Carob Bean or St. John's Bread
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Carob Bean or St. John's Bread CAROB BEAN  
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Botanical:   Ceratonia siliqua
Family:   Fabaceae (pea)
Other common names:  St. John's Bread, Algarroba

Troubled by diarrhea?   High fiber and tannin-rich properties in Carob Bean may account for its recent popularity and reputation as a remarkable remedy for treating this common ailment.

The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Carob pods grow on a dome-shaped evergreen tree with dark green compound leaves.  The tree may reach a towering height of nearly fifty feet and is native to the Mediterranean region of southeastern Europe and western Asia, and has been widely cultivated in those areas since ancient times for its edible pods, which are rich in protein and sugar.  The pods are the so-called "locusts" that St. John the Baptist ate while he wandered and prayed in the desert; hence, we have Carob's common name, St. John's Bread.  The seeds, which are remarkably uniform in mass, were used in ancient times as the original weight units for gold used by jewelers and goldsmiths and from which, we presume, the term "carat" is derived.  Although the root system grows deeply, the trees cannot tolerate waterlogging and thrive best in hot climates.  It is drought-resistant and well adapted to its native Mediterranean region and it one of the few trees growing in the desert regions of South America.   Although not regarded as a food staple in the Mediterrean countries, it will provide sustenance during times of famine and has been traditionally planted as forage for animals; it probably sustained the horses of Lord Allenby's cavalry during World War I and the Duke of Wellington's mounts in Spain during the Peninsular Campaign.  Since Carob is said to possess soothing properties, its demulcent qualities were at one time used by singers to clear the throat.  Some of Carob's constituents include, protein, tannins, carbohydrates and fiber.

Beneficial Uses:
Carob Bean is considered a remarkable antidiarrheal, and it is highly recommended that travelers pack Carob when visiting foreign countries.  Carob is said to be a fiber-rich supplement and abundant in one class of tannins (polyphenols) that not only help to stop diarrhea, but also manifest strong antiviral and antiseptic properties, making it effective when given to treat bacterial-induced diarrhea.

According to Dr. Qi Dai, assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, a ten-year study found that the particularly strong antioxidant effects of the polyphenols, which may be found in Carob Bean, act to reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's disease.

Carob is considered a demulcent, a medicine with soothing, mucilaginous qualities that shield mucous membranes from irritating substances.

In France, some early research indicates that Carob may be helpful in stimulating inactive kidneys and may be effective in cases of chronic kidney failure.

Carob Bean is a wonderful substitute for Cocoa, because it contains fewer calories, is naturally sweet and, unlike Cocoa or sweet chocolate, is caffeine-free and non addictive.  In addition, it is usually cheaper.  Also unlike Cocoa and chocolate, Carob does not interfere with the body's assimilation of calcium.  Carob Beans may be roasted and ground for use as a coffee substitute, and Carob is a versatile additive used to flavor jams, liqueurs, juices, cigarettes and other food products.

Currently, there are no known warnings or contraindications with the use of Carob Bean Herbal Supplement, but some people have reported red eyes or thick discharge from the eyes, or sticky eyelids in the morning upon awakening.

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