Fig tree uses

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Ficus carica

Characteristics of fig tree

Scientific noun: Ficus carica L.

Common noun: Fig tree, fig, common fig

Family: Fig family – Moraceae

Habitat:: Genuine from SW of Asia, it can be found naturalized in S. Europe, being present in rocky warm places of the Mediterranean zone. Highly cultivated because of its fruits and as an ornamental tree throughout Europe

What is a fig tree like?

A fig or fig tree is a deciduous tree of the fig family – Moraceae– up to 4 m., much more wide tan tall.

It has a smooth stems with grey bark.

Leaves are alternate, palmatifid with 3 to 5 round lobes, very rough to the touch above, pubescent below.

Flowers appear inside a pear-shaped receptacle which later becomes a fruit

The fruit ( fig) is green when unripe and matures into yellowish green or dark purple.


Ficus carica, general aspect of the tree

Components of fig tree

Amino acids: Alanine, aspartine, arginine, cystin, glycine, lysine, lipase, etc.

Enzymes: Esterase, ficin, etc.

Sugars: Glucose, galactose

Fiber: pectin

Vitamins: beta-carotene (Vitamin A) ascorbic- acid (Vitamin C) niacin,)

Fats: Linoleic-acid, malic- acid, oleic-acid

Minerals (potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium… etc.)

Active parts: Latex from leaves, stems and fruits, specially when they are raw.

A detail of the leaves and fruits of fig tree

A detail of the leaves and fruits

Uses of fig tree

Edible fruits: Fig tree fruits (figs) are edible.

Medicinal uses : In internal use, they have been used to fight constipation, bronchitis In external use, latex is applied on warts to get rid of them.

Toxicity of fig tree

Toxicity of fig tree is medium. Contact with its latex has an irritable action on the skin by the action of fucomarines. Also, it can produce photo-sensibility, in the way of blisters.

Are figs toxic? Mature fig fruits are not poisonous. On the contrary, they are very healthy and nutritive fruits. However, eating raw fruits must been avoided, since they can be toxic for the digestive tract and can produce wounds in the hands.


Drawing of leaf and fruits of Ficus carica L.

Symptoms of poisoning with fig tree

– Externally, by the presence of blisters, darker spots on the skin, itching, etc.

– Internally, by some digestive disorders, such as stomach irritation, diarrhea, vomiting… etc.

Medical treatment: Clean the affected zone and apply corticoids. In case of ingestion: vomitives and gastric lavage.

punto rojo More information about fig tree and figs.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.