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Family Moraceae
Ficus carica L.
Wu hua guo

Scientific names Common names
Accepted infraspecifics (2) Kadota (Tag.)
Ficus carica subsp. carica (107 synonyms) Common fig (Engl.)
Ficus albescens Miq. Fig tree (Engl.)
Ficus burdigalensis Poit. & Turpin  
Ficus caprificus Risso  
Ficus carica L.  
Ficus carica var. aberdinia Risso  . . .  
Ficus carica var. virescens Risso   
Ficus colchica Grossh.  
Ficus colombra Gasp.  
Ficus communis Lam.  
Ficus deliciosa Gasp.  
Ficus dottata Gasp.  
Ficus globosa Miq.  
Ficus hypoleuca Gasp.  
Ficus hyrcana Grossh.  
Ficus kopetdagensis Pachom.  
Ficus latifolia Salisb.  
Ficus leucocarpa Gasp.  
Ficus macrocarpa Gasp.  
Ficus neapolitana Miq.  
Ficus pachycarpa Gasp.  
Ficus pedunculaata Miq.  
Ficus polymorpha Gasp.  
Ficus praecox Gasp.  
Ficus regina Miq.  
Ficus rugosa Miq.  
Ficus sylvestris Risso  
Caprificus insectifera Gasp.  
Caprificus leucocarpa Gasp.  
Caprificus oblongata Gasp.  
Caprificus pedunculata (Miq.) Gasp.  
Caprificus rugosa Gasp.  
Caprificus sphaerocarpa Gasp.  
Ficus carica subsp. rupestris (Hausskn.) Browicz  
Ficus carica var. globosa Hausskn.  
Ficus carica var. rupestris Hausskn.  
Ficus rupestris (Hausskn.) Azazian  
Ficus carica L. is the accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BRAZIL: Figueira do reino, Figueira da Europa.
CHINESE: Wu hua guo, Wuhuagus.
COOK ISLANDS: Monamona, Suke.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Higo extranjero.
FINLAND: Viikuna.
FRENCH: Caprifiguier, Carique, Figuier, Figuier commun.
GERMANY: Echter feigenbaum, Essfeigenbaum, Feige.
HAITI: Figuier blanc.
INdia: Anjir.
ITALY: Fico.
KIRABATI: Te biku.
KOREA: Muhwagwanamu.
MICRONESIA: Wojke piik.
MYANMAR: Thinbaw-thapan.
PALAU: Uosech.
PORTUGUESE: Figueira, Bebereira.
SAMOA: Mati.
SPANISH: Higo, Higuera, Higuera comun.
SWEDEN: Fikontraed, Getfikon.
TONGA: Fiki.

Gen info
- Ficus carica, the edible fig, belongs to the order of Urticales and a member of the mulberry family, Moraceae, which consists of about 40 genera and 1200 species of trees, shrubs, lianas, or herbs, all with a milky sap. (1)
- Species estimates range from 600 to 2000. The Plant List (2013) lists around 840 accepted species.
- Ficus carica, the common fig, has been in cultivation for thousand of years, with traces in excavations of Neolithic sites 5,000 BC (Morton, 1987). (1)
- Species name Carica derives from Latin, referring to a location, Caria in Asia Minor, which is considered the home of the fig (Starr et al. 2003). (1)
- Ficus includes 23 species of hemiepiphytes and lithophytes which produce aerial and creeping root systems. (4)
- The word fig, first recorded in English in the 13th century, derives from French figue.
- In 2018, world production of figs totaled 1.14 million tons, with Turkey producing 27%, and Egypt, Morocco and Algeria collectively at 64% of the total. (42)
- Biblical snippet: While fig leaves are featured in the Book of Genesis as cover for Adam and Eve's genitalia, they have also been used similarly in classical nude paintings. Also, according to the Aggadah (Jewish text), the forbidden fruit was not an apple, but a fig. (42)
- Figs are one of only five fruit plants mentioned in the Holy Quran.

• Ficus carica is a gynodioecious, deciduous much branched small tree or large shrub that grows up to 7-10 m tall. Bark is brown. Leaves are alternate, stipules 1-2 cm long, petiole 6-10 cm long; blade 3- to 5-lobed, broadly ovate, 12-25 cm long and 10-18 cm wide, base cordate, margin serrate, at least near the apex of the lobes. Apex of the lobes acute to acuminate, with scattered stiff hairs above, glabrescent to puberulous below, with 3-5 veins from the leaf base, and about 10 lateral veins in the middle lobe. Fruit develops as a hollow, fleshy structure (synconium) lined internally with numerous unisexual flowers. Tiny flowers bloom inside this cup-like structure. Although called a fruit, the synconium is botanically an infructescence, a type of multiple fruit. Small fig flowers and, later, small single-seeded (true) fruits line the interior surface. The ostiole, a small opening visible on the middle of the fruit, allows passage of the specialized fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes, to enter the inflorescence and pollinate the flowers. At maturity, the "seeds" (single-seeded fruits) line the inside of each fig. The edible mature synconium stem develops into a fleshy false fruit bearing numerous one-seed fruits (druplets). The whole fig fruit is 3-5 cm long, with a green skin that sometimes ripen to purple or brown. A milky sap is produced by laticifer cells, which is thick, sticky, sometimes milky.

