FIG

OTHER NAME(S):

Al-Tin, Anjeer, Arbre à Cariques, Caricae Fructus, Feigen, Ficus carica, Figs, Figue, Figuier, Figuier de Carie, Figuier Comestible, Figuier Commun, Figuier Domestique, Higuera.

Overview

Overview Information

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

People use fig fruit for conditions such as constipation and diarrhea. The leaf is used for conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and skin conditions. The milky sap (LATEX) is used on the skin for warts and the fruit is used on the skin for eczema (atopic dermatitis) and other skin conditions. But there is no good scientific evidence to support any of these uses.

How does it work?

Fig leaf and fruit contain chemicals. Some of these chemicals might help move food through the intestines better. Others might help to control blood sugar or cholesterol levels.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research suggests that using a cream containing fig fruit extract helps to reduce itchiness associated with eczema in children.
  • Constipation. Early research suggests that taking a paste made with fig fruit helps to make stools softer but doesn't increase stool frequency in people with constipation.
  • Diabetes. Early research suggests that a tea made from fig leaves may reduce insulin requirements in people with type 1 diabetes. It also seems to lower blood sugar levels after eating.
  • Warts. Early research suggests that applying the milky sap from fig onto warts helps them to heal.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of fig for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Fresh or dried fig fruit is LIKELY SAFE for most people when used in food amounts. Fig fruit paste is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for up to 8 weeks as medicine. There isn't enough reliable information available to know if fig leaf is safe or what the side effects might be.

When applied to the skin: 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. There isn't enough reliable information to know if fig is safe to use in medicinal amounts when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use of medicinal amounts.

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.

Interactions

Interactions?

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.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.

Dosing

Dosing

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

REFERENCES:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ozdamar, E., Ozbek, S., and Akin, S. An unusual cause of burn injury: fig leaf decoction used as a remedy for a dermatitis of unknown etiology. J.Burn Care Rehabil. 2003;24(4):229-233. View abstract.
  • 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.
  • Abbasi S, Kamalinejad M, Babaie D, et al. A new topical treatment of atopic dermatitis in pediatric patients based on Ficus carica L. (Fig): A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2017;35:85-91. View abstract.
  • Baek HI, Ha KC, Kim HM, et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Ficus carica paste for the management of functional constipation. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2016;25(3):487-96. View abstract.
  • Belguith-Hadriche O, Ammar S, Contreras Mdel M, et al. Antihyperlipidemic and antioxidant activities of edible Tunisian Ficus carica L. fruits in high fat diet-induced hyperlipidemic rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2016;71(2):183-9. View abstract.
  • Bohlooli S, Mohebipoor A, Mohammadi S, Kouhnavard M, Pashapoor S. Comparative study of fig tree efficacy in the treatment of common warts (Verruca vulgaris) vs. cryotherapy. Int J Dermatol. 2007;46(5):524-6. View abstract.
  • Bonamonte D, Foti C, Lionetti N, Rigano L, Angelini G. Photoallergic contact dermatitis to 8-methoxypsoralen in Ficus carica. Contact Dermatitis. 2010;62(6):343-8. 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.
  • Gandolfo M, Baeza M, De Barrio M, Anaphylaxis after eating figs. Allergy 2001;56:462-3.
  • Gilani AH, Mehmood MH, Janbaz KH, Khan AU, Saeed SA. Ethnopharmacological studies on antispasmodic and antiplatelet activities of Ficus carica. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008;119(1):1-5. View abstract.
  • 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.
  • Mopuri R, Ganjayi M, Meriga B, Koorbanally NA, Islam MS. The effects of Ficus carica on the activity of enzymes related to metabolic syndrome. J Food Drug Anal. 2018;26(1):201-210.View abstract.
  • 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.
  • Takahashi T, Okiura A, Saito K, Kohno M. Identification of phenylpropanoids in fig (Ficus carica L.) leaves. J Agric Food Chem. 2014;62(41):10076-83. View abstract.
  • Turkoglu M, Pekmezci E, Kilic S, Dundar C, Sevinc H. Effect of Ficus carica leaf extract on the gene expression of selected factors in HaCaT cells. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2017;16(4):e54-e58. 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.
  • Zhang Y, Chen J, Zeng Y, Huang D, Xu Q. Involvement of AMPK activation in the inhibition of hepatic gluconeogenesis by Ficus carica leaf extract in diabetic mice and HepG2 cells. Biomed Pharmacother. 2019;109:188-194. 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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