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Carob (Ceratonia siliqua)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Alanine, algaroba, arobon, Caesalpinioideae (subfamily), carob bean gum, carob flour, carob gum, carobel, caruba, cellulose, ceratonia gum, Ceratonia siliqua, cheshire gum, China-Eisenwein, cinnamic acid, Fabaceae (family), flavonoids, free gallic acid, fructose, galactomannan, gallic acid, gallotannins, glucose, glycine, goma de garrofín, gomme de caroube, gumilk, hemicellulose, Leguminosae (family), leucine, locust bean, locust bean gum, maltose, methyl gallate, Pomana A, phenolic antioxidants, phenylalanine, praline, St. John's bread, sucrose, tannins, Thiacyl au Caroube, tyrosine, valine.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is a leguminous evergreen tree of the family Leguminosae (pulse family). Carob is technically a legume, and its fruit is a fairly thick and broad pod, 15-30cm in length. Carob pods have been used as food and in medicinal applications since prehistoric times. Although it was originally native to Mediterranean regions, it is now cultivated in many warm climates, including Florida and California.
  • Carob has been used to treat infantile diarrhea, and carob bean gum has been used to control hyperlipidemia and as a dietary adjunct to elevated plasma cholesterol management.
  • There are conflicting data on the effect of carob bean gum as a formula thickener and its effect on regurgitation frequency. The use of soluble dietary fibers such as carob bean gum has been shown to alter food structure, texture and viscosity, the rate of starch degradation during digestion and hence the regulation of postprandial blood sugar and insulin levels.
  • The pods are also ground into a flour, which is often used as a cocoa substitute because it has a somewhat similar taste to chocolate and one-third the calories. As a food, the United States has rated carob as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.