- Introduced; not naturalized.
- Cultivated for its edible fruit.
- Also grown as ornamental tree.
- Rapidly spreads by seeds or cuttings, and will form dense thickets when unattended to displace native trees and shrubs. Known invasive in Australia and western United States (Weber 2003) (1)
- Native to Afghanistan, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Kriti, Lebanon-Syria, North Caucasus, Pakistan, Palestine, Tadzhikistan, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, West Himalaya. (43)

- F. carica yields numerous bioactive compounds such as phenolic compounds, phytosterols, organic acids, anthocyanin composition, triterpenoids, coumarins, and volatile compounds such as hydrocarbons, alipathic alcohols, and few classes of secondary metabolites. (4)
- Leaves yield phenolic acids such as 3-O- and 5-O-caffeoylquinic acids, ferulic acid, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-rutinoside, psoralen, bergapten, and organic acids (oxalic, citric, malic, quinic, shikimic, and fumaric acids). (4)
- Fig fruit and bark yielded 15 anthocyanin pigments, most containing cyanidin as aglycone and some pelargonidin derivatives. Fresh and dried fig skins yield total and individual phenolic compounds, phenolic acid, chlorogenic acid, flavones, and flavonoids. (4)
- HPLC study of aqueous-methanol extract of fruit yielded quercetin, gallic acid, caffeic acid, vanillic acid, syringic acid, coumaric acid and chromotropic acid. (see study below) (7)
- Thin layer chromatography of various extracts of F. carica leaves revealed alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, carbohydrates, tannins, phenols, fixed oils and fat. (23)
- Study of fruits isolated four new structurally diverse prenylated isoflavone derivatives, ficucaricones A-D (1-4), along with 12 known analogues (5-16). (see study below) (29)
- Study of fruit ethanolic extract revealed the presence of bioactive compounds such as butyl butyrate, 5-hydroxymethyl furfural, 1-butoxy-1-ospbitpxy butane, malic acid, tetradecanoic acid, phytol acetate, trans phytol, n-hexadecanoic acid, 9Z,12Z-octadecadienoic acid, stearic acid, sitosterol, 3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl-2,3-dihydro-4H-pyran-4-one, and 2,3,5-trimethyl-2,3-dihydro-3H-pyrazol-3-one. (see study below) (33)
- GC and GC-MS study for volatile constituents yielded a total of 121 constituents in the leaves and 108 in the fruits. Eighteen volatile constituents were identified in both leaves and fruits. The major components in the volatile oil of leaves were psoralen (10.12%), ß-damascenoone (10.17%), benzyl alcohol (4.56%), behenic acid (4.79%), and bergapten (1.99%). Major components of fruit volatile oil were furfural (10.55%), 5-methyl-2-furaldehyde (10.1%) and benzeneacetaldehyude (6.59%). (37)
- Nutrient analysis for raw figs per 100g: Water 79.1 g. energy 74 kcal or 310 kJ, protein 0.75 g, total lipid 0.3 g, ash 0.66 g. carbohydrate by difference 19.2 g, total dietary fiber 2.9 g, sugars 16.3 g, calcium 35 mg, iron 0.37 mg, magnesium 17 mg, phosphorus 14 mg. potassium 232 mg, sodium 1 mg, zinc 0.15 mg, copper 0.07 mg, manganese 0.128 mg, selenium 0.2 µg, vitamin C 2 mg, thiamin 0.06 mg, riboflavin 0.05 mg, niacin 0.4 mg, pantothenic acid 0.3 mg, vitamin B6 0.113 mg, folic acid 0 ≤g. food folate 6 µg, total choline 4.7 mg, vitamin B12 0 µg. vitamin A RAE 7 µg, beta carotene 85 µg, Vitamin A 142 IU. Vitamin E 0.11 mg, Vitamin D 0 IU, Vitamin K 4.7 µg., cholesterol 0 mg. (44)
- Study evaluated fig seeds for oil content. HPLC-FLD and GC-FID analysis showed the seed oil is a rich source of linolenic acid (C18:3), linoleic acid ( C18:2), and oleic acid (C18:1). It also contains 314.61 mg/100g gamma tocopherol. (47)

- Studies have suggested antispasmodic, antiplatelet, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, cardioinhibitory, hepatoprotective, antiangiogenesis, antidiabetic, anticancer, antimutagenic, renoprotective properties.

Toxic reactions
- Phytophotodermatitis: Contact with the milk sap of Ficus carica followed by exposure to ultraviolet light can cause phytophotodermatitis, a potentially serious skin inflammation. Common fig contains organic chemical compounds, furanocumarins, which can cause phytophotodermatitis in humans. It contains significant amounts of two furanocoumarins, psoralen and bergapten. The essential oil of fig leaves contain more than 10% psoralen, the highest concentration of any organic compound from F. carica leaves, which is probably responsible for the fig leaf-induced phytphotodermatitis. (42)

Parts used
- Fruit, leaves, sap, roots.


- Fig fruit is consumed fresh or dried.
- Commercially available dried or processed since ripe fruits don't transport well, and once picked has a short edibility time. Slightly under-ripe figs can be kept at room temperature for 1-2 days. Sourness denotes over-ripeness. (42)
- Fruits processed as jam or candied.
- Fig paste prepared by grinding the fruit; used in industry as raw ingredient in fig bars.
- Dried figs used as coffee substitute or blended with coffee after roasting and pulverizing.
- Fig syrup used as roasting agent in bakery products. Fruits are used as filling and garnishing component in baked puddings, cakes, and bread.
- Leaves, fruits, and roots are used in many medicinal systems for various disorders: gastrointestinal (colic, indigestion, loss of appetite, and diarrhea), respiratory (sore throats, cough, bronchial problems), inflammation and cardiovascular disorders. (4)
- Fruit juice mixed with honey used for hemorrhage. Fruits used as mild laxative, expectorant and diuretic. Dry fruit used as supplement food for diabetics. (4)
- Used as laxative, stimulant, antitussive, emollient, emmenagogue, and resolvent. Fresh leaves dabbed on warts. Decoction of leaves used for diabetes. (5)
- Fruit use for treatment of hypertension.
- Latex used for treatment of warts.
- Used for treatment of piles and gout. Leaves used for treatment of jaundice.
- Roots used in treatment of leucoderma and ringworm.
- Wood: Light in color, soft and pithy,
Used as fuelwood. Also for light construction, industrial, and domestic wood-ware, and making of tool handles. (1)
- Alcohol / Feed: Low quality cull figs used for distillation into alcohol or as high energy animal feed. (1)
- Fodder: Fresh fallen leaves can be used as animal feed. (1)
- Latex: Used as meat tenderizer from proteolytic enzyme ficin. Also used as alternative to rubber. (1)

