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Friendly Figs

Updated on November 3, 2010

Beyond writing about what you know, a writer researches and looks for more facts or interesting tidbits to flavor and enhance the story. Sometimes, the writer learns that something he or she thought was true, was in fact quite untrue. It can be an enlightening revelation, both for the article and for the writer. The experiences are not reserved for those who bring shocking news to light, even the small time author can go through this. I did, with this very hub. Read on and you will see where my ignorance lay, it is not buried too deeply.

The fig tree usually grows from 10-30' in height, yet 50' trees are not unheard of. The trunk of the tree looks tumorous when the branches have been shed or scraped away. The wood is rather soft and decays rapidly. I found it to be a rather unpleasing appearance. The branches of the tree, which is in the Mulberry family, are muscular and are wider than their length. The true name of the tree is not " Fig " at all, rather the proper name is " Ficus"......I bought a silk ficus tree once, with the intention of placing it in front of a floor lamp, the effect was, glimpsing the moonlight through the trees. I had no idea that a "ficus" was a fruit bearing tree, I just thought it was a silk tree! The leaves of the Ficus tree are a bright green and grow up to a foot in length. Its flowers require no pollination as they are all female. Beware the sap, it contains a milky latex that is a skin irritant.

The fruit is produced twice a year, and the tree can produce for up to 100 years. No wonder some cultures regard it as the symbol of fertility! The fig is available year round, but the fresh fruit spoils rather quickly. Oddly, the nearer to spoiling the fruit is, the higher the antioxidant level becomes. The fruit itself is sweet with a chewy flesh and crunchy seeds. The fig has a pleasant aroma and is often sought out for aromatherapy and candle making.

We know historically, that the fig was cultivated in ancient Egypt, spread to ancient Crete, and on to Greece. The Greeks adored the fruit and it quickly became a staple in their diets. At one point, the Greeks forbid the best of the crops to be exported. The ancient Romans considered the figs to be sacred.

Late nineteenth century Spanish Missionaries planted the first known fig trees in what is now San Diego. California now ranks along with the world's producers of figs, they join Turkey, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

The fig is mentioned at least 20 times in the Bible......Adam and Eve are reported to have covered themselves with fig leaves. There are three instances where moving cultures are recorded to have packed their figs to take to their new homes. Are we to assume that the seeds would be planted in new groves? Isaiah tells Hezekiah that God has instructed that he make a poultice of figs in order to heal boils. This story is retold in Kings.

Boils are a bacterial infection of the skin. Figs are high in vitamin A, have natural AHA properties, making them an excellent skin exfoliate, they are high in phytochemicals ( plant based disease fighters), natural cancer fighters and UV rays filter. That reads, ' skin friendly ' to me.

Figs also provide, per 8 oz serving:

30% daily value of fiber--counterparts to apples, pears and prunes

15% daily value of potassium-controls blood pressure and may counter the hi-salt diet

15% daily value of manganese-assists the body in utilizing other nutrients

all of this for 167 calories!

The dried fruit are often added to oatmeal , yougart and salads. I have included a link to recipies featuring figs, as well as other information.

There is a lot more to figs than a little dry cookie!


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    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town


      As always, thank you for

      reading my hubs......

      The fig tree is one that

      I have not been around.

      They were not present on our

      farm. And I wish that I had

      paid more attention to the

      things my Granddad tried to

      teach me about identifying


      I was never a big fan of

      "Fig Newtons"

      much of this hub, is reflective

      of what I learned as well.

      I am glad you found something

      useful, perhaps you could share

      with us?

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Although I've been cultivating fig trees for about 10 years now I learned something from your hub. Thanks much! I had never even eaten a fig until we bought this house. Now I have some fig trees to take with me when we move on.

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town


      Thanks for coming by to read my hub.

      I learn here also. Glad you found something of interest to you....

    • profile image

      mohamedfigo 7 years ago

      Great writer and great information

      I am Egyptian, but i did not know that the fig was cultivated in ancient Egypt.

      So thanks for the info

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town


      TY for your encouragment.

      God has indeed Blessed me and I am thankful.

    • panguerita profile image

      Rita Hanks 7 years ago from Little Elm, Texas

      Very informative and well written! I especially like your references to God's word. Many are ignorant of the wealth of knowledge to be found in scripture. It's so true that minds must always be opened to a deeper learning experience, and most especially to the knowledge of God's ways and his plan of salvation for his children through his son, Jesus Christ. Our journeys of learning have the power to change lives through his truth! God bless you!

    • onegoodwoman profile image

      onegoodwoman 7 years ago from A small southern town

      So do I, Apostle Jack......we learn a great deal by the questions of others. All we need do, is open our minds.....

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      Great hub,I love to learn.