“Extraction of Corn silk and its applications in healing and cosmetics’’
Abstract The name of corn silk is used to describe hundreds of light-yellow threads that envelope an ear of mature corn. Ranging from 10-20cm in length, their purpose is to catch pollen from air. Because of the availability of corn silk at May and September of each year in our country, corn silk was collected and picked up for use in preparation for in vitro treatment. The silk is characterized by the fact that it has high nutritional, mineral and medicinal values. Cornsilk contains phytochemical as flavonoids, saponins, tannins and alkaloids. It also contains proteins, carbohydrates, fibres and lipids. Because of these nutritional, mineral values and phytochemicals available in corn silk, its involved in the treatment of many diseases such as urinary tract infections (UTI), Beside kidney detox, high uric acid/gout, gallstones, cat/dog incontinence, and diabetic blood sugar support. Also used in cosmetics. Experiments was carried out on corn silk. Formulation experiments was conducted as well as producing cream, corn silk tea, tincture and tablets. The objectives of this study are to design a suitable oral dosage form of corn silk as teabags with stevia plant for treating urinary tract infection and a cream in cosmetic field. Secondly, to perform chemical experiments in order to increase the efficiency of extraction. Thirdly, checking and investigating the active ingredients of corn silk by performing GC-MS test and finally, performing anti-oxidant activity tests. This was done by collecting corn silk, drying it, then grinding it and using it in extraction processes using solvent types including ethanol, methanol and ethyl acetate .It is desired to get a high yield of extraction by studying the parameters which controls the contact between the solvent and the dried, grinded solids of corn silk. The main parameters that controls the effectiveness of extraction are type of solvent, time of extraction, temperature of solution, volume of solvent added, speed of rotation and method of extraction. Filtration must be done after extraction and ethanol has been recovered using rotary evaporator under vacuum to separate ethanol solution from the solid phase to get the yield. As a result, in our project it was found that ethanol extraction is the most suitable method to use with corn silk due to its availability, non-toxicity, low cost and high solubility because of its polarity. Compared with methanol, it was found that methanol is more toxic although it has the highest percentage of yield 18.5% (w/w), for ethanol 5.7%(w/w) but for ethyl acetate, it has the lowest percentage of yield 3.2%(w/w), also it was found to be a toxic compound. Results show that the best time used in the mixing process in all solvent types is 4 hours because it has the highest yield. After 4 hours, there's a decrease in the curve and then stabilizes. Four different tests gave an indication to the free radical scavenging of corn silk. These tests are ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP), Cupric reducing antioxidant power (CUPRAC assay), Free radical scavenging activity using DPPH (DPPH assay), Free radical scavenging activity using ABTS (ABTS assay), Total phenolic content (Folin-Ciocalteau assay) and Total flavonoid content and they are performed in three types of solution. The first solution is 99 wt.% ethanol, the second one is 80 wt.% ethanol, and the last one is water. 80 % ethanol gave the highest antioxidant power than the other solvents. Many patients who have UTI having up corn silk teabag, three times daily, expressed their feeling of using it. It overcome their fatigue, and stresses caused by diabetes and continued their working day as normal persons. Also, it overcomes their UTI. The project was done successfully and the results are satisfactory and perfectly meet the relevant literature.