Antispasmodic / Antiplatelet / Ripe Dried Fruit:
Study evaluated an aqueous-ethanolic extract of Ficus carica ripe dried fruit for antispasmodic effect on isolated rabbit jejunum preparations and for antiplatelet effect using ex vivo model of human platelets. Results showed presence of spasmolytic activity possibly mediated through the activation of K+ ATP channels along with antiplatelet activity. Study results provide basis for medicinal use in gut motility and inflammatory disorders. (2)
Anti-HSV / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-HSV effect of extract from leaves of F. carica. The effect was observed on Hep-2, BHK21, and PRK cells. The water extract showed distinct anti-HSV effect with MTC of 0.5 mg/ml, TDO 15 mg/ml, and TI 30.0. It showed low toxicity and directly killing-virus effect on HSV-1. (3)
Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the α-tocopherol content and antioxidant capacities of F. carica leaves extracts. Results revealed the extracts to have antioxidant capacity, which was consistent with total flavonoid and phenol contents. The α-tocopherol content of the n-hexane extract was 3.2788%, calculated as 0.0570% on dry weight basis of the leaves. (5)
α-Tocopherol / Leaves: The amount of α-tocopherol extracted for 100 g of dried leaves was 57 mg. The major industrial source of α-tocopherol is a residue from distillation of soya bean oil, at only 0.0051-0.0111%. Because F. carica produces a large amount of leaves with α-tocopherol up to 10-times higher than that of soya bean, the plant can be a potential new source of α-tocopherol. (5)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity of F. carica leaves. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity may be due to the presence of steroids and flavanoids, respectively. The anti-inflammatory activity could be due to its free radical scavenging activity. (6)
Antihypertensive / Cardioinhibitory / Fruit: Study evaluated the antihypertensive and cardioinhibitory activity of aqueous-methanol extract of F. carica fruit in Sprague-Dawley rats. Hypertension was induced by administration of 10% oral glucose for 3 weeks. Results showed hypotensive and antihypertensive effects in glucose induced hypertensive rats with significant reduction of blood pressure at 1000 mg/kg dose. The Isolated heart showed negative inotropic and chronotropic effects but failed to block the stimulatory effect of both adrenaline and CaCl2. (see constituents above) (7)
Antiangiogenesis / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated the antiangiogenesis effect of F. carica leaves extract in an air pouch model of inflammation in rat. Inflammation was induced by injection of carrageenan into pouches. Based on DPPH assay, the extract showed significant antioxidant activity with TPC of 11.70 mg GAE/100 g dry sample. Leukocyte accumulation and exudate volume were significantly inhibited, along with decreased production of TNF-α, PGE2, and VEGF. Angiogenesis was significantly inhibited by all doses. The antiangiogenesis and anti-VEGF effects of F. carica may be correlated with its significant antioxidant potentials. (8)
Inhibition of Osteoclast Differentiation / Osteoprotective: Osteoclasts derived from multipotent progenitor cells play homeostatic roles in skeletal modeling and remodeling. Study showed the hexane soluble fraction of F. carica (HF6-FC) is a potent inhibitor of osteoclastogenesis in RANKL-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells and bone marrow-derived macrophages. Results suggest components of the HF6-FC may have therapeutic effects on bone-destructive processes such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontal bone resorption. (9)
Silver Nanoparticles / Anticancer / Toxicity Study / Dried Fruit: Study reports on the cost-effective and eco-friendly method of green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using extract of dried fruit of F. carica as reducing as well as capping agent. The AgNPs showed significant cytotoxic effect on MCF-7 cell lines. Acute toxicity study in animals showed the AgNPs to be toxicologically safe by oral administration. (10)
Cytotoxic / Antiviral / Latex: Study evaluated five latex extracts for in-vitro antiviral potential against herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1), echovirus type 11 (ECV-11) and adenovirus (ADV). The hexanic and hexane-ethyl acetate (v.v) extracts inhibited multiplication of viruses. The two extracts were possible candidates as herbal medicines for the three test viruses. All extracts showed no cytotoxic effect on Vero cells at all tested concentrations. (11)
Antioxidant / Immunity Activity / Polysaccharide / Fruit: Study evaluated the antioxidative activities of water extract (WE) and crude hot water soluble polysaccharide (PS) from F. carica fruit. Both WE and PS showed notable scavenging activities on DPPH assay. The PS showed higher scavenging activity than the WE on superoxide radical and hydroxyl anion radical scavenging assays. On immunity activity testing, the PS showed significant increase in clearance of carbon particles and serum hemolysin level in mice. Results suggest potential application in health medicine and food industry. (12)
Antimicrobial / Leaves: Study evaluated aqueous and ethanol extracts of leaves of F. carica from different regions in Morocco for antimicrobial activity against 16 pathogenic bacterial strains and 8 pathogenic yeast strains using agar well diffusion method. The AE showed more activity against gram positive than gram negative bacteria. The EE showed strong antimicrobial activity against S. epidermis and Candida famata. (13)
