By Dr Renita D’Souza
Anjeer (Ficus carica) is a very well-known nutritive fruit with many medicinal virtues. It helps in quick recovery from fatigue and endows the body with good physical and mental strength. Classical term of Anjeer fruit is Phalgu. It is described under Phala varga in Priya Nighantu. Leaves and roots of this plant are used in cardiovascular diseases, sore throat, cough, indigestion, colic, loss of appetite, diarrhoea and other respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. Also used as anti-inflammatory agents. Fresh and dried figs possess laxative property. Dry fruit is used as good nutritional support for diabetes.
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Botanical Name – Ficus carica
Family – Moraceae
Ripe fruit of Anjeer possess following qualities
Taste (Rasa) – Sweet
Quality (Guna) – Guru (heavy to digest)
Potency (Virya) – Shita (cold)
Vipaka (Taste after digestion) – Sweet
Action (Karma) –
Tarpana – Nutritive
Balya – promotes physical strength
Anulomana – helps easy evacuation of bowels
Vibandam Hanti – cures constipation
Shramahara – relieves fatigue
Brahmana – Nourishing
Vishtambhi – constipating (excess use)
Vrshya – Aphrodisiac
Mutrala – diuretic
Raktashodhaka – Purifies blood
Kaphanisaraka – Expectorant
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Effect on Doshas
Vatapittahara – Balances aggravated vata and pitta dosha
- Latex of Fig is applied externally on warts, skin ulcers and sores. It is also used as a purgative and anthelmintic.
- Fruit paste is applied externally on swellings, tumour and inflammations. It acts as the best pain relieving agent.
- In Haemorrhage, fruit juice with honey is given internally. (Vrindamaadhava)
Ficus carica possess Anticancer, Antioxidant, Antidiabetic, Antifungal, Antibacterial, Hepatoprotective, Anti-inflammatory, Gastroprotective, Antidiarrheal, Antitumor, Antispasmodic, Immunobalancing, Antipyretic and Antimutagenic activities.
Leaves of Anjeer possess Diuretic, Demulcent, Emollient and Anthelmintic properties.
Nutritive value of Figs
Figs (Ficus carica) contains Protein 1.3 g, Fat (total Lipids) 0.2 g, Carbohydrates 7.6 g, Calories (energy) 80 k Cal, Moisture 88.1 g, Fibre 2.2 g, Minerals 0.6 g, Thiamine 0.1 mg, Calcium 35 mg, Phosphorus 22 mg, Iron 0.6 mg, Vitamin A – 80 IU and Vitamin C – 2 mg
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Anjir can be used in diseases such as-
Liver and Spleen diseases
Sandhivata – Osteoarthritis
Vataraktha – gout
Rakta vikara – diseases related to blood
Sore throat, Cough, Asthma
Ashmari – urinary calculi
Mutrakricchra – dysuria
Shukra dourbalya – Oligospermia
Vrana – wound
Visphota – Boils
Masurika – measles
Fruits are used in –
Roots are used in –
Latex is used as –
Anthelmintic and in the treatment of anaemia.
Leaves are used as –
In contact dermatitis
Seeds are used as edible oil, lubricant etc
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Fruit, Leaves, Root
Juice – l0-20 ml
Paste – 5-10 ml
Dried fruit – 2-3
Ficus carica is a moderate sized deciduous tree growing up to 15- 20 ft in height. Leaves are broad, ovate, nearly 3-5 lobed, leathery dark green above and hairy below.
Fruits axillary, usually pear shaped, variable in size and color, when ripe it is sweet and juicy. It is gummy with latex before ripening. Although fig is considered as a fruit is actually a flower inverted into it. Seeds are many and vary greatly in size. Seeds are real fruits in figs.
Plant latex is milky white and it contains protein digesting enzyme called Ficin.
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Ficus carica is native of Carica in Asia minor. It is distributed in Southwest Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean region, from the Turkey in the East to Spain and Portugal in the West. It is also grown commercially in parts of U.S.A., Chile, Arabia, Persia, India, China and Japan.
In Charaka and Sushruta Samhita, Phalgu is mentioned as Vishtambhi (constipating). Priya Nighantu mentions properties of Anulomana and Vibanda hanti that which helps in relieving constipation.
Other Nighantukaaras and commentators such as Dalhana and Chakrapaani mentions Phalgu as synonym of Kaakodumbara (Ficus hispida).
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Anticancer Activity – The study ‘Anticancer Activity of Methanol Extract of Ficus carica Leaves and Fruits Against Proliferation, Apoptosis, and Necrosis in Huh7it Cells’, have shown that the leaf extract of Ficus carica have higher anticancer activity compared with its fruit extracts.
Anti-inflammatory Activity– A research study conducted to evaluate Anti-inflammatory activity of leaves of Ficus carica have shown that the petroleum ether (PEE), chloroform (CE) and ethanol (EE) extracts have greater anti-inflammatory effect comparative to standard drug Indomethacin.
Priya Nighantu – Phala varga
Charaka Samhitha –
Sushrutha Samhitha – Phala Varga
Whoopin Syrup – It relieves distressing cough
Gojihwadi Kashaya – It is used in the treatment of fever, cough, bronchitis etc Nila ghritha – Used in asaadhya kushta (Su.Chi 9/29)
Nila ghritha – Used in asaadhya kushta (Su.Chi 9/29)
Kingdom – Plantae
Subkingdom – Tracheobionta
Superdivision – Spermatophyte
Class – Maghnoliosida
Subclass – Hamamelididae
Order – Urticales
Family – Moraceae
Genus – Ficus
Species – carica
English Name – Common fig
Sanskrit Name – Phalgu phalam
Hindi Name – Anjeer
Marathi Name – Anjra
Bengali Name – Anjir
Kannada Name – Anjura
Malayalam Name – Shimi atti
Tamil Name – Simayiatti tenatti
Telugu Name – Anjura, Manjimedi, Shimi atti
Punjabi Name – Fagari
Arab Name – Tin
Persian Name – Anjir
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