For centuries the fig has been used for medicinal purposes, especially to combat skin, digestive and cardiovascular conditions.
However, the fruit is not the only thing that can be used from the fig tree, since its leaves also have beneficial properties. Find out which ones and how to infuse them here.
The FIG tree (Ficus carica L.) is a tree that can reach 8 meters in height. It has an open crown due to its large branching, which usually arises from far below the trunk.
Although the fig tree is highly appreciated for its fruits, figs, which have between 50 and 60% sugars, are pulpy and drop-shaped, their leaves can also be used for gastronomic and medicinal purposes.
The history of the cultivation of the fig tree dates back more than 5,000 years and is part of numerous historical records, in which mentions are usually found about its effects on the body and medicinal uses of the fruits, the latex that arises when cutting it, or of the leaves.
How to prepare fig leaf infusion
To the surprise of many, fig leaves are not only edible, but also have many health benefits. This is because they are rich in fiber and compounds with antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
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A simple way to incorporate them into the diet is by infusing them. For this you only need two ingredients: water and fig leaves.
- Carefully wash a handful of fig leaves.
- Add the handful of leaves in half a liter of water.
- Heat until ready until boiling.
- After a couple of minutes, turn off the heat and let it rest.
- Strain and drink.
Traditional medicine recommends drinking this infusion frequently, and although there are not enough studies on its effects, its consumption is linked to different benefits:
Relieve skin problems
Fig leaves infusion is often recommended to treat different skin conditions, such as eczema, vitiligo, and psoriasis. While there are no scientific studies to support this use, the benefits are believed to be due to its richness in flavonoids and polyphenols.
Helps control blood sugar
The infusion of fig leaves is rich in potassium, which reduces the amount of sugar that is absorbed by the body and thus the amount of insulin that the body needs to distribute glucose between cells. For this reason, it is often seen as an ideal drink for people with diabetes.
Fight digestive problems
Fig leaves are rich in fiber, which stimulates a healthy and regular functioning of the intestines, thus preventing many digestive problems, such as constipation or constipation.
Fiber can also add bulk to your stool, reduce the risk of diarrhea, and stabilize irregular bowel movements.
Strengthens cardiovascular health
In addition to being rich in potassium, the infusion of fig leaves highlights other essential minerals, such as calcium, iron and manganese. This makes it an ideal drink to protect heart health, as it helps regulate blood pressure levels due to its vasodilator effects.
This lowers your chances of suffering from various heart conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks.
There is also evidence that links the consumption of this tea with a reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, risk factors for obesity and consequently for heart disease.
The consumption of fig leaves infusion is usually associated with other benefits:
- Relieve ulcers.
- Soothe bronchitis.
- Fight warts.
- Eliminate free radicals, unstable molecules that affect healthy cell structures.
- Strengthen bone health.
- Protect liver function.
- Reduce swelling or inflammation.
While fig leaf infusion is considered safe for most people, there is not enough information to know what the recommended intake is and when it may be a problem.
To avoid problems, experts advise consulting a doctor before starting to incorporate this infusion, or, if you already take it, do it gradually. It is recommended that pregnant or lactating women do not drink fig leaf tea.
Also, people sensitive to mulberry, natural rubber latex or fig may have allergic reactions when they drink this infusion.
Another aspect that should not be overlooked is that, due to its blood pressure and blood sugar lowering effects, people who already take medications for these purposes should avoid taking this infusion.
Until there is significant scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should exercise extreme caution.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: Comprehensive Natural Medicines Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, National Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.