Hypoglycemic / Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the hypoglycemic effect of an aqueous extract of F. carica leaves in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Results showed a significant hypoglycemic effect after oral or intraperitoneal administration. Survival index was significantly affected by plasma insulin levels. (14)
Hepatoprotective / Rifampicin Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated petroleum ether extract of shade dried leaves of F. carica for antihepatotoxic activity on rats treated with rifampicin orally. Results showed significant reversal of biochemical, histological, and functional changes induced by rifampicin treatment. (15)
Antibacterial / Latex from Unripe Fruit: Study evaluated a hexane extract of fig latex for antibacterial activity against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. GC-MS analysis of latex extract yielded 36 compounds, 90.56% of total area of peaks were identified as coumarins. Results showed a strong bactericidal effect. The most sensitive bacteria were Staphylococcus saprophyticus and S. aureus. (16)
Potential for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related cervical cancers / Latex: HPVs are implicated in the etiology of cervical cancer. Study evaluated the in vitro biological activities of fig latex and its possible mechanisms of action on cervical cancer cell lines CaSki and HeLa positive for HPV type 16 and 18, respectively. Results showed fig latex inhibits properties associated with HPV-positive cervical cancer transformed cells such as rapid growth and invasion, and substantially downregulated the expression of p16 and HPV onco-proteins E6, E7. Findings suggest potential of fig latex for the development of therapeutic modalities for treatment, cure, and prevention of HPV related cervical cancer. (17)
Hepatoprotective / Oxidative Damage Induced by Methanol / Stem: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity of F. carica stem extract in methanol-induced hepatotoxicity in male Wistar rats. Stem extract was showed to contain large amounts of polyphenols and carotenoids. Methanol treated animals showed significant increase in hepatic biochemical parameters and hepatic lipid peroxidation. Treatment prior to methanol intoxication exhibited a significant role in protecting animals from methanol induced hepatic oxidative damage. (18)
Antihyperlipidemic / Antioxidant / Fruits: Study evaluated the phenolic constituents, antihyper-lipidemic and antioxidant activities of aqueous-ethanolic extract of F. carica fruit in high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidemic rats. Results showed improvement in lipid profile as evidenced by decrease in total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, and increase in HDL levels, along with reduced content of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and increased antioxidant enzymes in the liver. The antihyperlipidemic and antioxidative effects correlated with in vitro phenolic content scavenging ability. Analysis characterized 28 phenolic compounds, including hydroxybenzoic acids, hydrocinnamic acids, flavanoids, and hydroxycoumarins. The beneficial effects were partly attributed to the phenolic constituents, especially vitexin, dihydroxybenzoic acid di-pentoside and rutin. (19)
Anthelmintic / Toxicity / Latex: Study evaluated the anthelmintic activity of latex from Ficus carica and Ficus insipida in NIH mice naturally infected with Syphacia obvelata, Aspiculuris tetraptera, and Vampirolepis nana. The latex of F. carica in doses of 3 ml/kg/day for 3 consecutive days, was effective in removal of S. obvelata (41.7%) but did not produce significant elimination of A. tetraptera and V. nana. The observed high acute toxicity with hemorrhagic enteritis, along with weak anthelmintic effect, does not recommend the use of the lattices in traditional medicine. (20)
Antiproliferative Effect on Stomach Cancer Cell Line / Latex: Study evaluated the effect of fig tree latex on stomach cancer cell line. Results showed fig tree latex could inhibit proliferation of cancer cell line without any cytotoxic effect on human normal cells.. The anticancer activity was attributed to the presence of proteolytic enzymes. (21)
Immunomodulatory / Polysaccharides: Ficus carica polysaccharides (FCPS), an essential component of F. carica, have been considered a beneficial immunomodulator and may be use in immunotherapy. Study showed that FCPS can activate and maturate dendritic cells (DCs), thereby up-regulating the immunostimulatory capacity of DCs, which leads to enhanced T cell responses. (22)
Phenylpropanoid / Leaves: Study evaluated the composition of phenylpropanoids (polyphenols and furanocoumarins) as functional agent in the leaves of 37 cultivars. The most abundant polyphenol was caffeooylllmaic acid (12.6-26.6 mg/g dry weight), followed by rutin (4.7-14.6 mg/g dw) and isochaftoside (2.5-6.4 mg/g dw). Psoralen (3.8-23.0 mg/g dw) was the dominant furanocoumarins. (24)
