Evergreen tree growing to a height of 30 ft (10 m). Has compound leaves, green flowers, and large violet-brown fruit (bean pods).
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to southeastern Europe, western Asia, and North Africa, carob flourishes in poor soil in warm temperate climates; it is said to “want sight of the sea.” It is cultivated for its fruit, and harvested in late summer or autumn.
The fruit contains up to 70% sugars, fats, starch, proteins, vitamins, and tannins.
History & Folklore
In ancient Egypt, carob pods were combined with porridge, honey, and wax as a remedy for diarrhea. They also featured in recipes for expelling worms, and treating poor eyesight and eye infections.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Carob pods are nutritious and, due to their high sugar content, sweet-tasting and mildly laxative. A decoction of the pulp can be used as an anti-diarrheal, gently helping to cleanse and relieve irritation within the gut.