Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Since corn just happens to be in season and I also just happen to be getting a lot of patients which I have prescribed this decoction for, I thought I would share it on here. It also has such a lovely name: corn silk. I love the feeling that the name emits for some reason. It sounds tasty and like something you could perhaps wear? In any event, this last weekend I made corn a la Mexican style (keeping the husk on sans silk, letting it soak in water, olive oil, chile flakes, salt for an hour or two and grilling it) for my brothers bbq birthday soiree and I saved the silk for my medicinal purposes.
(Brother's birthday spread)
Alas, in the U.S. you can not (correct me if you know where please!) find corn silk sold just as that sans the corn unless you go to a TCM pharmacy. So, I take the opportunity to save the silk when I can, and I recommend the same for you. However, it does not last more than two to four weeks at a time fresh in a ziploc bag or other container. You could dry it as well and it would last longer. Corn silk is known as Yu Mi Xu in the TCM world. It is a mild but very effective diuretic used in the treatment of : urinary difficulties, high blood pressure, edema, kidney stones, and gall stones.
How do you prepare it? You would take one cup of the silk and put it in 4 cups of boiling water (you do not want to pack it into the cup, just loosely fit it in to measure). Boil it for 10 mins. Let it cool and strain it and keep it in the fridge. You can drink this 3-4 times a day (1 cup at a time) as a treatment. Forget that overly sweetened cranberry juice they're always recommending for all urinary difficulties!
(Do not fear the black bits as that is just the dry portion of the silk that sticks out of the corn - and is what it would look like in a TCM pharmacy.)
The end product will be a slightly caramely liquid with a definitive sweet corn taste, I like to drink it slightly cool but for people who are experiencing fatigue or digestive difficulties you would drink it room temperature. Enjoy!