Bioactive Metabolites of Endophyte Aspergillus neoniger / Cytotoxicity: Study evaluated F. carica bioactive endophyte, Aspergillus neoniger, for metabolites, which exerted antimicrobial and anticancer activities on preliminary screening assays. Bioactivity guided chromatographic fractionation of the fungal extract isolated four aurasperones: asperpyrone D, aurasperone D, dianhydroaurasperone C, and aurasperone A. Aurasperone D and asperpyrone D showed cytotoxicity against human cervical cancer cells (50% cytotoxic concentration-4.4 µg/ml and 3.0 µg/ml respectively). Aurasperone D showed strong antiproliferative effect against human immortal erythroleukaemia cells 562 and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, Aurasperone D and asperpyrone D showed antimicrobial activity against several test strains. Results suggest partial contribution of Aspergillus neoniger to activity of the host plant. (25)
Antidiabetic / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of F. carica on glucose and lipid levels, carbohydrate metabolism enzymes and ß-cells protective effects in type 2 diabetes induced in high-fat diet fed Wistar rats. The ethyl acetate extract of leaves showed significant effect (p<0.005) in levels of blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, body weight and hepatic glycogen. There was improvement in OGTT and enhanced glucose utilization. Carbohydrate metabolizing enzymes were significantly reverted to near normal levels. Immunohistochemical studies of islets substantiated the cytoprotective effect on pancreatic ß-cells. (26)
Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis / Leaves / Clinical Trial: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of edible dried fig fruit on the severity of atopic dermatitis (AD) compared with hydrocortisone 10% and base cream as placebo in 45 children, aged 4 months to 14 years. Results showed considerable safety, efficacy, tolerability, and symptom relief in the fig fruit extract compared with hydrocortisone 1%. Findings suggest fig fruit can be used instead of low potent corticosteroid in mild to moderate AD. (27)
Effect on Ischemia/Reperfusion Injuries / Antioxidant / Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the general toxicity, antioxidant activity and effects of F. carica leaves extract on ischemia/reperfusion injuries in isolated heart of rat. The extract exhibited antioxidant activity on DPPH assay. Total phenolic content was 12.29 mg GAE/100 g dry sample. Flavonoids was calculated at 40.729 mg/g/ D50 value on brine shrimp test was 0.158 mg/m. The extract decreased the number of VEBs, incidence and duration of Rev VF, with reduction in infarct size and infarct volume (p<0.001). The decreased ischemia/reperfusion-induced injuries were attributed to antioxidant capacity, flavonoids and phenolic compounds in the extract. (28)
Anti-Inflammatory / Antiproliferative / Prenylated Isoflavones / Fruits: Study of fruits isolated four new structurally diverse prenylated isoflavone derivatives, ficucaricones A-D (1-4), along with 12 known analogues (5-16). Prenylated isoflavones (1-16) showed remarkable inhibitory effects against nitric oxide (NO) production with IC50s ranging from 0.89 to 8.48 µM, com, comparable to positive control hydrocortisone. Compounds 1-16 also exhibited promising antiproliferative activities against diverse human cancer cell lines in vitro. Findings suggest regular consumption of fruits may help in preventing occurrence of inflammatory diseases and tumors. Findings may be meaningful in the search for new anti-inflammatory and antitumor agents. (29)
Effects on Sperm Parameters and Testis / Formaldehyde Intoxication / Leaves: Study evaluated the role of F. carica leaf extracts in sperm parameters and testis of mice intoxicated with formaldehyde (FA). The FA significantly decreased the gonadosomatic index (GSI) and increased percentage of immobile sperm/ The leaf extract improved sperm count, nonprogressive motility of spermatozoa, and GSI in FA-treated rats. Seminiferous tubule with spermatogenic arrest was rarely seen, indicating positive effects on testis and epididymal sperm parameters. (30)
Anticancer / Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cell Line / Leaves: Study evaluated the anticancer effects of F. carica leaves extracts on triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231. Results showed expressions of genes that promote apoptosis were increased. Treated cells showed increased portion at S phase and changed expression of cyclin-dependent kinases, demonstrating cell-cycle arrest at the S-phase. Treated cells showed decreased cell mobility, which is essential for metastasis. Two active leaf components, bergapten and psoralen, may play important roles in anticancer effects. Findings suggest F. carica leaves is a potential source for drugs suppressing cancer cell growth and migration to treat triple-negative breast cancers. (31)
Antipyretic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antipyretic effect of ethanol extract of leaves of Focus carica in albino rats. Fever was induced by subcutaneous injection of a yeast suspension. The ethanol extract at doses of 100, 200, and 300 mg/kbw showed significant dose dependent reduction in normal body temperature and yeast-provoked temperature elevation. The antipyretic effect was comparable to that of paracetamol. (32)
Effect on Enzymes Related to Metabolic Syndrome / Antidiabetic / Antiobesogenic / Fruit: Study evaluated the effects of various parts of F. carica on antioxidant, antidiabetic, and antiobesogenic effects in vitro. Fruit, leaves, and stem bark were sequentially extracted. The activity of ethanolic extract of fruit was significantly (p<0.05) higher than all other extracts and plant parts in terms of antioxidative, antidiabetic, and antiobesogenic effects. The fruit extract also showed better antioxidative and enzyme (α-glucosidase, α-amylase, and pancreatic lipase) inhibitory activities. (see constituents above) (33)
