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Carob is a warm-climate tree that grows up to 50 feet in height. Its long, reddish pods contain seeds used as medicine and food. The seed consists of three different parts: the outer husk, the nutritive endosperm (analogous to the white edible portion of the coconut), and the inner seed, or germ. The endosperm is converted to locust bean gum, a thickening agent used in numerous prepared foods. The entire pod, when dried and ground, is called carob powder. Carob powder is used both as a chocolate-like flavoring and as a medicinal substance for treatment of diarrhea.
A typical dose of carob powder for the treatment of diarrhea or high cholesterol in adults is 15–20 grams daily. The dose is reduced proportionately by weight for treating diarrhea in children. Like other fiber sources, carob should be taken with plenty of water. Note that severe diarrhea in children or infants requires professional medical care.