- Fruit, leaves, bark, latex
As for a cancer remedy, researchers at the Insititute of Physical and Chemical Research at the Mitsubishi-Kasel Insitutue of Life Sciences in Tokyo discovered a chemical contained in figs that does treat the disease. When mice were injected with an extract from the fruit, they found that their tumors shrank by one-third. They took that substance, benzaldehyde, and tested it on cancer patients with remarkable success.
The dried fruit has a pronounced, but gentle, laxative effect; and a syrup made from the fruit is a remedy for mild constipation and much better for the body than commercial laxatives.
The fruits emollient pulp helps relieve pain and inflammations and has been used to treat tumors, swellings, and gum abscesses although, the fruit is often roasted before application.
It is also a disinfectant. A poultice of dried figs will considerably reduce the foul stench given off by chronic leg ulcers when applied directly to the wound.
Being mildly expectorant, the fruit, when combined with such herbs as elecampane, is helpful in treating dry, irritable coughs and bronchitis.
The milky latex from the leaves and stems is reputed to be an analgesic, as well as being used on warts, insect bites, and stings. However, caution is advised.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the fig is used as a tonic, diuretic, and a treatment for gonorrhea.
In Chinese medicine, a related species, F. lacor, is used to induce sweating.
A species native to China, Indonesia, and Australia, (F. retusa) is used in Chinese medicine to treat toothache and tooth decay.
The juice and powdered bark of a related Central American species (F. cotinifolia) are applied to wounds and bruises. Medicinally, the sap is applied to scorpion stings, boils, and such other skin afflictions as ringworm. It is sometimes used as an emergency bandage to protect wounds. The dried leaves are sometimes smoked to treat asthma, while the fruit is a standard remedy for constipation.
Traditional Arabian medicine uses figs, which they believe to be diuretic, laxative, and emollient, to treat conjunctivitis, leprosy, and hemorrhoids. They see figs as being strengthening to the body, building stamina and vigor.
The leaves and bark are employed to relieve diarrhea and dysentery and to reduce bleeding.
The latex is used in the same way as other Fiscus species, including application to hemorrhoids, warts, and aching joints.
The fruit is laxative and the roots are chewed to prevent gum disease.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the bark is used to treat diabetes.
Its uses are relatively the same as those of the Banyon Tree, with the bark and leaves taken for diarrhea and dysentery, while the leaves alone are used to treat constipation.
The leaves are used with “ghee” (a clarified butter) as a poultice and applied to boils and to swollen glands in mumps.
The powdered fruit is taken for asthma, and the latex is used to treat warts.