Common corn (Zea mays L.)

Common corn is an annual cultivated herbaceous plant from the grass family (Gramineae). Other names: maize


An annual cultivated plant with a straight, cylindrical, densely leafy stem up to 3 m in height, filled inside with porous pulp; leaves are broadly lanceolate, flat, wavy along the edges; at the point of transition of the sheath (leaf tube enclosing the stem) into the leaf blade, there is a membranous tongue within 5 mm in length. Flowers unisexual, staminate, in spikelets collected in a spreading apical panicle; pistillates are collected in rows, form an ear on a thick axis, emerging from the leaf sheath in the middle of the stem; stigmas of pistillate flowers are very long, filiform, red, hanging down; the fruit is a caryopsis, of various shapes. Blossoms in August. Corn is cultivated everywhere in the fields and gardens.

Harvesting, description of raw materials:

Dried columns with stigmas of female corn flowers are used for medicinal purposes, which are called “corn stigmas” – Stigmata Maydis in merchandising practice. Dry in the air in the shade, laying out the raw material in a thin loose layer. Dried corn stigmas look like numerous thin threads entangled with each other, very similar to hair, hence the second common name “corn hair”. The color of benign raw materials is different: light yellow, golden yellow, brown and reddish, the smell is peculiar, but weak. When viewed through a magnifying glass, it can be seen that the filaments are flat, ribbon-like, about 0.1 mm wide and covered with sparse small hairs.

Contains active substances:

The chemical composition of corn stigmas is complex and not well understood. They contain a large amount of vitamin K (up to 1600 biological units per 1 g of raw materials), saponins (up to 3.18%), bitter glycoside-like substances (up to 1.15%), a small amount of essential oil (up to 0.12%), fatty oil (up to 2.5% ), alkaloids of unknown composition (0.05%), plant sterols (stigmasterol, sitosterol), vitamin C and pantothenic acid, inositol, cryptoxanthin and other substances.

Medicinal use:

In medical practice, corn stigmas are used as a tincture or liquid extract as a choleretic, diuretic and hemostatic agent. It has been established that when these products are taken orally, the secretion of bile increases, its viscosity and specific gravity decrease, the content of bilirubin decreases, and in addition, the process of blood coagulation accelerates, while the content of prothrombin and the number of platelets in the blood increase. As a choleretic agent, these products are used for cholecystitis, cholangitis and hepatitis with delayed bile secretion. As a hemostatic agent, they are used along with vitamin K products mainly for hypoprothrombinemia, as a diuretic for cystitis, kidney and stones, bladder stones, and dropsy. Corn stigmas have a similar use in folk medicine. Water decoction of stigmas, collected during the waxy maturity of corn, they drink with liver disease, with jaundice, gallstone disease, with kidney disease, bladder; stigmas collected during flowering and digested with honey are taken for pulmonary tuberculosis.

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