Scientific Name/Common Name: Ficus carica / Fig
Part(s) Used: Fruit
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Figs contain sugar of figs, 62.5%; fatty matter, 0.9%; gum with phosphoric acid; pectins/fiber (2.9 g/100 g), polyphenols (chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, syringic acid, epicatechin, rutin), seeds, and water.
Overview: Figs are the fruit of a small bush or tree native to Persia, Asia Minor, and Syria. Figs were first proclaimed as a health tonic by the ancient King Mithrydates in 1551 B.C. and are frequently mentioned in the Bible. The well-known herbalist, Gerard, believed that, “figs preserve us from all pestilence”. Figs are nutritive, demulcent, emollient, and aperient (a mild laxative used to treat headaches, constipation, indigestion, and dyspepsia). Figs and fig juice have laxative action, which is why figs are primarily indicated for treating constipation. The British Pharmacopoeia formerly listed three fig laxative preparations for treating children and persons with sensitive systems.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: As a digestive aid and laxative for treating constipation and a good source of fiber.
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Veberic R, Colaric M, Stampar F (2008). “Phenolic acids and flavonoids of fig fruit (Ficus carica L.) in the northern Mediterranean region”. Food Chemistry 106 (1): 153–157.
“Nutrition facts for dried figs, uncooked per 100 g”. Conde Nast for the USDA National Nutrient Database, version SR-21. 2014.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.