Overview

Carob is a tree. Don't confuse carob with Jacaranda caroba, which is also known as carob tree. People use the carob fruit (pods and seeds) for medicine and in foods.

Carob is used for diarrhea, diabetes, prediabetes, persistent heartburn, obesity, athletic performance, and high cholesterol, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods and beverages, carob is used as a flavoring agent and as a chocolate substitute. Carob flour and extracts are also used as ingredients in food products.

How does it work ?

Carob contains chemicals and fiber. These compounds might cause weight loss, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels, and lower cholesterol levels.

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Possibly Effective for

  • Diarrhea. Some research suggests that drinking juice extracted from raw carob bean or taking carob pod powder before taking standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) reduces the duration of symptoms in children and infants with acute diarrhea.
  • High cholesterol. Most research suggests that taking carob pulp or specific carob products (Caromax, Nutrinova; Exxenterol, Puleva Biotech SA) by mouth daily for up to 6 weeks reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with moderately high cholesterol.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Athletic performance . Early research in trained athletes suggests that taking carob pod powder by mouth for 6 weeks improves elements of athletic performance.
  • Conditions in a man that prevent him from getting a woman pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (male infertility). Early research suggests that taking syrup made of ground carob pods can improve sperm function in men with infertility. But it may not increase the number of babies born.
  • Inherited tendency towards high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia). Early research suggests that taking carob gum by mouth for 4-8 weeks reduces total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol levels in children and adults with familial hypercholesterolemia.
  • Obesity. Early research shows that carob might lower cholesterol levels in overweight adults.
  • Prediabetes. Some research suggests that taking carob by mouth in a beverage helps to improve blood sugar in people at risk of diabetes.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Sprue.
  • Heartburn.
  • Vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of carob for these uses.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Carob is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in food amounts or as a medicine. Some people are allergic to carob.

Special Precautions and Warnings

When taken by mouth: Carob is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken in food amounts or as a medicine. Some people are allergic to carob. Children: Carob gum is POSSIBLY SAFE when used as a thickener for regular healthy term infants who have problems with vomiting after feeding. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to use carob-based milk thickening agents in preterm infants. There have been two deaths thought to be related to the use of this thickener.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if carob is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid amounts greater than those found in foods.

Interactions ?

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • Medications taken by mouth (Oral drugs) interacts with CAROB

    Carob is a type of fiber. Fiber can change how much medicine the body absorbs. Taking carob along with medicine you take by mouth can change the effectiveness of the medicine. To prevent this interaction take carob 30-60 minutes after medications you take by mouth.

Dosing

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

ADULTS

BY MOUTH:
  • High cholesterol: 4 grams twice daily of a carob fiber containing 80% polyphenols (Exxenterol, Puleva Biotech SA) for 4 weeks. 15 grams daily of a specific carob product (Caromax, Nutrinova) for 6 weeks. 15 grams daily of carob pulp in prepared food products.
CHILDREN

BY MOUTH:
  • Diarrhea: In children, 20 mL/kg of juice extracted from raw carob bean, followed by standard oral rehydration solution (ORS) over 4-6 hours. In infants, 1.5 grams/kg of carob pod powder, up to a maximum dose of 15 grams each day, along with ORS for up to 6 days..
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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty 2020.