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Carob – (Ceratonia siliqua)

Carob

The carob tree, known as the Locust Bean and St. John's Bread, is related to plants like beans and peas. The pods have been used as a food source for over 5,000 years and it is thought to be the only source of food used by John the Baptist when he was in the desert. Commercially prepared candy is full of sugar and fat just like chocolate, so it isn't a much better alternative for a treat unless you are allergic to chocolate or want to avoid the caffeine.

 

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Carob is most frequently used medicinally as a treatment for diarrhea. The fiber, also known as locust bean gum, helps prevent dehydration, especially in children. The fiber is also showing promise for lowering cholesterol. It also is showing potential to help weight loss and to control blood sugar levels. Powder is used for prostatitis and prostate infections. The powder was used in the 1950s as an additive to infant milk formulas to help them keep their food down. It also helped cure the infants of diarrhea.

Externally – Carob powder is also used to remove warts.

Other Uses – Carob is used as a chocolate substitute, as cocoa powder and as a natural sweetener. People who are allergic to chocolate can generally use this herb. It does not contain caffeine and theobromine like chocolate, and it is lower in fat. The powder lowers the glycemic index of foods when it is added, making it a good diet additive. Opera singers once used it to save their voices when performing on a strenuous schedule. The powder is also used in veterinary medicine to relieve diarrhea in livestock. Flour made from the herb is used cosmetically to make an herbal face-pack to tone and cleanse the skin. Carob wood is used to make walking sticks and in marquetry work.

Parts Used

Seeds, pods – Both the seed and pods are used from the tree.

Cautions

While rare, it is possible to have allergic reactions to carob. Overall however, it is considered safe to take. There are no known drug interactions. While it is considered safe for infants, its medicinal use should always be supervised by a skilled care provider.

Preparation and Dosage

The herb can be taken as a tea, an extract or a capsule. Children can take this herb mixed with apple sauce or sweet potatoes with water to treat diarrhea. They should have no more than 15 grams of powder per day. Adults can take at least 20 grams per day for diarrhea. Carob should always be taken with plenty of water.

Carob Herbal Remedies Top