Arbre à Cariques, Caricae Fructus, Feigen, Ficus carica, Figs, Figue, Figuier, Figuier de Carie, Figuier Comestible, Figuier Commun, Figuier Domestique, Higuera.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Fig is a tree. The fruit is commonly eaten. The fruit and leaves are used to make medicine.

Fig FRUIT is used as a laxative to relieve constipation.

Fig LEAF is used for diabetes, high cholesterol, and skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and vitiligo.

Some people apply the milky sap (LATEX) from the tree directly to the skin to treat skin tumors and warts.

How does it work?

Fig leaf contains chemicals that might help people with type 1 diabetes use insulin more efficiently.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of fig for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Fresh or dried fig fruit is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in food amounts.

Fig LEAF is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for up to one month as a medicine. However, in high doses, fig LATEX, the sap from the tree, might cause bleeding in the digestive tract in some people.

Applying fig leaf to the skin is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. It can cause skin to become extra sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure when applying fig LEAF to the skin. Wear sunblock outside, especially if you are light-skinned. Fig FRUIT is unlikely to cause sun sensitivity.

Skin contact with fig fruit or leaves can cause rash in sensitive people.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Fresh or dried fig fruit is LIKELY SAFE in amounts found in food, but there’s not enough information to know if it’s safe in the larger amounts that are used as medicine.

Allergies. People who are sensitive to mulberry, natural rubber latex, or weeping fig might have allergic reactions to fig.

Diabetes. Fig might lower blood sugar. If you take fig by mouth and you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely.

Surgery: Fig might lower blood sugar levels. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using fig as medicine at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Insulin interacts with FIG

    Fig leaf might decrease blood sugar. Insulin is also used to decrease blood sugar. Taking fig leaf along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your insulin might need to be changed.

  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with FIG

    Fig leaf supplements seem to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking fig leaf along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<nb>Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.



