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Ficus Carica

Family: Moraceae | Place of Origin: Near East

Origins and history:   

Figs originated in the Near East and travelled to the Mediterranean Basin, Egypt and Tibet. Cultivation began around 11,000 years ago during the Neolithic period. It’s possible that Ficus Carica was the very first tree cultivated. Significant to religions of Abraham some believe the fruit of knowledge was perhaps a fig and when Adam and Eve had opened their eyes for the first time, they covered themselves up with the leaves of a fig. In Buddhism it was underneath the bodhi fig tree where Buddha had first reached enlightenment and is later aniconically represented with its motif. In Greece it was believed figs were a gift from the goddess of agriculture Demeter to the common people due to their hospitality. In addition, many cultures associate figs as being a symbol of fertility. 

Identification characteristics  

Uses and preparation

Consumption of Fruit: Raw/Fresh, Dried, Jams, Various Pastries, Wine/Spirits 

Medicinal (Fruit, Root, Latex): Figs have approximately 21 medicinal uses both traditional & Modern.  

Chinese (Ayruvedic & Mediterranean Traditional): Fruit juice with honey for hemorrhage, dried and rehydrated for cough, fruit paste applied to swelling, tumors and pain relief  

Latex externally: tumors, bug bites, warts  

Modern Pharmacopeia: Leaf tincture for hormone regulation 

Other: Laxative, indigestion