Antitumor / Colorectal Cancer Cell Lines / Leaves and Latex: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of Ficus carica extracts and latex on HCT-116 and HT-29 human colorectal cell proliferation using MTT assay and apoptosis induction by FRAP cleavage by Western blot analysis. Treatment with different extracts induced apoptosis in both HT-29 and HCT-115 cancer cells. Leaves and latex showed strongest antiproliferative activities. (34)
Anticancer / Huh7it Cells / Leaves and Fruits: Study evaluated the anticancer activity of F. carica leaf and fruit extracts in measures of proliferation, apoptosis, and Huh7it cell necrosis. MTT assay showed F. carica leaves and fruit had IC50s > 653 µg/mL and > 2000 µg/mL, respectively. There was higher percentage of Huh7it apoptosis and necrosis in leaf extracts compared to fruit extracts. (35)
Hepatoprotective / Carbon Tetrachloride Toxicity / Leaves: Study evaluated the hepatoprtective activity of F. carica leaves against carbon tetrachloride induced toxic chemical in rats. Preliminary phytochemical screening yielded flavonoids, tannins, phenolic compounds, alkaloids, glycosides, fats, and carbohydrates. Pretreatment with ethyl acetate extract of leaves led to a significant decrease (p<0.05) in SGOT, SGPT and bilirubin in a dose dependent manner, along with significant reversal of histological abnormalities in the liver. (36)
Anticancer / Antioxidant / Fruits: Study evaluated the antioxidant and anticancer properties of Ficus carica fruits. The extract showed antioxidant potential in reducing ferric ions and strong anticancer activity using breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7). (38)
Comparative Treatment of Common Warts / Latex vs Cryotherapy / Clinical trial: Fig tree latex is a traditional treatment for warts in many rural areas of Iran. A prospective, open right/left comparative trial of fig tree latex therapy vs cryotherapy was carried out in 25 patients with common warts. With fig tree latex 11 pf 25 patients (44%) had complete resolution. Remaining 14 patients (56%) had complete cure following cryotherapy. Fig tree latex was marginally less effective than cryotherapy. Adverse effects were observed only in cryotherapy treated warts. At 6-months, there was 18% recurrence rate. Results suggest fig tree latex wart therapy offers several beneficial effects including short-duration therapy, no reports of side effects, ease of use, patient compliance and low recurrence rate. Mechanism of activity was unclear, but possible the result of proteolytic enzyme activity of latex. (39)
Anti-Herpesvirus-1 / Latex: Study evaluated the ability of F. Farica latex to interfere with infection of caprice herpesvirus-1 (CpHV-1) in vitro. Simultaneous addition of latex and CpHV-1 to mono-layers of MDBK cells resulted in significant reduction of CpHV-1 titers. Effect was comparable to acyclovir. /findings suggest the latex is able to interfere with the replication of CpHV-1 in vitro. (40)
Facial Cream / Dermatological Benefits / Fruit: Study evaluated the effects of facial cream containing Ficus Farica fruit extract on various skin parameters such as skin melanin, heathery, moisture content, trans-epidermal water loss and serum. A formulation with 4% concentrated extract of fruit and base without extract were used. The formulation significantly decreased skin melanin, trans-epidermal water loss and skin serum. It increased skin hydration significantly, with insignificant effects on skin heathery Results suggest potential for use in treatment of hyper-pigmentation, acne, freckles, and wrinkles. (41)
Antimutagenic: Study evaluated the antimutagenic action of plant extracts of Ficus carica, Zea mays, Armoracia rusticana, and their mixture on environmental xenobiotics. The plant extracts and mixture decreased the level of mutations induced by N-metil-N'-nitro-N-nitrozoguanidin (MNNG) in Vicia faba cells, chlorophyll mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana and NaF induced mutability in rat marrow cells. Results showed the extracts and mixtures demonstrate ability to decrease the genotoxicity of environmental mutagens. (45)
Gold Nanoparticles against Cisplatin-Induced Acute Kidney Injury: Cisplatin (CisPt) is one the most widely used and highly effective drugs for treatment of various solid tumors, and can cause acute kidney injury (AKI) as a side effect. Study evaluated the effectiveness of different concentrations of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as carrier for Ficus carica leaves extract against CisPt induced AKI in male albino rats. CisPt induced AKI in rats cause a significant increase in levels of serum urea, creatinine, Hcy, lipid peroxidation, along with significant reduction of kidney GSH, NO and TAC. Treatment with AuNPs and fig extract in ration of 3:3 improved renal functions with efficient capacity in scavenging ROS and reduced AKI injury. The AuNPs enhanced the antioxidative properties of the extract in targeting kidney damaged tissue and reduced oxidative toxicity induced by CisPt. (46)
Antinociceptive / Effect on Formalin-Induced Pain / Fruit: Study evaluated the analogous function of F. carica as an antinociceptive in allopathic medicine. Pain was induced by subcutaneous injection of formalin in rat paw. Ficus fruit extract showed no anti-inflammatory effect; however, the petroleum ether extract exhibited dose-dependent (1000 mg/kg) anti-inflammatory effect even in comparison with sodium salicylate. (48)

