Zea mays L


Herbaceous, strong and monoic annual plant of a firm, solid stem of up to 2 m high. Male flowers are greenish and form long spikes gather in terminal panicles. Female flowers, at the leave axil, gathered in large spikes and wrapped in 6 or 9 big and membranous bracts where filiform, yellowish and long styles rise (corn stigmas or hair). Fruits are almost globose, hard, shining and normally yellow, although they might also be white or purple.

It is native of Central America. It is cultivated in Spain. It’s to be harvested from August to October, when the styles begin to sprout and are yellow and tender.

Part used

The styles, erroneously called stigmas. Seeds are also used (starch, oil and the unsaponifiable fraction).



  • Genito-urinary tract disorders: cystitis, nephritis, urethritis, nocturnal enuresis, prostatitis.
  • Oliguria, edemas and as treatment for over weight problems.
  • Kidney and urinary lithiasis (oxalic, uric and phosphaturic), gout.
  • Arterial hypertension.
  • Other uses: gastroduodenal ulcer, allergies, type II diabetes.


  • Hypercholesterolemia.
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Topical use: skin dryness, vaginal mucosa dystrophy, psoriasis, ictiosis, dry eczema.
  • Periodontitis (pyorrhea): It’s used as toothpaste.


British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, 1990.-Pharmacopée Française IX Édition.

Plantas Medicinales. Thérapeutique-Toxicité.Christiane Vigneau.  Masson, Paris 1985.

Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals.Norman Grainger Bisset (Ed). Max Wichtl. CRC Press.1994.

Plantas Medicinales y Drogas Vegetales para infusión y tisana.Edición española a cargo de: Salvador Cañogueral, Roser Vila, Max Wichtl. 1998.

Matière Médicale. RR Paris- H. Moyse. Masson 1981.

Fitoterapia: Vademecum de Prescripción. Plantas Medicinales.Colaboran: Asociación española de médicos naturistas. Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Vizcaya.

Plantas Medicinales. El Dioscórides Renovado. Pio Font Quer.

Guía de Campo de las Flores de Europa. Oleg Polunin. Ediciones Omega S.A. Barcelona, 1977.

Plantas Medicinales. Margarita Fernandez y Ana Nieto.Ed Universidad de Navarra. EUNSA 1982.

Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Medicinal Plants. Jean Bruneton. Lavoisier Publishing.

Fitoterapia Aplicada.J.B. Peris, G. Stübing, B.Vanaclocha.Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Valencia 1995.

Farmacognosia. 2ª Edición. Jean Bruneton.

Elementos de Fitoquímica y de farmacognosia.J. Bruneton.

Guía de las plantas medicinales. 4 ª Edición. Paul Schauenberg/Ferdinand Paris.

Bulletin officiel Nº 90/22 bis.Ministère des Affaires Sociales et de la Solidarité.


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