Corn, otherwise known as Maize, is a cereal grain full of nutrients and natural benefits. Corn is one of the most commonly eaten food everywhere in the world. It is a staple food consumed directly after being cooked and processed in a factory to separate the constituents. Products made out of Corn include corn syrup, corn starch, and flour.
The corn plant is generally 3 meters in height. The stem of the plant has about 20 internodes that grow up to 18 cm in length. A leaf grows out of each node up to the length of 12 cm. it is an annual grassy plant that comes in the family of Gramineae along with plants like wheat, rye, sugarcane, rice, etc.
Corn is widely cultivated throughout the world for more than 10,000 years now. The corn seeds are rich in nutrients and polychemicals that have proven to help manage many of the body functions and prevent several diseases, conditions, and disorders.
Corns are rich in dietary fiber and have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-bacterial properties. Owing to these properties, Corn is eaten to manage and control weight, manage the blood sugar level, keep bladder and kidney in good health, and even manage blood pressure.
However, some people can be allergic to Corn and should be preventing the consumption of the same. Some conditions do not promote the consumption of Corn as well. The article provides in-depth information about Corn that you should know concerning Ayurveda.
There are a few types of corns known to humans today.
- Dent corn
The dent corn or yellow dent corn has a high starch content. The Corn is identified with a dent on the ear of the corn body.
- Flint corn
The flint corn is also known as Indian Corn and is the most common variety. It has lesser starch content than the dent corn. This type of Corn is identified with a hard outer cover that protects the inner edible content.
- Pod corn
Pod corns are a wild variety of maize. It is native to North American Tribes.
This type of corn kernel is hard and pops or expands when heated. These are widely used as snacks.
- Flour corn
Flour corn has soft starch in between the seeds and is generally used to produce corn flour.
- Sweet Corn
With high sugar content, sweet Corn is starchy and the most used in consumption.
How did the word Corn originate?
The word maize originates from the Spanish word “mazi," which is, in turn, derived from the native language, Hispaniola word "Taino," which means plant.
The origin of Corn goes back to the prehistoric Proto-Indo-Europe. The word Corn comes from the old Pie word "ger," meaning word down or "gher," meaning "matured." The word was also used to symbolize grain. In early English civilization, grains, in general,were referred to as Corn.
Historical Uses of Corn
Corn is believed to have been found in the wilds of central Mexico about 10,000 years ago. It has also been found in the caves of the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico. Over 9,000 years ago, people started collecting wild plants and consuming them as food.
Corn was also given as an offering to the ancient god by many civilizations. The people also burnt the corn stem in front of the deity.
Thus, Corn has been and is still used as edible food for a long time.
Benefits of Corn
There have been scientific experiments conducted on Corn to prove how effective it is to human health. Though these experiments are conducted on animals, our ancestors' use of Corn gives enough support and evidence.
Day by day, the scientific evidence on the benefits of Corn has increased. It has been proven that Corn helps in the prevention of chronic diseases. Be it a low-risk disease or a high-risk disease; Corn has been helpful when taken in the right way.
Corn cures infections in the urinary tract, prevents cancer, helps with kidney stones, maintains diabetes, cholesterol, and even provides strength and fights fatigue.
Corn or maize is a cereal crop with high nutritional value. The edible kernel part of the corn ear is rich in several minerals and nutrients. Following the nutrients, it contains vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin B1 Thiamine, vitamin B3 Riboflavin, vitamin B2 Niacin, vitamin B6 Pyridoxine, vitamin B5 Pantothenic acid, selenium, folic acid, and potassium. These vitamins are an essential part of a diet for human beings.
It has an oil content of 45 to 50% extracted for cooking purposes and is very healthy. This 50% contains saturated fatty acids, monosaturated fatty acids, and polysaturated fatty acids. Corn oils are refined, after which they have content of linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, etc.
Treating diseases/health problems using Corn
- Corn for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Corn has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. When consumed, it kills and prevents bacterial growth in the urinary tract and reduces the inflammation or swelling in the tract. This helps in curing problems related to urine and also the urinary tract infection.
Urinary Tract Infection or Mutrakcchra, as said in the Ayurvedic texts, is a result of imbalanced Pitta Dosha. Corn helps balance the Pitta Dosha and soothes the swelling and pain in the urinary tract, thus, curing any infection. It increases the flow of urine and reduces the risk of infection as well.
- Corn for Kidney Stone
Corn is anti-bacterial and antioxidant. It helps in cleaning the kidney and bladder and regulates the urine flow. With regular urine flow, the risk of kidney stones decreases. The production of urine also helps in the easy removal of already present kidney stones.
