Fig (Ficus Carica)

General info about Fruit

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The Common Fig (Ficus carica) is a large shrub or small tree native to southwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region (Greece east to Afghanistan). It grows to a height of 3-10 m tall, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are deciduous, 12-25 cm long and 10-18 cm across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The fruit is the well-known fig, 3-5 cm long, green ripening purple. The sap of the tree’s green parts is an irritant to human skin.

How to choose a ripe and fresh Fruit

Fresh figs are available July through September. Dried figs are never out of season, and are available all year. You can find them in your favorite grocery store in the produce or dried fruit section. Look for fresh figs that are soft and smell sweet. Handle carefully because their fragile skins bruise easily. You can store fully ripened figs in the refrigerator up to 2 days, assuming the store didn’t already do so. Bring the figs to room temperature before serving.

Ways to prepare and serve the Fruit

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Curdling agent.
Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet and succulent, a fully ripe specimen is an exquisite fruit that almost literally melts in the mouth. The fruit is often dried for later use and this dried fruit is a major item of commerce. Figs are usually pear-shaped and up to 5cm in diameter. A nutritional analysis is available. The latex from the sap can be used to coagulate plant milks.

Health Benefits and Warnings of eating Fruit

Cancer; Demulcent; Digestive; Emollient; Galactogogue; Laxative; Pectoral; Stings; Stomachic; Tonic; Warts.
A decoction of the leaves is stomachic. The leaves are also added to boiling water and used as a steam bath for painful or swollen piles. The latex from the stems is used to treat corns, warts and piles. It also has an analgesic effect against insect stings and bites. The fruit is mildly laxative, demulcent, digestive and pectoral. The unripe green fruits are cooked with other foods as a galactogogue and tonic. The roasted fruit is emollient and used as a poultice in the treatment of gumboils, dental abscesses etc. Syrup of figs, made from the fruit, is a well-known and effective gentle laxative that is also suitable for the young and very old. A decoction of the young branches is an excellent pectoral. The plant has anticancer properties.


Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Fruit (Dry weight)
• 352 Calories per 100g
• Water: 0%
• Protein: 6g; Fat: 1.2g; Carbohydrate: 89g; Fibre: 7g; Ash: 3.8g;
• Minerals - Calcium: 220mg; Phosphorus: 133mg; Iron: 2.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 9mg; Potassium: 862mg; Zinc: 0mg;
• Vitamins - A: 347mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.25mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.25mg; Niacin: 2mg; B6: 0mg; C: 9.22mg;

Recipes made mainly with this Fruit

The fig is a fruit. Though exquisite when fresh and ripe, it spoils far too quickly to make fresh fruit practical. Figs are usually available in dried form. There are two main types of fig, the small dark ones (mission figs) and the large pale ones (all others: calimyrna, kadota, brown turkey, etc.). Most dried figs are mission figs, but the other types generally taste a little better.
The fig is actually a flower inverted into itself, sometimes needing to be polinated by a wasp that crawls inside through the bottom hole.
Figs are highly nutritious. One serving of figs is 40 grams, about ¼ cup, or about 3 Calimyrna figs or about 4 to 5 Mission figs. Figs are high in fiber, providing 20% of the Daily Value — more dietary fiber per serving than any other common dried or fresh fruit.

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