Zea (Stigma Maydis)
Corn Silk (Zea, or Stigmata maydis) seems to have crept into the notice of the medical profession in Europe before it had any conspicuity in America. In 1878 (Revista de Madrid), a Dr. Betherand mentioned it in print. Long preceding that date, however, a tea of corn silk had been employed in American domestic practice as a remedy for acute affections of the bladder. Dr. John Davis, a well-known Cincinnati physician, repeatedly informed the writer that, in his opinion, a decoction of corn silk, together with a decoction of dried pods of beans, was the most effective of all diuretics he had employed in his practice, as well as being most satisfactory in acute cystitis. The Medical News, August 10, 1881, commended a decoction of corn silk in the aforenamed directions, and in the Therapeutic Gazette (634), February, 1881, Professor L. W. Benson reported that in his practice the remedy acted very favorably and kindly. Following this, various contributions appeared in the foreign medical journals, one by Dr. Dufau in the London Medical Record, spoke of it as a little known, newly introduced remedy. Many commendatory articles followed this in European medical journals, which fact, together with the increased demand on American manufacturing pharmacists, led to its introduction into the Pharmacopeia of the United States.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.