Kidney stones or Mutrashmari is a result of an imbalance in Vata Dosha. This causes Sanga or obstruction in the kidney resulting in stones. Corn tea helps in easing up the urine flow and thus helps in removing the kidney stones.
- Corn for Diabetes
Corn is proven to improve blood sugar levels. This helps in controlling diabetes.
Diabetes is caused due to increase in Vata Dosha, which also leads to the accumulation of toxins or Ama in the pancreatic cells. Corn helps decrease the Vata Dosha, hence balancing the level of it in the body and curing diabetes.
- Corn for Bed Wetting
Since Corn has proven to be beneficial for the urinary tract, the same might also help in preventing and curing the habit of bedwetting.
Bedwetting is a result of aggravated Kapha and Vata Dosha. Consumption of Corn helps reduce Kapha and Vata Dosha and increases Pitta Dosha in the body, and helps cure bedwetting.
- Corn for Fatigue
Fatigue is caused due to a decrease in glycogen levels in the muscle due to being physically active.
Corn contains glycogen that is provided to the muscles to strengthen them, resulting in energy level coming come and fatigue reduction.
Due to an increase in Kapha Dosha, the body might feel tired and restless. Corn imparts Balya or strength and reduces the Kapha Dosha that, in turn, results in strength gain. Hence, Corn is effecting in getting rid of fatigue.
- Corn for Dandruff
Corn is oily in nature. There are corn oils available in the market. Applying the corn oil to the scalp reduces dryness and thus also removes dandruff.
Dandruff is caused due to imbalance in Vata and Pitta Dosha. Corn oil balances the Dosha by increasing the Pitta and decreasing the Vata Dosha. The oily consistency helps in removing the dryness and curing dandruff.
- Corn for preventing Cancer
Corn has antiproliferative properties. This might reduce the risk of Prostate cancer. It helps in managing the rapid cell multiplication and thus also manage prostate hyperplasia.
Forms of Corn in Ayurveda
Corn is widely available as corn oil. This is a special oil that is made of corn silks. The skin-based oil can be used in a few drops with your regular oil to apply over the skin. It helps in curing rashes and allergies.
Due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, corn oil helps in reducing swelling and redness. It also helps in killing the bacterial growth and preventing further growth of bacteria.
Types of Ayurvedic Care with Corn
- Corn silk is used to make tea, which is delicious and very good for health.
- You can dry fresh corn silk and mix them in water.
- Let it boil for some time till the water becomes brownish or caramel in color.
- Strain in a way to save the water.
- The tea can be enjoyed with honey and lemon.
- It is advised to take the tea twice a day or as directed by the physician.
- Boiled Corn is delicious and a good addition to the diet. It is a part of a balanced diet.
- Add some corn to salt added water in a pressure cooker, and let it boil.
- Remove the cooker once the boiling is done, and the pressure is released.
- Enjoy the Corn.
- The boiled Corn can be added as a corn salad.
- Take out the seeds of the boiled corn.
- You can add it as it is or fry it with salt and pepper and add it to the salad of your choice.
- Enjoy the salad as and when you feel like.
- Add one and a half cups of corn kernels, one finely chopped potato, chopped carrot, beans, and peas as needed in two and a half cups of water.
- Add salt and pepper and boil it in medium heat.
- Once all the flavorsare dissolved and the veggies are soft, the soup is ready to be consumed.
- Serve hot and enjoy the meal.
Side Effects of Corn
Some people can be allergic to corn. Consuming Corn with allergies is not recommended at all. This can result in reactions such as
- Swelling on the skin,
- Swelling of the throat,
- Pain in throat,
In such a case, you must immediately visit a doctor and get an anti-allergy.
Corn can have severe effects on asthma patients as well. Consuming Corn while you are already an asthma patient can cause asthma attacks.
Consumption of Corn in large amounts can increase the risk of pellagra. Pellagra is the deficiency of vitamins, which can be caused due to excessive intake of Corn. Corn lack amino acid, which is an agent that protects the body from pellagra
Also, diabetic patients are not recommended for the consumption of Corn. Corn can increase the blood sugar level as it is rich in carbohydrates. This can lead to severe problems for diabetic patients.
Large use of Corn can also result in stomach upset. Corn is rich in fiber that helps to remove toxins from the body—overdose of corn results in indigestion and upset stomach.
Precautionary Guide while Using Corn
- Corn for Allergies
Some people can be allergic to corn. Consumption or applying the same can cause rashes and skin problems, nausea, and vomiting.
- Corn while Pregnant
Corn has fatty acids, which increase the risks of health ailments in pregnant women. It can also cause indigestion that is good for a pregnant lady. It is best to stay away from Corn while you are pregnant.
- Corn while Breastfeeding
There is not enough evidence on the effect of consuming Corn while breastfeeding. It might have an adverse effect, considering the fat content. It is in the mother's best interest and the child to stay clear of corn consumption while breastfeeding.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should Corn be stored?
