Ficus carica L.
Botanical Name: Ficus carica L.
Synonyms: Ficus carica subsp. rupestris (Hausskn.) Browicz
Species: F. carica
Sindhi Name: InjeerLocal
English Name: Figs
Parts Used: Fruit and sap
F. carica is a large shrub to small deciduous tree. Leaves are glabrous and ovate. Fruits are axillary and are pear-shaped. In male flowers, sepals are usually 4, united, lobes are lanceolate, stamens are 4, and filaments are long. Whereas in female flowers, sepals are 4, and lobes are lanceolate and oblong.1,2
F. carica is widely cultivated throughout the world including India, Afghanistan, Russia, Iran, Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Pakistan.2
Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases:
Sap of F. carica is applied topically on the area of infection for the treatment of ringworm in District Mitiari (Sindh).
Water extract of the leaves of F. carica contain 3-O– and 5-O-caffeoylquinic acids, ferulic acid, quercetin-3-O-glucoside, quercetin-3-O-rutinoside, psoralen, bergapten, oxalic, citric, malic, quinic, shikimic, and fumaric acids while methanol extract contain coumarin. Leaves of the plant contain methyl-butanal, 2-methylbutanal, ethyl benzoate, methyl salicylate, limonene, menthol, α-pinene, β-pinene, linalool, and eucalyptol.4 It is reported that the plant also contains arabinose, β-amyrins, β– carotines, glycosides, β-sitosterol, Umbelliferone, and xanthotoxol.5
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacological/Scientific Studies
Fruit pulp of F. carica is used for the treatment of tumors, swellings, and gum abscesses. Latex is used for treatment of warts, insect bites, and stings. Leaves are used for the treatment of lucoderma. Bark is used for the treatment of eczema and other skin diseases.3 Syrup of figs, which is made from the fruit, is used as a laxative.6 Decoction of dried F. carica is used as a mouthwash for the treatment of sore throat. Leaf decoction is beneficial for diabetes and calcifications in the kidneys and liver diseases.5 Plant possessed antioxidant, antipyretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antifungal, antibacterial, hypolipidemic, and hepatoprotective properties.7
- Pullaih, T. (2006). “Encyclopedia of World Medicinal Plants”, 2, p: 946, Regency Publications, New Delhi, India.
- Khare, C.P. (2007). “Indian Medicinal Plants”, p: 265, Springer Science Publication, New York, U.S.A.
- Mawa, S., Husain, K., and Jantan, I. (2013). “Ficus carica (Moraceae): Phytochemistry, Traditional Uses and Biological Activities”.Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.
- Joseph, B., and Raj, S. J. (2011). “Pharmacognostic and Phytochemical Properties of Ficus carica Linn–An Overview”.International Journal of PharmTech Research, 3(1).p: 8-12.
- Imran, A., and Varnika, J. R. (2011). “A Review of Traditional, Pharmacological, Pharmacognostic Properties of Fiscus carica (Anjir)”.International Research Journal of Pharmacy, 2(12). p: 124-7.