The appropriate dose of fig depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for fig. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Gandolfo M, Baeza M, De Barrio M, Anaphylaxis after eating figs. Allergy 2001;56:462-3.
  • Lembo G, Lo Presti M, Balato N. Phytophotodermatitis due to ficus carica. Photodermatol 1985;2:119-20.
  • McGovern TW. The fig--Ficus carica L. Cutis 2002;69:339-40.
  • Perez C, Canal JR, Campillo JE, et al. Hypotriglyceridaemic activity of Ficus carica leaves in experimental hypertriglyceridaemic rats. Phytother Res 1999;13:188-91. View abstract.
  • Pérez C, Domínguez E, Canal JR, et al. Hypoglycaemic activity of an aqueous extract from Ficus carica (fig tree) leaves in streptozotocin diabetic rats. Pharmaceutical Biology 2000;38:181-6.
  • Rubnov S, Kashman Y, Rabinowitz R, et al. Suppressors of cancer cell proliferation from fig (Ficus carica) resin: isolation and structure elucidation. J Nat Prod 2001;64:993-6. View abstract.
  • Serraclara A, Hawkins F, Perez C, et al. Hypoglycemic action of an oral fig-leaf decoction in type-I diabetic patients. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1998;39:19-22. View abstract.
  • Zaynoun ST, Aftimos BG, Abi Ali L, et al. Ficus carica; isolation and quantification of the photoactive components. Contact Dermatitis 1984;11:21-5. View abstract.
  • Anahory, T., Darbas, H., Ongaro, O., Jean-Pierre, H., and Mion, P. Serratia ficaria: a misidentified or unidentified rare cause of human infections in fig tree culture zones. J.Clin.Microbiol. 1998;36(11):3266-3272. View abstract.
  • Andreichuk, I. E. [Fig dermatitis]. Vestn.Dermatol.Venerol. 1984;(4):67-68. View abstract.
  • Antico, A., Zoccatelli, G., Marcotulli, C., and Curioni, A. Oral allergy syndrome to fig. Int.Arch.Allergy Immunol. 2003;131(2):138-142. View abstract.
  • Axelsson, I. G. Allergy to Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) in nonatopic subjects. Allergy 1995;50(3):284-285. View abstract.
  • Axelsson, I. G., Johansson, S. G., and Zetterstrom, O. Occupational allergy to weeping fig in plant keepers. Allergy 1987;42(3):161-167. View abstract.
  • Axelsson, I. G., Johansson, S. G., Larsson, P. H., and Zetterstrom, O. Characterization of allergenic components in sap extract from the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina). Int.Arch.Allergy Appl.Immunol. 1990;91(2):130-135. View abstract.
  • Axelsson, I. G., Johansson, S. G., Larsson, P. H., and Zetterstrom, O. Serum reactivity to other indoor ficus plants in patients with allergy to weeping fig (Ficus benjamina). Allergy 1991;46(2):92-98. View abstract.
  • Bollero, D., Stella, M., Rivolin, A., Cassano, P., Risso, D., and Vanzetti, M. Fig leaf tanning lotion and sun-related burns: case reports. Burns 2001;27(7):777-779. View abstract.
  • Brehler, R., Abrams, E., and Sedlmayr, S. Cross-reactivity between Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) and natural rubber latex. Allergy 1998;53(4):402-406. View abstract.
  • Caiaffa, M. F., Cataldo, V. M., Tursi, A., and Macchia, L. Fig and mulberry cross-allergy. Ann.Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2003;91(5):493-495. View abstract.
  • Erdmann, S. M., Hipler, U. C., Merk, H. F., and Raulf-Heimsoth, M. Sensitization to fig with cross-sensitization to weeping fig and natural rubber latex. Int.Arch.Allergy Immunol. 2004;133(3):316. View abstract.
  • Focke, M., Hemmer, W., Wohrl, S., Gotz, M., and Jarisch, R. Cross-reactivity between Ficus benjamina latex and fig fruit in patients with clinical fig allergy. Clin.Exp.Allergy 2003;33(7):971-977. View abstract.
  • Goitre, M., Bedello, P. G., Cane, D., and Alovisi, V. [Phytophotodermatitis caused by fig tree]. G.Ital.Dermatol.Venereol. 1984;119(6):435-436. View abstract.
  • Lembo, G., Lo, Presti M., and Balato, N. Phytophotodermatitis due to ficus carica. Photodermatol. 1985;2(2):119-120. View abstract.
  • Micali, G., Nasca, M. R., and Musumeci, M. L. Severe phototoxic reaction secondary to the application of a fig leaves' decoction used as a tanning agent. Contact Dermatitis 1995;33(3):212-213. View abstract.
  • Munteanu, M. Contact dermatitis to the sap of fig-tree. Rev.Med.Chir Soc.Med.Nat.Iasi 1989;93(3):602. View abstract.
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  • Perez, C., Canal, J. R., and Torres, M. D. Experimental diabetes treated with ficus carica extract: effect on oxidative stress parameters. Acta Diabetol. 2003;40(1):3-8. View abstract.
  • Pershangov, A. B. [Dermatitis caused by fig (fig dermatitis)]. Vestn.Dermatol.Venerol. 1965;39(9):73-74. View abstract.
  • Richter, G., Schwarz, H. P., Dorner, F., and Turecek, P. L. Activation and inactivation of human factor X by proteases derived from Ficus carica. Br.J.Haematol. 2002;119(4):1042-1051. View abstract.
  • Werfel, S., Rueff, F., and Przybilla, B. [Anaphylactic reaction to Ficus benjamina (weeping fig)]. Hautarzt 2001;52(10 Pt 2):935-937. View abstract.
  • Zuffa, M., Hajduk, S., Lehotsky, E., and Vicenik, J. [Obstructive ileus caused by a fig (author's transl)]. Cesk.Gastroenterol.Vyz. 1978;32(3):185-187. View abstract.
  • <p><span>Kanerva, L., Estlander, T., Petman, L., Makinen-Kiljunen, S. Occupational allergic contact urticaria to yucca (Yucca aloifolia), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), and spathe flower (Spathiphyllum wallisii). Allergy. 2001;56(10): 1008-11.</span></p> View abstract.
  • Dechamp C, Bessot JC, Pauli G, Deviller P. First report of anaphylactic reaction after fig (Ficus carica) ingestion. Allergy 1995;50:514-6. View abstract.
  • Diez-Gomez ML, Quirce S, Aragoneses E, Cuevas M. Asthma caused by Ficus benjamina latex: evidence of cross-reactivity with fig fruit and papain. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1998;80:24-30. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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