How Does This Ayurvedic Food Improve Wellness?
CLINICAL AYURVEDIC REVIEW
Every time I stop in a country store of the Southern Appalachian, I find a jar of sorghum molasses. "A couple of generations ago, sorghum was a staple sweetener in the South. It was cheap and plentiful."
Sorghum flour is now gaining popularity among health enthusiasts as a gluten free alternative to wheat.
Sorghum may be eaten as a whole berry, or ground into flour. The flour has a fine, tender texture and delicate mouth feel. Just as smooth, demulcent, gooey as oatmeal or wheat but not as heavy. I noticed my sorghum pancakes were light and fluffy, delightful to eat. One student writes, "Making a pancake-of-sorts with the sorghum flour was very satisfying. The smell in the kitchen, and savory flavor in my mouth, brought back that Saturday morning satisfaction without the heaviness of wheat."
Chef Michelle Bernstein of Cena in Miami says the whole berries are "very toothsome and filling." Chef Marc Forgione of Lobster Press NYC says, "The closest thing I can compare it to is heirloom farro; it's got a great, earthy bite to it, and if you cook it risotto style, it will have a nice chew to it." For a fun twist, the berries can also be popped like popcorn.
Sorghum is closely related to sugarcane. It is slightly sweet and can be used to make alcohol.
The plant Sorghum bicolor is the 5th most important cereal crop grown in the world. It is popular not only in the southern USA, but also in Africa, and India.
Footnote: The information for this article was in part gathered from a 2020 study and survey of 13 students of Ayurveda who experimented with sorghum. During the study, students ate sorghum for 3 days and journaled the pharmacological effects. This study was sponsored by the Joyful Belly School of Ayurveda, and specifically the Mastering Ayurvedic Digestion & Nutrition certification course.
Light, Easy to Digest."My whole body felt lighter and more energetic than when I eat a lot of wheat," says one student. Kapha individuals will enjoy sorghum because it is drier and lighter than wheat. It won't put you to sleep after eating. It's a great grain if wheat and dairy are causing too much mucus or weight gain.
It's unusual to find a light food that is nourishing AND satisfying. Sorghum is like white rice in lightness, but has a more robust nutritional profile. Most high protein, nourishing foods are heavy. Most light foods, like salads, are not considered comfort foods. But sorghum is both.
Satisfying, Relaxing But LightSorghum is especially great as a comfort food because it is relaxing. One student reports, "My core feels more grounded, and that is pleasant."
The ample sweet taste, and high magnesium profile, relaxes muscles. Sorghum's relaxing nature can be helpful for many conditions, from insomnia to epilepsy. It's high protein, complex carb, sugar balance makes it great for epileptics.
For a great grounding, yet light food, sorghum can't be beat!
LungsBrazilians decoct the seed for bronchitis, cough and other chest ailments. They use the ash for goiters. Arubans place hot oil poultices of the seeds on the backs of those suffering with pulmonary congestion.
Chinese medicine lists it as a cough suppressant and bronchodilator that resolves phlegm. The root is considered the most potent part of the plant for lung conditions.
Blood & Muscles
The high iron content of sorghum nourishes the blood. Sorghum plant sap is a known remedy for anemia. It is especially helpful in sickle cell anemia, as it builds hemoglobin. Studies suggest the sap is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Sorghum would therefore be considered Pitta pacifying.
Sorghum is slightly warming. However, its mild vasodilating quality disperses excess heat. One student reported a "pulsing sensation and lightness in the face, arms, and legs." Another said, "I had a feeling of lightness making my head feel like it is levitating."
Sorghum is sweet but a complex carbohydrate with a low gylcemic index. Complex carbohydrates satisfy your hunger longer and are healthier for diabetes patients.
As a diuretic, sorghum may reduce blood pressure, relieve edema, and flush the kidney of toxins.
Digestion & EliminationStudents reported that stools were more solid and better formed, after eating sorghum. Here's why:
Sorghum is a nourishing and relaxing yet unusually light grain. Bitter and astringent aftertastes hint at Sorghum's Kapha pacifying nature. It is ideal for a stressful day when you want something satisfying that won't weigh you down.
Buying & Preparation
Darker sorghums have more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds than lighter varieties. Also, remember to look for sorghum under its many other names: In India it is known as jowar. Other names include great millet, Indian millet, milo, durra, or shallu.
Cooking Sorghum FlourIts slightly astringent and bitter aftertastes are not as pleasant as wheat. This is especially true for desserts with subtle flavors like vanilla cake. But sorghum is an ideal substitute for wheat in savory recipes like muffins and pancakes.
If you plan to bake anything taller than a pancake, sorghum will need a binder. Otherwise it may not rise, making the end product more dense. Without a binder it will be brittle. When I cook with gluten free products, I often stick to cookies and pancakes, which don't have to rise as much.
Is Sorghum Flour Good for My Ayurvedic Diet?Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Sorghum Flour is a good fit for your body type. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.
AYURVEDA'S GUIDE TO VITALITY & WHOLESOME NOURISHMENTYour Ayurvedic diet is tailored to your individual body and your specific imbalances. With an Ayurvedic diet you feel joy and satisfaction because what you are eating truly nourishes and balances you. Disease results from diets and lifestyles that are incompatible with your nature. By eating a personalized diet matched to your body, you experience optimal health. See How it Works.
