Friday, September 13, 2013

Corn Silk Tea

 Last week our oldest daughter showed up with the equivalent of six and a half of these square sized laundry baskets of corn on the cob. When she said she knew of a place where she could get free corn and did I want some, I said of course YES! I asked for six to ten dozen. She brought home more corn than I have ever done at one time in my entire life BY FAR.  Whoa did we ever freeze corn.  I was tucking it in every corner I could of freezer space until she took her cooler of corn home.

Explanation for such a load of corn, it was free and beyond that they picked until they felt inspired to stop. They'd come back to her vehicle and feel pressed to go out again so off they went until one time they felt they should stop. Probably in part because they ran out of room. LOL How could I argue with that explanation? I too have often felt prompted to do things I just didn't understand  at the time like can lots of peaches and pears though we only needed a few more jars. The reasoning is usually apparent the next year because the crop fails or money is tight. So I rolled up my sleeves, wondered what the reasons were without thinking too hard, and went to work.
 Luckily I had help, my daughter and some of the time my hubby. It meant we only had to stay up until two in the morning to finish. Finish the corn that is because we were too sleepy to finish the clean up. I cut the corn off the cob and then blanch it making the task far easier but it still seemed like the mound disappeared slowly. Then when we were about done I asked everyone to start saving the corn silks. It slowed things down considerably as you had to firmly grasped the silks and pulled the greenery away instead of the usual whisk of a couple pulls and the whole husk came off. Well, with me that is as I've done this a few cazillion times before.   
 What in the world was I thinking? Well I just happened to come across an article about the medicinal properties of corn silk.

Corn silk is used for
bladder infections, inflammation of the urinary system, inflammation of the prostate, kidney stones, and bedwetting. It is also used to treat congestive heart failure, diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, and high cholesterol levels.

Not that I was looking for any of that. Though a quick read and it became clear that corn silks are a good thing and one more natural  diuretic. What I was looking tooling around on the Internet was a natural source of vitamin C. I found out that corn silks are indeed high in Vitamin C and also K.Why the interest? In WWII Vitamin C was badly needed and so in England they dried rose hips and fed them to their children. I'm interested in self-sufficiency and Vitamin C is a biggy to have.

I've not tried the rose hips yet, the home-made ones that is, but it is on the to do list. The one that keeps getting longer no matter how many things I do. I have tried the store version of rose hips. Some will remember my experiment with pine needle tea as a source of vitamin C. Definitely a survival version as the taste is just like it smells -- not appealing. Not horrible but just rather sappy like.

 Dandelions are very high in C's and are also a diuretic. But then so are strawberries and lots of things. And now I've found out about corn silk so I'm thinking that more than one source of C's is definitely better especially since you don't know what the weather will bring. This year for instance it wiped out our garden. The pumpkins and other squash tried to come back but a month is definitely not enough time to do so before the threat of frost.

The high Vitamin K in corn silk might just come in real handy too as it helps to clot blood. Wonder if it would work as a poultice too? Hmmm....

With corn silks you do have to watch the amount. Too much of a diuretic isn't good. Too much corn silk and you could lower your sugar levels too low. Too much and you become dehydrated or your blood pressure becomes too low. As with all supplements we have to use our heads about them and remember that moderation is the key word. We also have to be aware of their interaction with the medications we are already taking.  

They recommend:
Corn Silk Tea Recipe: 2 tsps dried cornsilk to one cup boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes, strain and drink. Use only one cup per day for a maximum of 10 days.

My silks are dry and ready when I am.
Yet what excited me most about this project is that I can use more fully my corn. I'm not sure this corn she purchased is organic, probably not so I didn't save a lot of silk. But none the less it is worth trying a little in a few ways just to have the knowledge. Then when I have my own garden again I can save in a bigger way. We will have sweet corn and corn meal corn and the stalks can be eaten by the livestock. The corn by us either fresh, frozen, or dried. I don't like bottled. The corn silks can be dried and kept for medicinal needs. The cobs can be dried and burned for fuel. Now that is really using your harvest.
As for taste of corn silk -- I'm not sure yet. The Internet said it tastes like green corn. What part are they referring to because I thought if it was green then the corn kernels haven't developed yet so what are you eating? We will find out though one of these first days as I'm going to give corn silk tea a try. Got to be better than Blue Spruce needle tea doesn't it?

