Family: Poaceae

Bengali/Vernacular Name: Bhootta.

Tribal Name: Mokka (Tanchangya).

English Name: Indian Corn, Maize.

Description of the Plant:
A tall annual grass with large linear-oblong leaves. Female inflorescence (cobs) appear in the axils of the lower leaves, tightly enveloped by large membranous bracts. Male inflorescence in terminal panicled, spike-like racemes with 2-nate spikelets. Female spikelets 2-nate in 4-11 longitudinal rows, slightly immersed in the spongy axis of the cob. Grain large, subglobose or dorsally more or less flattened, surrounded by the dried up glumes.

Using Information:
The grains are appetizer and fattening; cures biliousness. A decoction of the grain is used as a hip-bath for piles; lessens pain. It is resolvent and astringent. An alkaline solution prepared from the burnt cobs is given in lithiasis. In Europe, the grains are boiled and made in to emollient poultices. It is much used as a valuable article of diet for invalids and children. Liquid extract of the corn silk has a marked diuretic action; used as a remedy in irritable condition of the bladder with turbid and irritating urine. Decoction of the silks or the stalks is a common remedy for affections of the bladder and kidneys. In Cambodia the seeds are prescribed in angina and the silks in paludism.

Chemical Constituents:
Maize karnel contains carbohydrates 66.2%, protein 11.1%, fat 3.6%, minerals 1.5% and fibres 2.7%. Karnel also contains vitamins – thiamine, riboflavin, niacin. It also contains p-carotene, pantothenic acid, folic acid, choline, pyridoxine, biotin and vitamin E and little vitamin C (Anon, 1976). Seed also contains three new substituted cinnamoyl hydroxycitric acids, sixty one volatile compounds, a highly odorous compound - geosmin and cyanidin-β-glucoside. Oil contains β-sitosterol. 2-(2-hydroxy-7-methoxy-1.4-benzoxazin-3-one)-β-D-glucoside has been isolated from roots (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1993).


Cultivated more or less throughout the country.

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Retutn to Medicinal Plants: Part Y-Z