By Dr Renita D’Souza
Sorghum (jowar) is a gluten free energy boosting cereal. It is a well known millet used in obesity, diabetes etc. It has rich medicinal values due to its antioxidant phytochemicals. It is rich in dietary fiber which contributes for better digestive and cardiovascular health.
Read – Millets Benefits, Qualities, Varieties, Research, Recipes
It is a variety of millet. Sorghum is gluten free and it is safe for people who are sensitive to consumption of protein called gluten.
Botanical Name – Sorghum bicolor
Synonym – Sorghum vulgare
Family – Gramineae
Sanskrit Name – Yaavanala
English Name – Sorghum, Great millet, Milo, Indian millet, Grain sorghum, Guinea corn, Shattercane
Hindi Name – Jowar, Juaar, Juvaar
Bengali Name – Juyaara, Joyaar
Marathi Name – Jwaari
Gujarati Name – Jowar
Kannada Name – Jola
Telugu Name – Jonnalu
Tamil Name – Cholam
Malayalam Name – Cholum
Spanish Name – caña silvestre, sorgo, sorgo común
French Name – Grand millet, sorgho, sorgho commun
Italy Name – Miglio
Malaysia – jagung
Netherlands – sorghum
Philippines – batad, bukakau
Sweden – durra
Thailand – khao-panghangchang, mutkhodom, samutkhodom
Vietnam – cor mia hai maafu, mieesn
Medicinal qualities, Benefits
Medicinal Qualities of Jovar
Taste – Sweet, Astringent
Virya (potency) – Cold
Ruksha – dry in nature
Vrishya – slightly aphrodisiac
Kledakaaraka – causes moistness
Laghu – light to digest
Cures blood related diseases
Ruchyakam – improves taste
Effect on Tridosha
Balances kapha and pitta dosha
Vatakopana – increases vata dosha
Read – Kodo Millet Uses, Qualities, Research, Recipes, Remedies
Benefits of Jovar
- Diabetes – The fiber content in Sorghum reduces the absorption of glucose and controls the blood sugar level.
- Lowers Blood Cholesterol – Dietary fiber lowers the bad cholesterol in the blood. Thus acts as heart tonic by improving blood circulation and preventing atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack etc.(research)
- Promote Bone health – It is rich in calcium and improves bone health.
- Maintains Body weight – Fiber rich food takes long time to digest. Person stay satisfied and energetic for long period and tends to eat less.
- Prevents Cancer – The antioxidant phytochemicals present in Jowar neutralizes free radicals and prevent cell damage. Thus lowers the risk of developing cancer (source).
Read – Improving Lifestyle Habits Is Very Important To Prevent Cancer
- Improves digestive health – The fiber content increases the bulk of stools and helps its smooth evacuation. Thus prevents constipation, bloating, piles etc.
The research studies have also found that fiber rich diet lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.(click to read more)
- It is used food and as animal fodder.
- Used in making porridge, soups and beverages.
- It is used as grain or ground into flour.
- Sorghum flour is used in making different preparations such as breads, cakes, cookies etc
In diabetic patients, Dr Ratnakar Mulik from Sangli Maharashtra, replaces the rice entirely with Jowar rotis. As per his experience, it effectively brings the blood sugar down very quickly.
Jowar flour can be used to prepare Roti.
Jowar – 30-50% can be added along with wheat to prepare Chapati.
Jowar – 30 %, wheat – 30 % and barley – 40% can be mixed together to prepare Chapati. This is very useful to lose weight, cholesterol and high blood sugar levels.
Nutritional Value, Phytochemical
Nutritional Value of Sorghum
Sorghum is high in carbohydrates, protein, fat, calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, sodium and small amounts of iron, vitamins like thiamin, niacin and riboflavin.
Sorghum contains tannins, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, phytosterols and policosanols.
Sorghum bicolor is an annual herb with erect stem. It grows to a height of 2-8 feet. Leaves are simple, alternate, coated with white wax, 2 inches broad and 2.5 feet long. Flowers are produced in panicles. Seeds are smaller than wheat but they vary in shape, color and size.
Sorghum bicolor crop originated in Africa. In India it is grown in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya pradesh.
Obesity – A research study conducted to evaluate the effects of Sorghum bicolor leaf extracts on blood lipid levels in high fat diet-induced obese rats have suggested that Sorghum bicolor is used in the treatment of obesity. Sorghum bicolor leaf extract showed decrease in the plasma cholesterol level.
Anti diabetic Activity – Research done to evaluate the effects of oral administration of sorghum extract (SE) on hepatic gluconeogenesis and the glucose uptake of muscle in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats have proved the anti-diabetic effect of sorghum extract.
Sanskrit synonyms, Categorization
Devadhanya, Yaavanala, Dheerghanala, Dhirgashara
Bhavaprakasha Nighantu – Dhanya varga
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Dhanya varga
Dhanvantari Nighantu – Suvarnaadi varga
Raja Nighantu – Shalmalyadi varga
Kingdom – Plantae
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Liliopsida
Subclass – Commelinidae
Order – Poales
Family – Poaceae
Genus – Sorghum
Species – S. bicolor