Origin: Corn is believed to have been first domesticated by native Mexican people about 10,000 years ago. History reveals that the native Americans taught European colonists to grow these grains, and, were introduced by Christopher Columbus in Europe. Later, corn spread to all other parts of the world. It was cultivated depending upon the different temperatures. It is the most important crop in the United States and is a staple food in many places.
Scientists also believe that maize is derived from an earlier ancestral plant called teosinte. Corn was the staple diet for the Mexican, American and Carribean people in that era. Corn was considered to be nutritious, easy to store and carry, adapted to diverse growing conditions and provided food and fuel. Corn was a cherished possession for many civilizations like Mayans, Incas, Aztecs, and Anasazi and was also treasured and worshipped.
Scientifically: Corn is also known as maize, however, the botanical name is Zea mays. Corn is a cereal plant of the grass family Poaceae. This edible grain is one of the most widely distributed of the food crops.
The corn plant is a tall annual grass with an erect and solid stem. Corn has large and narrow leaves. The leaves have wavy margins and have spaces on opposite sides of the stem. The corn comes in different varieties and the most commonly used variety is yellow and white. Corns are also available in red, blue, pink, and black kernels, banded, spotted, or striped. Each corn is enclosed by modified leaves called shucks or husks.
Usage: Corn is one of the most used crops in the world. Corn is also used as livestock fodder, as biofuel, and as a raw material in the industry. In the United States, the colorful corns are used in autumn harvest decorations and other carnivals. Corn is used to making popcorns, cornflour, cornmeal, and sweet corn.
Cornbread and corn pudding are favored by all. Corn syrup is also used in processed foods. Corn is also used to make tortillas, tortilla chips, polenta, and corn oil. Cornmeal is made by grinding whole corn. Corn syrup is made from corn starch. Oil is produced by squeezing the germ of the corn. Cornflour is made by grinding the grains. It is a healthy cereal grain and is rich in fiber and other nutrients. Corn has an array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Corn is rich is in Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron which improve the production of red blood cells in the body. Sweet corn and corn oil increases the blood flow and lowers cholesterol and also regulates insulin. Vitamin C and the antioxidants lycopene increases the production of collagen and fight against free radicals from damaging the skin.
Below are the DIYs with corn for healthy skin and hair:
- Take a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of turmeric powder, add one lemon juice and some honey to make a thick paste. Apply this mixture on the face for 20 minutes. Wash off later. This remedy helps in lightening and tightening of the skin.
- Take a tablespoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of yogurt and honey. Mix them together and apply on the face. Rinse it after 10 minutes. This nourishing mask helps in removing tan and soothes the skin.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and make a thick paste. Apply this mixture on your face and neck. Let it stay for 15 minutes and then wash it off. This remedy helps in deep cleansing of the skin and removes blackheads.
- Take a tablespoon of coarsely ground corn grains, a tablespoon of rice powder and some raw milk. Mix all the ingredients together to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on the face for 15 minutes. Once dried, massage it in a scrubbing motion. This remedy exfoliates the skin and helps in achieving smooth skin.