Fig Botanical Extract (Ficus Carica)
History and Anecdotal Information: Figs and their botanical extracts have been highly valued for over 5000 years, their history recorded since earliest times, appearing in the writings of Homer and Plato. The common Fig Tree is a smallish ornamental that grows up to 20-feet in height. It is deciduous, with broad leaves and a fleshy, juicy, pear-shaped fruit. The tree thrives in rich, well-drained, alkaline-neutral soil. The Fig (or Ficus) Tree is indigenous to Persia, Turkey, Syria and other Mediterranean areas of Asia Minor, where it grows wild, but is now cultivated worldwide for its beauty, food, and medicinal value.
Chemical Composition: The Fig is highly nutritious and contains fiber, flavonoids, dextrose (sugars), enzymes, magnesium, iron, acids, vitamins A and C, and is particularly rich in calcium and potassium. The fruit is eaten raw, stewed, made into jams and wine, and included as a flavoring for coffee.
General Benefits: Figs are an effective but gentle laxative. The fruit's saccharine juice, indigestible seeds and skin, produce mild bowel movement that helps treat constipation and soothe irritated tissue. Considered mild enough to be used by children and people with delicate colons and bowels.
For respiratory tract inflammation, Fig is soothing to the mucous membranes of the respiratory passage, relieving discomforts of colds, coughs, sore throats, inflammation of the trachea and bronchial infection. Used externally, Fig is an emollient to treat hemorrhoids and in poultices for boils and small tumors.
Skin Benefits: Moisturizing, Nourishing, Regenerating
Fig extract, derived from the fruit of the fig tree, is relatively new in skincare. Figs and other fruits, such as pomegranates and olives, are used in skincare formulations because their high Vitamin A and vitamin C properties are beneficial in promoting exfoliation and elimination of superficial surface skin cells, which makes for refreshed and renewed skin. The stems and leaves contain an acrid, milky juice used to remove warts and corns.