Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Figs Color Violet Variety
Figs Color Violet Variety

Ficus carica - Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - 1st Part

The pharmaceutical use of fig in contemporary and traditional medicine, is the main theme of this series of articles. That series starts – beyond the obvious botanical interest for the tree itself – from a proverb in various versions found on many peoples. Approximately, this proverb says ‘ your food your medicine and medicine your food ‘.

The nutritional value of the fig – fresh or dried figs – has been recognized for millennia by all the peoples of the Mediterranean countries and the Middle East who have also cultivated it. But these folks did not use the fig tree for food purposes alone. They also used it for therapeutic. Thus, both the fruit and the leaves, the bark, the milky juice and the roots of the fig tree occupy a remarkable place in various systems of traditional medicine and healing, which ethnobotany has recorded and continues to record.

In the last few decades, however, the scientific community seeking new drugs that will be effective against various diseases but at the same time will bring little or no side effects to the patient has turned its research interest into the cradle of medicine, which is no other than the kingdom of the plants.

The fig tree could not be an exception.

Ficus carica – Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig – 1st Part

Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Fig Tree Leaves
Fig Tree Leaves

The Contemporary Pharmaceutical Use of Fig

The genus Ficus includes over 800 species of tropical and subtropical regions of the planet.

Many of these are of extremely high nutritional and economic value. The fig tree (Ficus carica L.) is such a species.

For the nutritional value and the cultivation of the fig tree, reference will be made to subsequent tributes.

Here, we will attempt to present the healing properties of the tree, initially from the point of view of the modern pharmaceutical use of the fig tree.

Ficus carica – Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig – 1st Part

Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Fig Tree
Fig Tree
Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Fig Tree Trunk Part
Fig Tree Trunk Part
Pharmaceutical Use of Fig -Red Figs Near Maturation
Almost Mature Red Figs

Bioactive Compounds of Fig and their Activity

  1. Antioxidant Activity

The fruit of the fig tree – figs – contains significant amounts of phenols. The effect of phenols on the human body is related to the neutralization of free radicals. Related studies have shown that fig cultivars containing high levels of flavonoids, anthocyanins and coumarin also have the highest antioxidant capacity. Higher levels of polyphenol components are represented by cultivars of dark colour figs.

  1. Anticancer Activity

Ethanolic extracts of leaves and fruits showed cytotoxic activity against the breast cancer cell line (MCF7) using MTT assay.

  1. Hepatoprotective Activity

Methanol extract from fig leaves (Ficus carica L.) was evaluated for hepato-protective effect on induced type of CCl4-induced liver damage in rats. Oral administration of 500 mg / kg of the extract resulted in an important protective effect.

  1. Hypoglycamic Activity

Administration of fig leaf extract to rats produced a significant hypoglycemic effect. Research has shown that the aqueous extract of fig (Ficus carica L.) has an obvious hypoglycemic effect.

  1. Antibacterial and Anti-Fungal Activity

Methanol extract from fig leaves (Ficus carica L.) showed strong bactericidal action against oral bacteria. Additionally, it has been shown that combining the extract with the antibiotics gentamicin or ampicillin works synergistically, increasing the antibacterial effects.

Methanol and ethanol extracts from fig leaves effectively combat Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus sp., Enterobacter sp., Klebsiella pneumonia, S. typhi and S. paratyphi.

  1. Antipyretic Activity

Ethanol extract from fig leaves (Ficus carica L.), at doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg / kg, showed dose-dependent significant decrease in normal body temperature. The result lasted five hours longer than that of the standard antipyretic agent, paracetamol (150 mg / kg b.wt., p.o.)

  1. Antispasmodic Activity

Aqueous extract of ethanol from dried figs was administered to rabbits to investigate antispasmodic effect. The result was positive.

Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Fig Tree Branches with Red Figs
Fig Tree Branches with Red Figs
Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Unripe Figs
Unripe Figs
Pharmaceutical Use of Fig - Fig Tree Branches with Ripe and Unripe Figs
Fig Tree Branches with Ripe and Unripe Figs

Ficus carica – Ethnobotanical and Pharmaceutical Use of Fig – 1st Part


  1. Jefferson Airplane

The Jefferson Airplane musical ensemble explains to White Rabbit that in the latest research on the pharmaceutical use of figs, the used rabbits were juicy white in color.

  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. 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.
  3. Shukranul Mawa, Khairana Husain, & Ibrahim Jantan. (2013). Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.


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