SERVING SIZE: 1/4 c
Biocharacteristics of Sorghum FlourSee a complete list of all biocharacteristics.
Compare Sorghum Flour with these Foods
Hemp Seed has these Actions in CommonAnxiolytic, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Satisfies-stomach, Diuretic, Nutritive, Sedative, High-fiber-laxative, Relaxes-eyes
Amaranth has these Actions in CommonNutritive, Blood-tonic, High-fiber-laxative, Relaxes-eyes, Demulcent, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Satisfies-stomach, Diuretic
Popped Amaranth has these Actions in CommonBlood-tonic, High-fiber-laxative, Relaxes-eyes, Demulcent, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Satisfies-stomach, Diuretic, Nutritive
Acai has these Actions in CommonNerve-relaxant-grounding, Anti-inflammatory, Hypotensive, Nutritive, Brain-tonic, Livotonic, Relaxes-eyes, High-fiber-laxative
Jackfruit has these Actions in CommonSatisfies-stomach, Demulcent, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Anti-inflammatory, Dries-mouth, Nutritive, Constipative, High-fiber-laxative
Beets has these Actions in CommonAnxiolytic, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Satisfies-stomach, Blood-tonic, Nutritive, Anti-inflammatory, Livotonic, Relaxes-eyes
Millet has these Actions in CommonBronchodilator, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Spleen-tonic, Constipative, Nutritive, Dries-mouth, Satisfies-stomach
Adzuki Beans has these Actions in CommonDiuretic, Nutritive, Blood-tonic, Dries-mouth, Satisfies-stomach, Constipative, High-fiber-laxative
Tofu has these Actions in CommonConstipative, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Diuretic, Nutritive, Anti-inflammatory, Dries-mouth, Satisfies-stomach
Honey Dew has these Actions in CommonHypotensive, Relaxes-eyes, Diuretic, Livotonic, Satisfies-stomach, High-fiber-laxative, Nutritive
Compare Sorghum Flour with these Herb Supplements
Holy Basil Leaf (Tulsi)
Holy Basil Leaf (Tulsi) has these Actions in CommonBlood-tonic, Bronchodilator, Constipative, Diuretic, Dries-mouth, Anti-inflammatory, Lung-tonic, Antidepressant, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Anxiolytic, Sedative
Ashwagandha has these Actions in CommonAnti-inflammatory, Sedative, Antidepressant, Anxiolytic, Blood-tonic, Brain-tonic, Diuretic, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Nutritive
Punarnava has these Actions in CommonAnti-inflammatory, Antitussive, Blood-tonic, Bronchodilator, Diuretic, Hypotensive, Lung-tonic, Nerve-relaxant-grounding
Elecampane has these Actions in CommonAntitussive, Brain-tonic, Bronchodilator, Diuretic, Lung-tonic, Sedative, Anthelminthic
Black Cohosh has these Actions in CommonAnti-inflammatory, Antidepressant, Anxiolytic, Bronchodilator, Hypotensive, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Sedative
Gokshura has these Actions in CommonDiuretic, Hypotensive, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Nutritive, Sedative, Antitussive, Demulcent
Bhringaraj has these Actions in CommonDiuretic, Hypotensive, Livotonic, Sedative, Anthelminthic, Anti-inflammatory, Blood-tonic
Vidari has these Actions in CommonNutritive, Constipative, Demulcent, Diuretic, Hypotensive, Livotonic, Nerve-relaxant-grounding
Licorice Ghee (9oz)
Licorice Ghee (9oz) has these Actions in CommonRelaxes-eyes, Anti-inflammatory, Antitussive, Demulcent, Livotonic, Lung-tonic, Nutritive
Licorice Root (Yastimadhu)
Licorice Root (Yastimadhu) has these Actions in CommonAntitussive, Demulcent, Livotonic, Lung-tonic, Nutritive, Relaxes-eyes, Anti-inflammatory
Passionflower has these Actions in CommonAntidepressant, Anxiolytic, Bronchodilator, Hypotensive, Nerve-relaxant-grounding, Sedative
Joyful Belly is a recognized school of biocharacteristics medicine.
TRADITIONALLY INDICATED FOR THESE SYMPTOMSSorghum Flour may be beneficial for these symptoms. The suitability of any food for a condition is highly dependent on the individual. Please see your doctor before using this food to treat a medical condition.
View Other Ingredients for SummerSorghum Flour is recommended for Summer. Check out these other Summer foods here.
HOW DOES EATING AYURVEDICALLY MAKE YOU FEEL?Eating Ayurvedically makes you feel nourished and energized. Food digests with ease when right for your body type (dosha). Healthy digestion is seen as the cornerstone of well-being in Ayurveda. Healthy digestion generally prevents illness. If you do get sick, a strong digestive fire reduces the severity of illness and increases your resilience. It also improves your mood. Once you begin eating Ayurvedically, you will feel refreshed, vital and strong.
Clinical Tools & Resources
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics. His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda, offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, as well as public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well. Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.
Comments & Impressions of 'Sorghum Flour'Do you like 'sorghum flour'? Why or why not? What makes it unique? Is there something you'd like to know about 'sorghum flour'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 rating, 133 likesSign in to review this food