Sorghum vulgare, commonly known as broom corn, is thought to have originated in central Africa, though it has been grown in both Africa and Asia for centuries. For many cultures, the grains from broom corn are used to make essential foods, such as flat bread. Broom corn is also used to make kunu, a nonalcoholic cereal beverage commonly consumed in Nigeria. According to a survey, only millet is considered to be a better option for making this beverage.
The growth of broom corn was first described in Italy in the 1500s. Approximately 200 years later, Benjamin Franklin may have brought broom corn to the United States. According to secondary sources, Franklin planted a seed that he had found on a small whisk broom given to him by a friend in France. Broom corn was initially grown only in Philadelphia. However, after a man in Massachusetts planted half an acre and began selling brooms, broom corn farming and broom making developed into an important industry.
Broom corn has a course, fibrous seed head that has been used to make various types of brooms, whisk brooms, and brushes for hundreds of years. In addition, broom corn is now commonly used to make decorative items, such as wreaths, swags, floral arrangements, baskets, and autumn displays.
In addition to being used to make household items, some cultures have used broom corn for nutritional or medicinal purposes. From a nutritional standpoint, it has been observed that the carbohydrate content of broom corn may change as the plant grows, indicating that the nutritional value of broom corn changes as it ages. In addition, one study evaluated the energy balance of adult farmers (both male and female) for whom broom corn is a diet staple. Results showed that, on average, women consumed fewer calories than they burned each day, indicating that diets relying on broom corn may not provide enough energy.
Although broom corn has not been well studied in humans from a medicinal standpoint, studies conducted in India have stated that eating broom corn may not protect against the formation of stomach ulcers when an abnormally high amount of stomach acid is present.
There is currently a lack of evidence and safety information from human studies to support the use of broom corn for any indication.
Acid phosphatase, amino acids (lysine, tryptophan), ether extract, fiber, glutamine synthetases, Guinea corn, iron, jowar, kunu, molybdenum, phytates, polyphenols, protein, proteinase inhibitors, Sorghum saccharatum (Moench), sorghum seeds, Sorghum vulgare, starch (including amylase), sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose).
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.