Organic Food Is Nutritional Health
Home   Contact   About    Search 

Limewater treatment of
corn gives high nutrition!

picture of corn on a cobSouthwestern tribes made hominy by cooking the dried corn kernels in a lye water made from a mix of corn-cob ashes or powdered lime in water. Either way, the net effect on the nutritional value of the corn is that while some nutrients are leached out, those weren't in available forms anyway.

The treatment greatly increases the amounts of usable protein, especially usable vitamin B3, niacin, rarest among vegetable sources. Limewater treatment makes available a lot of usable calcium and potassium otherwise locked up inside the kernel.

White people were unaware of this. Little scientific attention was given to nutrition. Food scientists ignored so-called primitive people with their so-called irrational customs. This attitude led to tragedy on a wide scale.

Picture of wild corn, or maize In the 1920's and '30's, there was widespread pellagra among poor whites, especially in the south. Pellagra is a serious, eventually fatal, disease caused entirely by nutritional deficiencies that arise from eating diets largely of milled cornmeal, chemical hominy, and corn-off-the-cob or canned. More on pellagra is written at the end of this report. Corn was bum-rapped by scientific nutritionists because of the pellagra epidemic.

They didn't realize that the Native Americans they bumped up against whose diet often consisted almost entirely of corn and beans, knew how to handle it to get the best food values from it. The incoming whites did not understand the nutritional importance of this treatment. They just lived off of plain ground cornmeal, the same in bags on store shelves today. Pellagra became almost synonymous with poor white trash in the rural south).

Masa harina: This is cornmeal that has been prepared with lime or wood-ash lye water. It's different from ordinary cornmeal, cooks up softer, absorbs lots of fat during its cooking, holds together better in tortillas, etc. It's available from Mexican food stores. It is not available as organic corn. Caveat: read labels for what they do not say.

Masa differs from cornmeal in another important way. As with hominy, the treatment by lye or lime water balances the corn's amino acids, so there is actually more available or usable protein. Corn was a native dietary staple almost everywhere it grows for 4,000 years. Masa is as or more than nutritious as wheat.

The Spanish word for “dough,” masa is the traditional dough used to make corn tortillas. It's made with sun- or fire-dried corn kernels that have been cooked in limewater (water mixed with calcium oxide). After having been cooked, then soaked in the limewater overnight, the wet corn is ground into masa. Masa harina (literally “dough flour”) is flour made from dried masa.


Pellagra is a disease resulting from a deficiency of niacin or tryptophan or a metabolic defect that interferes with the conversion of the precursor tryptophan to niacin. It is frequently seen in individuals whose diet consists primarily of maize, which is deficient in tryptophan. It is characterized by scaly dermatitis, especially of the skin exposed to the sun; glossitis- inflammation of the mucous membranes; diarrhea, and mental disturbances including depression, confusion, disorientation, hallucination and delirium.

Corn Processing and Recipes

The following is the formula for treating your corn to turn it into a super food by releasing its protein and vitamin B3 niacin content. The chemical treatment is easy, non-toxic and cheap. Native Americans in North, Central and South America have been doing this for at least the past 4,000 years according to archeologists. A one pound bag of lime powder contains 25 tablespoons which will produce 25 quarts of mostly limewater.

How to Make Limewater

Materials:Get lime in 25 pound bags at your local garden supply store/department. Every KMart, WalMart, Home Depot, Lowes, et alia, has a garden department. The lime used in this process is the same stuff used to neutralize acid soil. It comes from crushing limestone. Maybe $3-4 for a heavy bag of it. Since you are using it by the tablespoon, one such bag of it should last a very long time. Use the heavy duty rubber gloves from your kitchen. Keep the powder out of your mouth, nose, and especially, your eyes. It's not toxic, but it can irritate tissue.

Lime powder, 2 jars with lids. The size of the jars will vary from one quart to one gallon. This correlates to how much limewater is needed to cover what quantity of corn kernels are going to be processed in it. This is a variable that must be determined by trial and error.

Start with a half-gallon made up by using two one-quart glass bottles with lids to treat the water. The instructions below direct you to pour the limewater into a second vessel. If you are going to store it to use it later, the vessel is another glass jar with a lid. The lid is important because you must avoid letting limewater come in contact with carbon dioxide gas- CO2. It becomes calcium carbonate which is chalk, not a nutrient.


  • Fill one jar with filtered or distilled or pasteurized water.
  • Add one tablespoon of lime powder per quart volume of water.
  • Stir until reasonably dissolved. Gentle to avoid exposure to CO2.
  • Secure the lid and let the solution stand overnight or at least for a day. A white liquid will settle to the bottom of the jar. A clear fluid will remain on top.
  • Pour off the clear liquid into the second jar, being careful not to pour off any of the white liquid. The clear liquid is limewater.

This is easy to do. Limewater is not acid. It is extremely alkaline. Don't splash it in your eyes. Rinse you hands after handling it. This will be used to open up the corn for its immense nutrition.

Process The Corn Kernels

  • Simmer dried corn in limewater until the skins slip off and the corn turns bright yellow. Between 1 and 2 hours.
  • Rinse 3 times in fresh pasteurized or distilled water. Pasteurization = maintaining water at 150 degrees F for 30 minutes. Or boil the water for 5 minutes. At sea level atmospheric pressure, boiling will take place at 212 degrees F. The temperature declines as you ascend in altitude.

This fresh hominy can now be used immediately in soups and stews. The dried corn will absorb three to four times its volume of water. Hominy can also be dried for storage and cooked again. Grind it wet into grits. Dry it for grinding into flour. Or just re-heat it and chew away.

Corn Alone

  • 1 cup dried corn soaked two hours in 2 cups cold water
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Add 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
  • Add pepper or any other spice
  • Cover and simmer until the kernels are tender, probably 30 to 60 minutes.
Corn Muffin
  • 3/4 cup organic wheat flour. Use millet flour if you are allergic to wheat.
  • 2 teaspoons double-acting non-alum baking powder -Rumford brand.
  • 1 tablespoon organic unbleached sugar- Florida Crystals brand
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt -any brand Sea Salt
  • 1-1/4 cups cornmeal (coarse ground kernels-limewater treated is preferred, it's tastier and more nourishing)

    Beat together with

  • one large organic egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 cup of non-chlorinated or fluoridated water
  • Preheat oven to 425 F (not applicable if you are using a solar oven)
  • Grease muffin pans or line with paper cups.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, stir together the liquid ingredients.
  • Combine the two until they are just mixed but not well-beaten. Leave it a little lumpy.
  • Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes. The baking time will vary as the oven temperature may be only 300 degrees if a solar oven is used. “Solar Oven?” Yep. When this site was a pre-Y2K survival tutorial, we showed you how to let the sun do your cooking. Search the net for it.

    The foregoing recipes are the least complicated we could find. There must be books and books showing what to do to a lonely little corn kernel to turn it into Cinderella's coach and four.

    Learn how to make homemade rainwater into a universal medicine for just a few cents per dose, three doses per day on our other website Then Back-button to return here. END