Common Name: fig
Botanical Name: Ficus carica
Native Range: western Asia, southeastern Europe
A description of fig in The Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes by John Gerard, 1636:
Figs are good for the throat and lungs, they mitigate the cough, and are good for them that be short winded: they ripen phlegm, causing the same to be easily spit out, especially when they are sodden with Hyssop, and the decoction drunk.
Figs stamped with salt, rue, and the kernels of nuts withstand all poison and corruption of the air. The King of Pontus, called Mithridates, used this preservative against all venom and poison.
Figs stamped and made into the form of a plaster with wheat meal, the powder of Fenugreek, and Linseed, and the roots of Marsh Mallows, applied warm, does soften and ripen impostumes, phlegmons, all hot and angry swellings and tumors behind the ears: and if you add the roots of Lilies, it ripens and breaks for venereal impostumes that come into the flank, which impostume is called bubo, by reason of his lurking in such secret places, in plain English terms they are called botches.
Figs boiled in Wormwood wine with some Barley meal are very good to be applied as a plaster upon the bellies of such as have the dropsy.
Dried figs have power to soften, consume and make thin, and maybe use both outwardly and inwardly, whether it be to ripen or soften impostumes, or to scatter, dissolve and consume them.
The leaves of the fig tree do waste and consume the Kings Evil, or swelling kernels in the throat, and do mollify, waste, and consume all other tumors, being finally pounded and laid thereon: but after my practice, being boiled with the roots of Marsh Mallow until they be soft, and so incorporated together, and applied in the form of a plaster.
The milky juice either of the figs or leaves is good against all roughness of the skin, leprosy, spreading sores, smallpox, measles, pushes, wheals, freckles. Lentils, and all other spots, and deformity of the body and face, being mixed with Barley meal and applied: it does also take away warts and such like excrescences, if it be mingled with some fatty or greasy thing.
The milk does also cure the tooth-ache, if a little lint or cotton be wet therein, and put into the hollowness of the tooth.
It opens the veins of the hemorrhoids, and loosens the belly, being applied to the fundament.
Figs stamped with the powder of Fenugreek, and vinegar, and applied plasterwise, does ease the intolerable pain of the hot gout, especially the gout of the feet.
The milk thereof put into the wound proceeding of the biting of a mad dog, or any other venomous beast, preserves the parts adjoining, takes away the pain presently, and cures the hurt.
Last updated: 3/10/2020