serve as a basis for animal feed, high-quality corn oil, popcorn and bread. Corn originates from Mexico. The type of grass from which the corn plant was cultivated still exists. In phytotherapy, the science-based modern form of herbal science, corn stigmas from the female corn plant are used for their medicinal qualities. They are used, among other things, for edema, bedwetting, kidney stones and as part of a slimming treatment. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Botanical drawing of corn from 1788 / Source: Joseph Jakob Plenck, Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)


  • Naming corn
  • History of corn
  • Active ingredients corn stamps
  • Corn stigmas, good for the kidneys
  • Corn stigmas for rheumatic diseases
  • Other medicinal effects of corn stigmas
  • Consult a herbal therapist


Naming corn

Scientists always use Latin names to ensure they are talking about the same plant. This is a remnant of the old European scientific culture in which books were often written in Latin. The Latin name for corn is Zea Mays . Zea comes from the Greek word ‘Zaein’ which means ‘life’. It was given this name because of the great value to life that the plant is; After all, it is a plant with great nutritional value and many different dishes can be made from it. Mays is taken from the Haitian language. People there were already talking about mays before the arrival of the Europeans. Dutch has a few nicknames for this plant: Sweet corn, Turkish wheat, Spanish wheat, Duizendkoren and Peerdetand.

Maisveld / Source: Christian Fischer, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

History of corn

Archaeological finds of small corn cobs and corn seeds have been made that indicate that corn was eaten thousands of years ago where Mexico City is now located. As far as can now be traced back in time based on archaeological discoveries, the domestication of corn is said to have begun 3500 years BC. Corn was as important to the Incas, Aztecs and Mayans as wheat was in Europe. Both wheat and corn originally come from grasses. All grains and grain substitutes can be used to make dough and breads. Corn was seen as a gift from the god Hiawatha. Not only breads were made from corn, but also tortillas and porridge. In Europe, porridge and pancakes were also made from grains. Soon after Columbus discovered America, corn became common in Europe. Corn was already mentioned as a medicinal herb in herbal books of the Aztecs. Unfortunately, the Spanish conquistadors burned all the books; therefore we do not know what the Aztecs used it for. In modern times, corn is the most cultivated grain crop on planet earth after rice and corn.

Active ingredients corn stamps

Remarkably, corn stigmas contain many more nutrients than corn kernels. The grain is not actually used in phytotherapy; at most corn oil of organic origin can have a medicinal effect. The corn stigmas are collected exclusively from the female plant. If they have not yet been fertilized by the male flowers. It is striking that all the substances it contains occur in large quantities; This does not apply to all medicinal plants. These stigmas mainly contain flavonoids such as vitexin, apigenin and cyanidin. In addition, it contains eight types of essential oils, the minerals potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, manganese and silicon, the vitamins beta-carotene, C and K3, the phytosterols betasitosterol, daucosterol and ergosterol, tannin-like polyphenols, glycosidic bitter substances, saponins, salicylic acid, mucilages, allantoin, chlorogenic acid, the fatty oils arachidonic acid and linoleic acid, alkaloids, resins and gum.

Corn stigmas, good for the kidneys

Corn stigmas have a diuretic effect. The urine volume can increase 3 to 5 times after ingestion. This means that a lot of fluid in the body is removed. All kinds of toxins stored in the fluid are removed more quickly because corn stigmas stimulate kidney function. It therefore also works to prevent kidney stones. Moreover, for this reason it can be classified as a blood purifier. It also has a calming effect in general and soothes the mucous membranes of the urinary tract. Irritated mucous membranes are healed because corn stigmas are anti-inflammatory. Due to this beautiful range of medicinal properties, corn stigmas are used for the following indications:

Female corn flower / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

  • Edema during pregnancy,
  • Edema in kidney disease,
  • Edema in case of heart problems (prescription!),
  • Chronic or acute bladder infection,
  • Kidney inflammation,
  • Prostatitis, urethral inflammation,
  • Debris in bladder and kidneys,
  • Preventing kidney stones,
  • Adjuvant for renal insufficiency,
  • Albuminuria or protein in urine,
  • Ammonia in urine,
  • Adjuvant for high blood pressure,
  • Supports slimming and cellulite.


Corn stigmas for rheumatic diseases

Because the corn stamp has a blood purifying effect, as we have seen in the description above, and is also anti-inflammatory due to the salicylates or natural aspirin it contains, it is recommended by herbalists for the following indications:

  • Osteoarthritis, arthritis,
  • Gout,
  • Sciatica.


Other medicinal effects of corn stigmas

  • Vitamin C and K3 make corn a haemostatic and is therefore used for blood clotting disorders.
  • Corn stigmas promote bile flow and are therefore used for gallstones.
  • Because it helps prevent gallstones, it is used for liver inflammation and jaundice.
  • Due to the fact that blood sugar levels are lowered, it is an adjunct to
  • adult-onset diabetes.


Consult a herbal therapist

Anyone who wants to use corn kernels as a medicinal product is recommended to consult a herbal therapist. Corn extracts and medicines in the form of mother tincture, powder, dried herb, liquid extract and decoction should only be used on the prescription of authorized persons. A herbal therapist can tell you more about this, as well as about possible side effects and interactions with other medicines or herbs. There are also beneficial combinations with herbs. Some herbs can enhance each other’s effects; that’s called synergy. All medicinal effects of this medicinal herb mentioned in this article are based on scientific research and come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in the field of healing plants. The book is used in phytotherapy.

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