Botanist's Glossary

Fig Tree - Ficus carica

  • Description
    • The common fig (Moraceae family) is a small tree that has been cultivated since ancient times, in the Mediterranean basin and in Asia, for its fleshy fruit - the fig. There are hundreds of varieties of fig. The tree has a remarkable longevity: in Southern France and coastal Brittany, there are some fig trees that are several centuries old. The milky sap of the fig tree, and the fact that it bears fruit without seeming to blossom, have earned it an important role in myths and legends.
  • Traditions
    • The fig tree is symbolic of Mediterranean civilizations and has been known since ancient times for its softening properties. Latex, the white "milk" that flows from a cut in the petiole, has been used in many applications, mainly external: dermatosis, venomous bites, etc. These days, phytotherapy recommends using the fig tree to treat nausea, indigestion and gastritis. The fig itself, which has a very high sugar content, can be eaten dry and makes an excellent natural energy food.
  • Properties
    • Fig extracts have emollient and softening properties due to their rich mucilage content. They help to reduce water loss from the epidermis and thus promote skin comfort.