Evaluation of some biological activities of the extracts of corn silk and leaves
Ethanol and aqueous extracts obtained from the leaves and corn silk of maize were evaluated for antibacterial efficacy especially that there is a folklore claim that they have medicinal value. The aqueous corn silk extract was further used to investigate other biological properties such as acute and sub-acute toxicities; changes in serum chemistry, haematology, and histopathology, as well as anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities in animal models. In this study, the extracts exhibited poor antibacterial assay but no mortality was observed in acute study. The aqueous corn silk extract has haematinic property and no hepatotoxicity though some mild nephrotoxicity in sub-acute study was observed. In the anti-inflammatory study, the aqueous corn silk extract and ibuprofen significantly (P< 0-05) reduced the paw oedema after histamine injection when compared to control. In the acetic acid induced writhing test the extract and ibuprofen produced analgesia. The studies suggest that the extract of corn silk posses anti-inflammatory, analgesic, haematinic but poor antibacterial properties. Though the extract appeared to be relatively safe, the toxic changes in the kidney showed that the use of corn silk as for medicinal purpose should be done with caution.
Keywords: Corn silk, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, haematology,