By Liliana Usvat
Figs are part of a large family of tropical, subtropical, deciduous, and evergreen, vines and trees that belong to the mulberry family, specifically the Moraceae family. The most well known fig is the Ficus carica, this is the type that produces the edible fig fruit that we all know and love.
A fig tree is any Ficus, a genus of about 850 species of woody trees.
The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans. Nine subfossil figs of a parthenocarpic (and therefore sterile) type dating to about 9400–9200 BC were found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal I (in the Jordan Valley, 13 km north of Jericho). The find predates the domestication of wheat, barley, and legumes, and may thus be the first known instance of agriculture. It is proposed that this sterile but gustatively desirable type was planted and cultivated intentionally, one thousand years before the next crops were domesticated (wheat and rye)
Fig Trees around the Word Cultures and Religions
A fig “fruit” is derived from a specially adapted type of inflorescence (an arrangement of multiple flowers). In this case, it is an involuted, nearly closed receptacle with many small flowers arranged on the inner surface. Thus the actual flowers of the fig are unseen unless the fig is cut open.
In Chinese the fig is called wú huā guǒ (simplified Chinese: 无花果; traditional Chinese: 無花果), “fruit without flower”
In Bengali, where the Common Fig is called dumur, it is referenced in a proverb: tumi jeno dumurer phool hoe gele (“You have become [invisible like] the dumur flower”).
Fig trees have profoundly influenced culture through several religious traditions. Among the more famous species are the Sacred Fig tree (Pipal, Bodhi, Bo, or Po, Ficus religiosa) and the Banyan Fig (Ficus benghalensis).
The oldest living plant of known planting date is a Ficus religiosa tree known as the Sri Maha Bodhi planted in the temple at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by King Tissa in 288 BCE.
The common fig is one of the two sacred trees of Islam, and there is a sura in Quran named “The Fig” or At-Tin (سوره تین).
In East Asia, figs are important in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
The Buddha is traditionally held to have found bodhi (enlightenment) while meditating under a Sacred Fig (F. religiosa).
The same species was Ashvattha, the “world tree” of Hinduism.
The Plaksa Pra-sravana was said to be a fig tree between the roots of which the Sarasvati River sprang forth; it is usually held to be a Sacred Fig but more probably seems to be a Wavy-leaved Fig (F. infectoria).
The Common Fig tree is cited in the Bible, where in Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve cover their nakedness with fig leaves. The fig fruit is also included in the list of food found in the Promised Land, according to the Torah (Deut. 8).
The Book of Deuteronomy specifies the fig as one of the Seven Species (Deuteronomy 8:7-8), describing the fertility of the land of Canaan. This is a set of seven plants indigenous to the Middle East that together can provide food all year round. The list is organized by date of harvest, with the fig being fourth due to its main crop ripening during summer.
Jesus cursed a fig tree for bearing no fruit (Mark 11:12–14).
The fig tree was sacred in ancient Cyprus where it was a symbol of fertility.
- Plant seeds of dried figs with moist sphagnum moss or other media in a zip lock bag and expect germination in a few weeks to several months.
- An alternative propagation method is bending over a taller branch, scratching the bark to reveal the green inner bark, then pinning the scratched area tightly to the ground. Within a few weeks, roots will develop and the branch can be clipped from the mother plant and transplanted where desired.
- For spring propagation, before the tree starts growth, cut 15–25 cm (6-10 inches) shoots that have healthy buds at their ends, and set into a moist perlite and/or sandy soil mix located in the shade. Once the cuttings start to produce leaves, bury them up to the bottom leaf to give the plant a good start in the desired location.
Fig as Natural Remedy
Figs are actually highly alkaline and contain a powerful healing agent.
It contains vitamin C, beta carotene, B vitamins, calcium, iron and potassium and rich in dietary fiber.
- Fresh or dried, fig is a great fruit available for us to use to relieve toothache,
- solve digestive problems, and
- even strengthen the nails.
- a natural laxative- treat constipation
- clean toxins and
- improve canker sores
- strengthening the immune system.
- they balance the acidic conditions obtained as a result of consuming a menu rich in meat and processed foods.
- Fresh figs are especially good for people suffering from cuts or lip sores, or sores in the tongue and mouth. In these situations figs are great for internal use and should be spread on the affected areas.
- Drinking figs brew helps relieve dry cough, asthma and sore throat, and helps in cases of excess mucus. Cook a fig or two with half a cup of water for a few minutes, and drink the liquid several times a day.
- To improve gingivitis brew 6-7 figs with a cup of boiling water, soak the figs for three days, filter, gargle and swallow the liquid. The recommended dosage is one tablespoon, five times a day. The fig is also suitable for relieving toothache by rubbing a fresh fig on the gums.
- For treating eye infections dilute fig milk with water and apply on the inflamed eye by a gauze bandage.
- figs are suitable for treating gastric ulcers
- People who suffer from iron deficiency (anaemia) should eat at least one fig a day.
- Figs can be used to make an excellent remedy for sore throats. To make this remedy boil four or five fresh figs in about one pint of water. Bring the water to a boil and strain the mixture. Once cooled you can drink the mixture as often as needed to cure your sore throat.
- The Alkalizing properties of the fig make it an anticancer.
- Figs also contains ficin, which aids in digestion.
- The fig fruit contains a fairly potent bactericide; it reduces body heat, and helps to ease inflammation.
- Lower cholesterol: Figs contain Pectin, which is a soluble fiber. When fiber moves through the digestive system, it basically mops up excess clumps of cholesterol and carries them to the excretory system to be eliminated from the body.
- Prevention of coronary heart disease: Dried figs contain phenol, Omega-3 and Omega-6. These fatty acids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Furthermore, the leaves of figs have a significant effect on the level of triglycerides in a person’s system. Fig leaves have an inhibitory effect on triglycerides, and makes the overall number of triglycerides drop.
- Prevention of colon cancer: The presence of fiber helps to stimulate the elimination of free radicals and other cancer causing substances, particularly in the colon, since fiber increases the healthy movement of the bowels.
- Good for diabetic patients: The American Diabetes Association recommends figs as a high fiber treat that helps promote functional control of diabetes. Figs are rich in Potassium, which helps to regulate the amount of sugar which is absorbed into the body after meals. Large amounts of potassium can ensure that blood sugar spikes and falls are much less frequent, so figs can help diabetics live a much more normal life.
- Venereal Diseases: Figs have been traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and a few other areas of the world as a calming salve for venereal diseases.
- Strengthens Bones: Figs are rich in calcium, which is one of the most important components in strengthening bones
- Prevention of macular degeneration: Vision loss in older people is normally due to macular degeneration. Fruits and figs are particularly good at helping you avoid this very common symptom of aging.
- No way back: the wasps that go to extraordinary lengths to pollenate figs (plantscientist.wordpress.com)
- the green fig tree (ftapftap.wordpress.com)
- The Starseeds Fell From Heaven (anunnakifiles.com)
- fresh in the desert… (ardysez.wordpress.com)
- Dumur (Ficus racemosa) (findmeacure.com)
- Fig Trees (magictouchandhergardens.wordpress.com)
- Fig. (morningmistnutra.wordpress.com)
- Nothing But Leaves (alreadyanswered.org)