Carob Powder Profile
Also known as
Ceratonia siliqua, Locust Bean, St. Johns Bread, Carob Tree.
The carob is a tree in the same plant family as beans and
peas. Its pods have been used for food for as long as 5,000 years. Carob
pods were thought to be the "locust beans" consumed by John the
Baptist, hence the name St John’s Bread. The Greeks referred to them
as the "Egyptian fig" as the tree was first raised in Egypt and Western
Asia. It has since adapted to cultivation in the semitropical reaches of
the United States, Australia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. The
Egyptians used the carob seeds as an adhesive binding during the
mummification process. Made popular as a substitute for chocolate, carob
powder was once deemed essential to the opera, for saving the voices of
performance-weary sopranos. The seeds were also used by the Greeks and
Romans as a unit of weight measurement for gold. It has been
hypothesized that this is where the term carat is derived from.
According to Dr. James Duke, carob seed powder contains
alanine, alpha-aminopimelic-acid, amino acids, arginine, ash, aspartic
acid, benzoic acid, butyric acid, capronic acid, carubin, catechin
tannin, cellulose, ceratoniase, ceratose, chiro-inositol,
concanavalin-A, fat, formic acid, fructose, D-galactose, gallic acid,
beta-D1,6-DI-O-galloylglucose, beta-D-glucogallin, glucose, glutamic
acid, glycine, gum, hemicellulose, histidine, hydroxyproline, invert
sugars, isobutyric acid, isoleucine, leucine, leucodelphinidin, lignin,
lysine, D-mannose, methionine, mucilage, myoinositol, pectin, pentosane,
phenylalanine, pinitol, primverose, proline, protein, saccarose,
saponin, serine, starch, sucrose, sugars, tannin, threonine, tocopherol,
tyrosine, valine, water, xylose. The pods are rich in antioxidant
polyphenols (19.2%), like chocolate.
Seeds and pods
Seed and pod powder usually roasted but raw as well, used in
the same manner as cocoa powder and sprinkled on food or taken as a tea,
extract or capsule. The cut Carob is the easiest form to be taken as a
tea. The raw carob is perceived as bitter by most taste buds so roasting
it improves the flavor dramatically, however many do enjoy the raw
flavor of Carob.
As a food, carob is most often used as a hypoallergenic
substitute for chocolate. In herbal medicine, carob powder is most often
used as a treatment for diarrhea. The fiber (locust bean gum) in carob
helps reduce the volume of fluid lost and prevents dehydration,
especially in children. Give to children mixed with applesauce or sweet
potatoes and a glass of water. In traditional herbal medicine, carob
powders are used to treat prostatitis and prostate infections. It is
also applied topically to remove warts. Carob powder is useful as a diet
food, and is used in a variety of weight loss formulations, energy
bars, drinks, and tea formulations. It lowers the glycemic index of
foods with which it is mixed. A slice of carob cake, for instance,
releases sugars much more slowly into the bloodstream than a slice of
In very rare instances, allergy is possible. Avoid over-consumption until you know you are not allergic.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This product was added to our catalog on Friday 25 September, 2009.