- Cultivated.
- Herbal products in the cybermarket.

Updated May 2024
June 2021

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Illustration / Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer, 1471-1528 / copper engraving print / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Ficus carica / Echte Feige   / Fruits / Ivar Leidus / CC BY-SA 4.0 International / Image modified / Click on image or link to go to source page / Wikipedia
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Ficus carica  / © Иван Матершев / © Иван Матершев/ Some rights reserved / CC BY-NC / Click on image or link to go to source page / iNaturalist

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Ficus carica (Common fig) / CABI: Invasive Species Compendium
Ethnopharmacological studies on antispasmdic and antiplatelet activities of Ficus carica / Anwarul Hassan Gilani, Malik Hassan Mehmood, Khalid Hussain Janbaz, Arif-ullah Khan, Sheikh Arshad Saeed / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2008; 119(1): pp 1-5
Studies on anti-HSV effect of Ficus carica leaves / Wang G, Wang H, Song Y, Jia C, Wang Z, Xu H / Journal of Chinese Medical Materials, Oct 2004; 27(10): pp 754-756 / PMID: 15850358
Ficus carica L. (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities / Shukranul Mawa, Khairana Husain, Ibrahim Jantan / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2013; Article ID 974256 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/974256

α-Tocopherol, Flavonoid, and Phenol Contents and Antioxidant Activity of Ficus carica Leaves / Sibel Konyalioglu, Hüsniye Saglam, and Bijen Kivcak / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2005; 43(8) /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13880200500383538
Anti-Inflammatory and antioxidant activity of Ficus carica Linn. Leaves / B Ali, M Mujeeb, V Aeri, S R Mir, M Faiyazuddin, F Shakeel / Natural Product Research, 2012; 26(5) /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2010.488236
Evaluation of antihypertensive potential of Ficus carica fruit / Alamgeer, Shifa Iman, Hira Asif and Muhammad Saleem / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2017; 55(1)
Methanolic Extract of Ficus carica Linn. Leaves Exerts Antiangiogenesis Effects Based on the Rat Air Pouch Model of Inflammation / Tahereh Etera-Oskouei, Saeideh Allahyari, Moslem Najafi et al / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2015, Art ID 760405 /
DOI: https://doi.org/1-.1155/2015/760405
Hexane-Soluble Fraction of the Common Fig, Ficus carica, Inhibits Osteoclast Differentiation in Murine Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages and RAW 264.7 Cells / Young Ran Park, Jae Soon Eun, Yunjo Soh et al / Korean Journal of Physiol Pharmacol., Dec 2009; Vol 13: pp 417-424 /
DOI: 10.4106/kjpp.2009.13.6.417
Biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using dried fruit extract of Ficus carica - Screening for its anticancer activity and cytotoxicity in animal models / S Justin Packia Jacob, P Muralidharan et al / Food and Chemical Toxicology, Nov 2017; 109(2): pp 951-956 / DOI: https:///doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2017.03.066
In vitro cytotoxic and antiviral activities of Ficus carica latex extracts / Houda Lazreg Aref, Badii Gaaliche, Abdelwaheb Fekih, Jean Pierre Chaumon et al / Natural Product Research, 2011; 25(3) /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2010.528758
Antioxidant and Immunity Activity of Water Extract and Crude Polysaccharide from Ficus carica L. Fruit / Xiao-Ming Yang, Wei Yu, Xue-Lin Ji / Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 2009; 64: pp 167-173 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-009-0120-5
In vitro antimicrobial activity of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of leaves of Ficus carica collected from five different regions of Morocco / Galal Al Askari, Zakaria Mennane et al / J. Mater. Environ. Sci., 2013; 4(1): pp 33-38 / ISSN: 2028-2508
A study on the glycaemic balance in streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with an aqueous extract of Ficus carica (fig tree) leaves / C Perez E Dominguez, J M Ramiro, A Romero et al / Phytotherapy Research, Feb 1996; 10(1): pp 82-83 /DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573)199602)10:1<82::AID-PTR776>3.).CO;2-R
Hepatoprotective Activity of Ficus carica Leaf Extract on Rifampicin-Induced Hepatic Damage in Rats / N Y Gond and S S Khadabadi / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, May-June 2008; 70(3): pp 364-366 / PMID: 20046747 / DOI: 10.4103/-24-=474X.43003
Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of a hexane extract of Tunisian capri fig latex from the unriple fruit of Ficus carica / Houda Lazreg-Aref, Massoud Mars, Abdelwaheb Fekih, Mahjoub Aouni, and Khaled Said / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2012; 50(4) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.3109/13880209.2011.608192
Biological activities of Ficus carica latex for potential therapeutics in Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related cervical cancers / Arshia Ghanbari, Adam Le Gresley, G Hossein Ashrafi et al / Scientific Reports, 2019; 9L Article No 1013 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-37665-5
Protective Role of Ficus carica Stem Extract against Hepatic Oxidative Damage Induced by Methanol in Male Wistar Rats / Mongi Saoudi, Abdelfattah El Feki / Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2012; Art ID 150458 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/150458
Antihyperlipidemic and Antioxidant Activities of Edible Tunisian Ficus carica L. Fruits in High Fat Diet-Induced Hyperlipidemic Rats / Olfa Belguith-Jadriche, Sonda Ammar, Mohamed Bouaziz / Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 2016; 71: pp 183-189 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-016-0541-x
Anthelmintic activity of the latex of Ficus species / Alziro de Amorin, Helcio R Borba, Jorge P Carauta, Daise Lopes, Maria A C Kaplan / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, March 1999; 64(3): pp 255-258 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-8741(98)00139-1
The Effect of Fig Tree Latex (Ficus carica) on Stomach Cancer Cell Line / S A Hashemi, S Abediankemari. M Ghasemi, M Azadbakht / Iran Red Crescent Med J., pr 2011; 13(4)" pp 272-275 / PMID: 22737478
Ficus carica Polysaccharides Promotes the Maturation and Function of Dendritic Cells / Jie Tian, Yue Zhang, Huaxi Xu, Liwei Lu, Shengjun Wang et al / Int J Mol Sci., 2014; 15(7): pp 12469-12479
DOIL httpsL//doi.org/10.3390/ijms150712469
