“If I had to mention a fruit that descended from paradise, I would say this is it, because paradisiacal fruits do not have pits” quotes like this and references of the fig leaf being the cover of Adam and Eve prove the mythical and mystifying character of the fruit. But truly this delicate and plush looking fruit, with its pink and purple hues when ripe, with a luscious pink heart inside, and distinctive taste has a quintessence of its own.
Recently driving through the rainy streets in England, I was peering through the window, seeing the old style homes and backyards with fig tree branches swinging with abundance of fruit. This abundance of growth made me envious, since my two small fig trees in my backyard, give us just a taste of this exotic fruit.
Figs seem to grow in plenty in colder climates with a lot of rain. In regions like England, Canada, and the northwest coast states of U.S like Portland, fig is a popular fruit. Our Texas soil and climate may be inhibiting our fig production. In spite of this low productions, my husband who has a lot of passion for figs unlike any other fruit plants or flowers or herbs in our garden, hovers around them to pluck it in its perfect ripeness. Even though he may not be able to tell the difference between a plant from a weed or spade form a shovel, he knows the perfect time to pluck the fig. The taste of a perfectly ripe fig is heavenly.
But in spite of low productions we still like to eat a lot of figs. Different ways to eat figs are- to cut them and eat them directly, or peel the skin and eat it, or scoop it with a spoon. Another great way to eat figs is cut it and drizzle some honey and eat it. When the figs are not in season, we often eat dry figs, which are very nutritious and tasty too. A great way to eat dry figs is soaking them overnight in a cup of milk. Next day, not only do you eat a well soaked delicious fleshy fruit, but you also get to drink an amazingly tasty drink. Check out the recipe for a fig milk shake in the recipes.
Figs have a lot of nutritious value besides having many curative values. It is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, emollient, expectorant, diuretic, and a laxative. Figs are a great source of fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K and anti-oxidants.
( Disclaimer: Figs are said to have the following cures, but I am not a doctor, or aurvedic or therapeutic medicine consultant. I am not qualified to prescribe anything or advice anybody. I personally practice a lot of alternative medicine at home, but cannot vouch for cures.)
• Urinary stones and urinary problems – Figs are diuretic. A decoction made from boiling the figs, drunk couple of times a day cures urinary problems and melts small urinary sediments, preventing kidney stones.
• Chest, throat and lung cures- Sore throat, Pharyngitis, chest congestion, phlegmatic cough, bronchitis, coarseness of voice can be cured by eating figs.
• Anemia – Fig has rich iron content and should be eaten if one is anemic.
• Worm infestation – The enzymes ficin in fig helps in expelling worms in stomach.
• Bad breath- Eating figs reduces bad breath.
• Weight loss-Figs contain digestive enzymes for all the three components of diet, Proteins, carbohydrates and fat, hence can help in weight loss.
• Intestinal Gas- Figs are supposed to be carminative and can expel the gases from the intestines.
• Constipation- Fig is laxative and can help cure constipation. Hence overeating of figs can cause
• Strength and energy- Figs are recommended for strength, stamina and vitality. Also recommended in pregnancy and after childbirth.
• Menstrual cycle- Figs apparently also helps in regulating the menstrual cycles in case of delayed periods etc.
• Regulates blood pressure- Figs contain a good source of potassium and hence can be eaten to regulate blood pressure.
• Helps in Ph balance-Due to its high alkalinity it is useful in balancing the pH of the body, and also considered to be beneficial to people who wish to quit smoking.
• Skin blemishes and tooth problems- A powder made from baking and crushing dried fig is supposed to help in removing skin blemishes and also in tooth ailments.