In addition to being a healthy alternative to chocolate, carob provides other benefits. In particular, recent clinical studies have confirmed the use of carob for treating diarrhea. A double blind clinical study has demonstrated that carob is useful for treating infants with diarrhea, but a less rigorous trial showed it was of little help for adults with traveler's diarrhea.
Carob's beneficial effects are due primarily to its tannins and large sugar molecules. Unlike many types of tannin, those found in carob are not water-soluble, so they don't bind to proteins and render them unavailable, as many types of tannin do. Instead, carob's tannins not only have an astringent or drying effect in the gastrointestinal system, but also bind to and inactivate toxins and inhibit the growth of bacteria. Its large sugar molecules make carob pulp gummy and able to absorb water and act as a thickener, helping to bind together watery stools. Taken with plenty of water, 15 g of carob powder mixed with a little applesauce or mashed sweet potato provides a palatable, child-safe remedy. Adults should use at least 20 g of carob powder.
Also, by making food more viscous in the stomach, the dietary fiber and sugars provided by carob may reduce the reflux of acid into the esophagus, providing relief for sufferers of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).