There is nothing like the delicious taste of fresh figs, and while they are not available all year round, you can get dried figs throughout the year.
This fruit is native to the Middle East and Mediterranean and mentions in the Bible. There are different varieties of fig which vary in color and texture, but they are all rich in dietary fiber, minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of vitamins A, B, E and K.
However, figs are rich in sugar and has a high glycemic index. Therefore, to enjoy the benefits of figs, it is recommended to eat them along with foods that have low glycemic index, such as walnuts, almonds or vegetables. Eating them together allows the fig (and the sugar) to be absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream.
Fresh or dried, figs have been used in traditional medicine to relieve toothache, treat digestive problems, as a natural laxative, get rid of toxins, improve canker sores and even strengthen the nails. The Greeks also believed that figs increase male potency, and recommended it for their athletes.
Uses of figs as a natural remedy:
1. It is recommended for people who suffer from iron deficiency (anemia) to add figs to their diet, as figs are good source of iron. Get familiar with these iron deficiency symptoms and how to increase iron levels in your blood.
2. Figs are recommended for people who suffer from digestive problems, as they improve the digestive system, and used as a natural laxative due to their high fiber content. Increasing your fiber intake is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health. It is recommended to soak dried figs in water for several hours, and then drink the water and eat the fruit. You can find more natural laxatives in my previous article about the best natural laxatives for constipation.
3. Figs are used to get rid of toxins, and are considered as one of the foods with the most alkaline pH, and therefore they balance the acidic conditions resulting from consuming a diet rich in meat and processed foods (read more about these 5 things to avoid if you want to get your body alkaline and how to balance your pH).
4. Figs, especially dry figs, are rich in calcium which is one of the most important components in strengthening bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. You can read more about these 4 steps to prevent osteoporosis.
5. Figs are especially beneficial to treat warts. The milky sap (latex) of figs contain anti viral properties, so applying it on the warts twice a day helps to cure them. It is recommended to drip the sap on the root of the exposed wart. You can also remove warts using apple cider vinegar (ACV). Some people apply the milky sap directly to the skin to treat cuts and irritated skin.
6. Drinking figs brew helps relieve dry cough, asthma, sore throat, and helps to get rid of excess mucus. Cook a fig or two with half a cup of water for a few minutes, and drink the liquid several times a day.
7. Figs help lower high blood pressure (hypertension) due to their high potassium content, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. People who consume a diet low in potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, may suffer from high blood pressure. Find more ways to reduce high blood pressure naturally.
8. Fig leaf for diabetes – The leaves of the fig are edible and have been shown to reduce the amount of insulin needed by people with diabetes who require insulin injections. In one study, a liquid extract made from fig leaves was added to the breakfast of insulin-dependent diabetic people in order to produce this insulin-lowering effect. To make fig leaf tea, simply boil fig leaves in water for at least 15 minutes.
9. Heart health – In animal studies, fig leaves have been shown to lower levels of triglycerides. When your triglyceride levels are too high, you increase in the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. Figs themselves also contain omega-3, omega 6 and phytosterol compounds, which help lower cholesterol levels. Their fiber also binds to cholesterol, helping to eliminate it from your body.
As you can see, there are many ways to use figs as a natural remedy. So next time you go to the grocery shop, don’t forget to buy several of them.