The other way they recommended using the silks was to put them in soups as a thickener. Now that sounds very doable as long as green corn flavor isn't repulsive. Hmmmmm...... don't know.Maybe best to go light on the amount at first.  

All I do know is that we haven't slowed down enough to get my head around using it. We've hauled hay twice this week which is a six hour trip twice. Hubby worked on the car replacing brakes, serpentine belt etc. while I cleaned up the house. Then yesterday we gutted the bathroom. We discovered a water leak. Not that there wasn't a hole in the floor already from a previous leak. We just hadn't gotten to the remodeling yet. So we began to tear as this appeared to be something new. The water was pooling by the toilet. Nope, not the toilet. Yup, the shower faucet valve once again but by then half the wall was tore out.

Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound so we just gutted all the walls and removed the furnishings. We still have the floor and ceiling to go but it is a great start. We wanted to finish the front porch that day but the roofers called at 8 and said can we come in an hour and a half to do your roof. With shingles flying off we thought it best to remain indoors throwing sheet rock out the window into a wheelbarrow.

With houses galore to roof in town and a long list of customers we thought we'd better get it done while we could. There are 27 construction companies in town trying to repair the damage from the hail storm. Our population is only 1200.
I had big plans to go dump the bathroom garbage at the town dump 45 miles away north and shop for sheet rock and paint for the front porch the next day. Alas, yesterday morning I found a very sick yak at chore time. I'd not been doing yak chores for the last few days as we divided and conquered the livestock tasks. I attended the critters in the upper corrals milking and taking care of chickens. I barely even glanced at the yaks in the distance though I did ask if they were alright because I noticed Gracie laying down more than usual. The vet chewed me a bit and told me never to do this again. He said needed to take the full responsibility and have others help when needed. He was right. I have the gift and skill and it isn't fair to the animals to put it on others. 

Gracie baffled me. She had conflicting symptoms and I wasn't sure what we were dealing with except she was really sick. The matter was made worse since I was watching the little youngins that day. The one year old was in tow and a sick yak with big horns is not a place to have a one year old, especially since this yak hates kids. I called a couple friends to confer with leaving the tyke in the truck in her car seat. I then called the vet and his assistant relayed my information while he performed surgery. Then we loaded Gracie up in the trailer while my one year old looked on, shouting encouragement. Okay, she didn't shout encouragement.
She screamed in protest at being left in the truck locked in her car seat but what was I to do with her --safety first.

After picking up the four year old grand daughter from preschool at eleven we waited for their mom to arrive and then whoosh, off I went driving the hour and a half to the vets.

Heard the saying," Took everything but the kitchen sink."? Well I did take everything including the bathroom sink as my pickup had the toilet and all piled in back. Quite a site I'm sure but a girl has to do what a girl has to do. The dump was north and I was headed south.

Life has really been challenging the past couple years and especially this last summer. Yet despite all the challenges coming our way lately, I still stop each day and count my blessings. One can't be depressed and feel blessed at the same time. A friend I've known for years, though not a very close friend, committed suicide this week. I wish she would of counted her blessings each day. I've always found that the blessings out number the problems.  But it does take effort as blessings don't jump out at you like problems. So yesterday when I was feeling overwhelmed, I counted just a few of mine.  

 1. I had the help of two skilled livestock friends to load Gracie. They are often not available.
2. The trailer and pickup made it to the vets and back without a mishap. No flat tires and the truck started. It still isn't working right despite two new parts. At least one or two to go.
3. Wednesday we got the roof done.
4. The bathroom leak was a pain but at least we were planning on gutting the bathroom anyway and we've started. 
5. Gracie didn't need an IV after all like the vet thought from our phone conversation. It wasn't the terrible disease he feared and a big ole shot is all that was needed.
6. Since it is dust pneumonia it probably won't spread. Yes, dust can irritate the lungs and pneumonia will set in. We are really, really dry here with poor Colorado below us drowning.
7. Gracie's nose wasn't running and her fever appeared to come down last night. She was more bright eyed.  
8. I had money to pay the vet bill. It was part of the money I made selling the little whether goats. Not how I wanted to spend it but I had it none the less. Since Kirk is racking up the medical bills this is a biggy.

As I count my blessings I can see indeed, the Lord is mindful of me just as he is of every sparrow that falls. Though I have challenges a plenty, I'm never left to face them alone. I just have to look for the blessings to know of his love for me.

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