- Corn should be stored fresh. It should be wrapped in a plastic or paper bag. You can keep it in the refrigerator for longer use.
Is Corn an anti-depressant?
- Corn might have anti-depressant properties. It is full of antioxidants that prevent damage to cells, even the brain cells. This can help prevent depression and stop the damage already caused.
Does corn help in Obesity?
- Corn contains antioxidants and many nutrients. This helps in fighting the toxins in our body and reduces the accumulation of fat in the tissues. Also, being rich in fiber, it has a property to make a person full in the stomach. Corn helps in balancing Kapha Dosha, the misbalance of which causes obesity. This reduces the Ama or toxins in our body. The fullness it provides makes the untimely cravings stop. Thus, it helps in managing weight and reducing it by avoiding the accumulation of fat.
Does Corn provide immunity?
- Corn is a part of a healthy and balanced diet. It is rich in nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and has traces of minerals that are good for the body. Consumption of Corn provides immunity and improves the immune system, and helps fight all the conditions related to it, like fatigue.
How many grains are there in one ear of Corn?
- One ear of Corn roughly contains 16 rows of the grains, which adds up to about 800 corn kernels in one ear.
Why is Corn left in the field?
- Farmers leave field corn in the field to dry. These corns have a high content of moisture and need to be processed. That is why farmers leave the ears in the field for the moisture to dry until it turns golden. This generally takes at least one season.
Does the consumption of Corn manage the urine?
- Yes, Corn is a diuretic agent, meaning it produces urine. This helps to remove the toxins accumulated in our body with the help of the antioxidant properties it presents. Corn, thus, helps in managing the infection in the urinary tract, kidney functioning, kidney stones, and swelling in the urinary tract.
Is Corn good for the skin?
- Corn has a content of Vitamin B. This is essential for the skin to be healthy. Once the skin is healthy, it glows, and the skin cells are repaired. Thus, Corn is good for your skin.
Does Corn improve the eyesight?
- Carotenoid is a pigment in plants that acts as antioxidants in the human body. The content of carotenoid is found in corn. This prevents the eye muscles and facial cells from any damage and repairsthe damaged cells and muscles. Thus, Corn is good for eyesight as well.
Is Corn healthier than wheat?
- Corn has low calories as compared to wheat and is high on protein and starch content. It has iron, phosphorous, and necessary vitamins as well. With all the properties together, Corn can be considered healthier than wheat. However, wheat is also an important part of the balanced diet and should not be given up.
Does corn silk help in blood clotting?
- Corn silk is highly rich in vitamin K, which prevents excessive loss of blood. Corn silk can be used to stop the bleeding and rapid growth of blood clots over it. This helps in reducing the pain in injury and in rapid healing of the same.
What are the benefits of Corn?
- Being high in nutritional value and containing minerals and properties that are good for human beings' health, Corn has many benefits. It lowers the blood sugar level and helps in managing the cholesterol levels in the body. It is also good for the eyesight and makes the eyes and muscles around it healthy. Corn has proven to be a good way of promoting weight loss and managing weight. It is gluten-free and a natural product that is a good part of the diet.
Can Corn be consumed while on other medications?
- Corn is a naturally occurring food product. It can be consumed while on homeopathic medications. It does not have a side effect. The food grain can also be consumed while on supplementary tablets. However, if you are consuming more than one supplement, it is good to seek your doctor's advice. Also, the effects of consumption of corn while on western medicines are not known. It is advised to consult your physician before consuming Corn while on allopathic medication.
Is drinking water after eating Corn safe?
- No, you should not drink water after eating Corn. Drinking water after consumption of any form of Corn can result in a misbalance of the digestive system. It can cause acidity to grow in the stomach and result in gas. Most of the time, consumption of water after Corn can lead to severe stomach upset and diarrhea. Thus, it is in the best interest to not consume water after eating Corn. Wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before drinking water.
Is it good for hypoglycemia?
- No, Corn is not good forhypoglycemia. It lowers the blood sugar level of the body due to the presence of antioxidants and starch. This can be bad for people who suffer from hypoglycemia. It can cause severe health issues and thus should be avoided when the blood sugar level is already low.
Is there any disadvantage of eating Corn?
- Corn should not be eaten in excess. It is not advised to overdose yourself with Corn. This can cause reactions to the body that can result in stomach upset, irregular sugar level, and excessive blood sugar level.
Corn is also grown with genetic modification or mutation. This results in the nutrients and minerals to vanish from the Corn. It is best to have organic Corn and not the mutated varieties of Corn.
It is also not good to consume corn syrup. Corn syrup is high in fructose that is not healthy.