Corn Silk & Warfarin

Publication Date: 
Fri, 11/01/2013
By: Alere Staff

Corn Silk & Warfarin

The long shiny fibers at the top of an ear of corn are called corn silk. Corn silk is also known as Indian corn, maidis stigma, maise silk or zea. It is available dry (used in tea); in syrup; and in liquid extract in pill form. Corn silk is often used for medicinal purposes and is a natural medicine used for cystitis, urethritis, noctural enuresis, a diuretic for congestive heart failure, diabetes and for hypertension.

Corn silk used for medicinal purposes has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and therefore is not regulated.

Corn silk contains tannins, which are water-soluble polyphenols that are present in many plant foods.2 Tannins in corn silk act like “water pills” or a diuretic, which might cause the body to get rid of potassium along with water.1

Corn silk also contains vitamin K and therefore can interact with warfarin. If you are taking warfarin, make sure to speak with your doctor before you start or stop taking corn silk as your INR levels may need to be checked more often.

  1. Therapeutic Research Faculty. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 11th Edition. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research, 2009.
  2. Chung KT, Wong TY, Wei CI, Huang YW, Lin Y.Tannins and human health: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1998 Aug;38(6):421-64.