Ficus carica - Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig, 2nd Part

The pharmaceutical use of fig tree (Ficus carica) has been and is extremely widespread in the traditional medicine of many peoples. According to it, all plant parts of the tree contribute, in various forms, either alone or in combination with other medicinal plants and / or plant foods, in the fight against a wide range of diseases.

Ethnobotany has recorded a major part of the unwritten but also written tradition for the pharmaceutical use of the fig tree.

In Persian Arabic folk medicine (that is, Yunani or Unani, which literally means ‘Greek’ because it was based on Hippocrates and Galen’s works), which is practiced in much of the Muslim world, there are various prescriptions for the healing possibilities of the tree. But also in the wider Mediterranean region, there is no lack of references to the pharmaceutical use of the fig tree.

The purpose of this article is to highlight this pharmacognostic heritage regarding the therapeutic use of all plant parts of the fig tree in their natural version.

Ficus carica – Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig, 2nd Part

Use of Fig - Latex from Fresh Fig
Latex from Fresh Fig

Therapeutic Use of Fig in Traditional Medicine

In traditional medicine, all plant parts of fig are used in many ways.

The fruit of fig, fresh or dried, are considered excellent tonics and used as anti-inflammatory, expectorant, mild laxatives, and diuretics as well as for the treatment of hepatic and spleen diseases.

They are also used to control haemorrhages , as well as antipyretics, aphrodisiacs, but also as hair tonics.

The roots are used to treat Leucoderma and skin disorders.

The latex is used as an expectorant, diuretic, anthelmintic and for anemia, while the leaves are used to control diabetes, and the bark against stomatitis.

Use of Fig - Foliage of the Fig Tree
Foliage of the Fig Tree

Ficus carica – Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig, 2nd Part

Use of Fig - Dried Figs
Dried Figs
Use of Fig - Fig Opened in Tree
Fig in Tree
Use of Fig - Design Visualization Of Fig Plant Parts
Design Visualization Of Fig Plant Parts

Traditional Use of Fig for Various Disorders and Diseases

  1. Abdominal Pain

Decoction with dried figs and unpeeled almonds (Abruzzo, Italy).

  1. Antiseptic for Urinary Tract

Decoction prepared with 0.5 L water, 5 dried figs, 4 laurel leaves (Laurus nobilis) and 1 peeled apple (Abruzzo, Italy).

  1. Bee Sting

The latex soothes the bee sting simply by rubbing it on the skin (Buner, Pakistan).

  1. Icterus (Jaundice)

20 ml of leaf juice is mixed with a cup of goat milk and is administered early in the morning once a day for 3 days (Andhra Pradesh, India).

  1. Atony – Weakness

A dried fig is left in the water all night. The morning is consumed. The same procedure is repeated for 15 days (Maharashtra, India).

  1. Wart

The milky latex is applied externally (Alasehir, Izmir, Istanbul – Turkey & Jodhpur – India)

  1. Skin Disease

Figs and latex (Nablus, Palestine) or stem latex (Gilgit, Pakistan).

  1. Regulates Blood Stream

Decoction made with dried figs, laurel leaves (Laurus nobilis) and lemon peel (Abruzzo, Italy).

  1. Antipyretic (Fever)

Consumption of dried figs (Bangladesh) is recommended.

  1. Eye Vision Problems

Dust of dried fruit and sugar taken by mouth with water, twice a day (Abbottabad,Pakistan).

  1. Cough

Decoction of fresh figs (Northern and Central Oman) or decoction of fresh figs with honey taken by mouth (Abruzzo, Italy).

  1. Laxative

Fruit juice is taken orally (Jodhpur, India) or leaves and latex (Buner, Pakistan).

  1. Earache

Leaf juice mixed with honey (Nepal).

  1. Bronchitis

Aqueous infusion of fresh leaf tender is taken orally as a drink (Eucador).

  1. Haemorrhoids

Leaf decoction, which is used externally cold (Catalca, Turkey).

Use of Fig - Wooden Mortar and Pestle Carved by Jim Robinson
Wooden Mortar and Pestle Carved by Jim Robinson
Use of Fig - Fresh Figs Of Different Varieties
Fresh Figs Of Different Varieties

Ficus carica – Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig, 2nd Part

References

  1. Against the Language Divide

The music ensemble of Akritas in the song titled ‘Song‘.

  1. Abdelhakim Bouyahya, Mariem Bensaid, Youssef Bakri, & Nadia Dakka. (2016). Phytochemistry and Ethnopharmacology of Ficus carica. International Journal of Biochemistry Research & Review, 14(1), 1-12.
  2. Alam Imran, Jat R.K, & Srivastava Varnika. (2011). A Rewiew on Traditional, Pharmacological, Pharmacognostic Properties of Ficus carica. International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2(12), 124-127.
  3. Shamkant B. Badgujar, Vainav V. Patel, Atmaram H. Bandivdekar, & Raghunath T. Mahajan. (2014). Traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology of Ficus carica: A review. Pharm Biol, 52(11), 1487–1503.
  4. Shukranul Mawa, Khairana Husain, & Ibrahim Jantan. (2013). Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.
  5. Vikas V. Patil, & Vijay R. Patil. (n.d.). Ficus carica Linn.-An Overview. Research Journal of Medicinal Plant, 5(3), 246-253.

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