Phytochemical Screening and Thin Layer Chromatography of Ficus carica Leaves Extract / Manik Sharma, Mehak Sajgotra / Pharmaceutical and Biosciences Journal, Jan-Feb 2017; 5(1) /
DOI: http0s://doi.org/10.20510/ukjpb/5/i1/147022
Phenylpropanoid composition in fig (Ficuscarica L.) leaves / Toru Takahashi, Aya Okiura, Masahito Kohno / Journal of Natural Medicines, 2017; 71: pp 770-775 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11418-017-1093-6
Bioactive Molecules of Aspergillus neoniger, an Endophyte of the Medicinal Plant Ficus Carica / Randa Abdou, Alaa M Alqahtani, G H Attia / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2021; 83(1): pp 101-109 / DOI: 10.36468/pharmaceutical-sciences.755
Protective effects of Ficus carica leaves on glucose and lipids levels, carbohydrate metabolism enzymes and ß-cells in type 2 diabetic rats / Santiagu Stephen Irudayaraj, Sunil Christudas, Stalin Antony, Veeramuthu Duraipandiyan, Al-Dhabi Naif Abdullah and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu / Pharmaceutical Biology, 2017; 55(1) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13880209.2017.1279671
A new topical treatment of atopic dermatitis in pediatric patients based on Ficus carica L. (Fig): A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial / Shirin Abbasi, Hassan Rakhshandeh et al / Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Dec 2017; Vol 35: pp 85-91 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2017.10.003
Evaluation of General Toxicity, Antioxidant Activity and Effects of Ficus carica Leaves Extract on Ischemia/Reperfusion Injuries in Isolated Heart of Rat / Advanced Pharmaceutical Bulletin, Dec 2014;p 4(Suppl2): pp 577-592 / PMID:25671192 / DOI: 10.5681/apb.2014.085
Anti-Inflammatory and Antiproliferative Prenylated Isoflavone Derivativs from the Fruits of Ficus carica / Yan-Ping Liu, Jia-Ming Guo, Gui Yan, Ming-Ming Zhang, Wen-Hao Zhang, Lei Qiang, and Yan-Hui Fu / Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2019; 67(17): pp 4817-4823 / https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.0b00865
Effects of Common Fig (Ficus carica) Leaf Extracts on Sperm Parameters and Testis of Mice Intoxicated with Formaldehyde / Majid Naghdi, Maryam Maghbool, Morteza Seifalah-Zade, Maryam Mahaldashtian, Zohreh Makoolati, Seyed Amin Kouhpayeh, Afsaneh Ghasemi, and Narges Fereydouni / Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Vol 2016; Art ID 2539127 / https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/2539127
Extracts and components of Ficus carica leaves suppress survival, cell cycle, and migration of triple-negative breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells / Yu Zhana, Youzhoma Wan, Bo Huo, Bovuan Li Yue Jin, and Xin Hu / PMID: 30100743 / DOI: 10.2147/OTT.S171601
Evaluation of anti-pyretic potential of Ficus carica leaves / Paul Vikas, Bhangale S C, Patil V R / International Journl of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, May-June 2010; 2(2): Art 010 / ISSN: 0976-044X
The effects of Ficus carica on the activity of enzymes related to metabolic syndrome / Ramgopal Mopuri, Muniswamy Ganjayi, Balaji Meriga, Neil Anthony Koorbanally, Md Shahidul Islam / Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, Jan 2018; 26(1): pp 201-210 / DOI: https:///doi.org/10.1016/j.jfda.2017.03.001
Antitumoral activity of Ficus carica L. on colorectal cancer cell lines / Hala Soltana, Aline Pinone, Youness Limami, Mohamed Hammami et al / An Interdisciplinary Journal of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Physiology, 65(6) / eISSN: 1165-158X / pISSN: 0145-5680
Anticancer Activity of Methanol Extract of Ficus carica Leaves and Fruits Against Proliferation, Apoptosis and Necrsis in Huh7it Cells / Risa Purnamasari, Dwi Winami, Adita Ayu Permanasari / Cancer Information / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1176935119842576
Protective Effect of Leaves of Ficus carica Against Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Damage in Rats / Manik Sharma, Abid R, Younus Ahmad, Melofar Ghulam Nabi / Pharmaceutical and Biosciences Journal, Jan-Feb 2017; 5(1) / DOI:https://doi.org/10.20510/ukjpb/5/i1/147090
Analysis on Volatile Constituents in Leaves and Fruits of Ficus carica by GC-MS / Jun Li, Yu-zeng Tian, Bao-ya Sun, Dan Yang, Ji-ping Chen, Qi-ming Men / Chinese Herbal Medicines, Feb 2012; 4(1): pp 63-69 / DOI: https://doi.org/10.3969/j.issn.1674-6384.2012.01.010
Evaluating the antioxidanty and anticancer property of Ficus carica fruits / R Jasmine, K Manikandan, K Karthikeyan / African Journal of Biotechnology, 2015; 14(7) / DOI: 10.5897/AJB2014.13742
Comparative study of fig tree efficacy in the treatment of common warts (Verruca vulgaris) vs cryotherapy / Shahab Bohlooli PhD et al / International Journal of Dermatology, May 2007; 46(5): pp 524-526 /
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2007.03159.x
In vitro antiviral activity of Ficus carica latex against caprine herpesvirus-1 / Michele Camero, Mariarosaria Marinaro, Angela Lovero, Gabriella Elia, Michele Losurdo, Canio Buonavoglia et al / Natural Products Research, 2014' 28(22) / DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2014.918120
Effects of Cream Containing Ficus carica L. Fruit Extract on Skin Parameters: In vivo Evaluation / H Khan, N Akhtar and A Ali / Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nov-Dec 2014; 76(6): pp 560-564 / PMID: 25593393
Common fig / Wikipedia
Ficus carica / Plants of the World Online
Raw figs, nutrient data / USDA
Antimutagenic activity of Armoracia rusticana, Zea mays and Ficus carica plant extracts and their mixture / Agabelli RA, Kasimova TE / Tsitologiia i Genetika, 2005; 39(3): pp 75-79 / PMID: 16250249
Effect of Ficus carica L. leaves extract loaded gold nanoparticles against cisplatin-induced acute kidney injury / Samah M El-Sayed, Mehrez E El-Naggar, Jihan Hussein, Dalia Medhat, Mona El-Banna / Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, 2019; Vol 184: 110465 / DOI: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2019.110465
Medicinal and Nutritional Analysis of Fig (Ficus Carica) Seed Oil; A New Gamma Tocopherol and Omega-3 Source / Ozge Kucukerdonmez, Nefise Baygeldi, Rana Nagihan Akder, Özlem Cagindi / Progress in Nutrition, 2021; 23(2): e2021052
Evaluation of Ficus carica Linn Fruit Extracts on Formalin Induced Pain in the Male Rat Paw / Sayid Mahdi Mirghazanfari, Hesam Aldein Alameh, Mohsen Parviz, Zahra Ahmadi Basir / Annals of Military and Health Sciences Research, 2019; 17(3): e97383 / DOI: 10.5812/amh.97383


DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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