Herbs of the Holyland by Nissim Krispil

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Common name:


Synonym name:

Hebrew name:

חרוב מצוי

Scientific name:

Ceratonia siliqua



Arabic name:


10 m
Flowering color:
Flowering period:
Growing areas:
Carob tree Grows in the coastal limestone ridges, from Rosh Hanikra to Netanya, at the foot of the mountains in the east and west of the Galilee, Carmel, Ramot Menashe, and the West Bank.The tree is very common in the Judean lowlands. It is found especially in the Adullam region near the settlements Tirosh, Gefen and Sdot Micah..
Carob is a common tree in Israel it has thick trunk and usually curved. The leaves are constructed of 2-4 pairs of egg-shaped shiny leaflets. The flowers are small reddish and have an unpleasant odor; they grow in narrow raceme on the branches. At the beginning the fruit color is pale green when its ripening it becomes dark brown. In the folk medicine carob is recommended as a treatment for diarrhea, mouth sores, herpes, Respiratory Diseases, acute cough, for preventing internal bleeding and a prevention medicine against winter illnesses.
Carob Honey is considered the most effective medicine for herpes and mouth sores. You can purchase it in herbal shops, but no one can guarantee that the carob honey is pure. 
In the midst of ripening season (August to October) when the fruits are honeyed and juicy pick 5 - 3 kg of them.
Break the carob fruits into small pieces, put in a pot and pour water over them, to such an extent that all the pieces dipped in water. Set aside for about two days.
In the Soaking process, the sweetness of the fruits is absorbed into the water. Remove the pieces of carob from the water and put them in a cloth bag, Tie its open, place it in the bowl and put above the bag a stone or a weight. The remaining residue of sweetness is dripping from the fruits into the bowl. at the end of the process Pour all your sweet liquid into one bowl, Strain the liquid, pour it into a pot and place the pot on the stove on low to medium heat. 
The Liquid condensation process takes time, the water has to leave the solution and what remain are the sugars. Always remove the excess of foam during the process. When the liquid begins to thicken reduce the stove to low heat, until you get a thick black honey. High heat will not expedite the process; on the contrary it may burn the honey. At the end of the process cool the carob honey and store it in a jar or airtight container. 
For treating herpes or mouth sores: Spread carob honey on the lips or roll it in the mouth. The carob honey can be used as an energetic food for treating winter illnesses. Mix carob honey with raw tahini, you get a taste reminiscent of halva delicacy (sweetmeat of sesame oil and nuts). Eating two heaping tablespoons of the halva delicacy, every day is helpful to be immune against winter diseases.
The Hebrew name "carob" is firstly mentioned in the Talmud: " eat carob " it is a kind of a curse, which means you will only eat carob (Vayikra Rabba 13,4), that’s because at those days carob was the food of the poor.  The Hebrew name for carob is Haruv it comes from the Hebrew word "Harev"- dryness, because the tree can grow in dry and arid places. Others think that it derives from the Hebrew word 'herev'- sword, because its fruits shape is like a sword.
There is a very known story of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, that he  escaped from the Romans and hided in a cave in Pekiin, there he ate only carob for long period, and there he wrote his kabala book.
The great Greek physician, pedanius Dioscorides, from the first century writes: "The young fruits are bad for the stomach, they allow the abdomen (causes diarrhea), the ripe fruits hold the abdomen (causes constipation). The Last are better for the stomach and have an impact on urinary excretion, especially those that have been placed with leftovers of squeezed grapes. 
The famous Jewish doctor from the sevens century - Assaf ben Berechiah (asaf harofe) writes:" carob hold the Bowel movement "and" subdue the phlegm and restrain the conversion ". 
The rural villagers of the Galilee produce carob syrup and the call it ' rob al-Kharub'. They give this syrup to children infected with sores in the mouth.