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Caroba

Botanical: Jacaranda procera (SPRENG.)
Family: N.O. Bignoniacea
—Synonyms—Carob Tree. Carobinha. Bignonia Caroba. Jacaranda Caroba. Caaroba.
—Part Used—The leaves.
—Habitat—South America.

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—Description—The genus Jacaranda includes several species which are used medicinally in South America, and especially in Brazil. The trees are small, and the leaves thick, tough, and lanceolate, about 2 1/2 inches long, odourless, and slightly bitter in taste.
—Constituents—There has been found in the leaves Caroba balsam, caroborelinic acid carobic acid, steocarobic acid, carobon, and crystalline substance, carobin.

—Medicinal Actions and Uses—The value of the Jacaranda active principles has been proved in syphilis and venereal diseases, being widely used by the aborigines of Brazil and other South American countries. The leaves have also been tried in epilepsy for their soothing influence.

—Dosage—From 15 to 60 grains.

—Other Species—
CAROB-TREE, or Ceratonia siliqua, is a small tree of the Mediterranean coasts. (One species of Jacarande tree grows in Palermo, and the exquisite blue flowers when in bloom about the middle of June are an arresting sight, much more suggestive of ‘Love in the Mist’ than the plant which actually bears that name. – EDITOR.) Beyond its name it has no connexion with Caroba. It furnishes the St. John’s Bread which probably corresponds to the husks of the Prodigal Son parable, and the seed which is said to have been the original jewellers’ carat weight.

The Spaniards call it Algaroba, and the Arabs Kharoub, hence Carob or Caroub Pods, Beans, or Sugar-pods. It is also called Locust Pods. These pods are much used in the south of Europe for feeding domestic animals and, in times of scarcity, as human food. Being saccharine, they are more heatgiving than nourishing. The seeds or beans were used as fodder for British cavalry horses during the Spanish campaign of 1811-12.

South American varieties are Prosopis dulcis and P. siliquastrum of the Leguminosae family.

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