Herb: Wild Fig
Latin name: Ficus palmata
Family: Moraceae (Mulberry Family)
Medicinal use of Wild Fig:The fruit is demulcent, emollient, laxative and poultice. It is used as a part of the diet in the treatment of constipation and diseases of the lungs and bladder. The sap is used in the treatment of warts. The latex of the plant is used to take out spines lodged deeply in the flesh.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Occasionally found in forests, more commonly around villages, in waste ground, fields etc. Open places, generally along the banks of streams at elevations of 600 - 2700 metres in Nepal.
Edible parts of Wild Fig:Fruit - raw. Sweet and succulent. A very tasty fruit, it is often dried for later use. The fruit is about 2.5cm in diameter and annual yields from wild trees is about 25kg. The fruit contains about 6% sugars, 1.7% protein, 0.9% ash and 0.2% pectin. Low in vitamin C, about 3.3mg per 100g. The unripe fruits and young growth are cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They are boiled, the water is removed by squeezing and they are then fried. a nice green vegetable. Some caution is advised, see notes above on toxicity.
Other uses of the herb:The pliable wood is of little value but has been used for making hoops, garlands, ornaments etc.
Propagation of Wild Fig:Seed - sow spring in a warm greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle and overwinter the young plants in a greenhouse for at least their first year. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts and give some protection for their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of mature wood 10 - 12cm with a heel, winter in a frame. Fairly easy, but the cuttings must be kept frost free. It is probably best if the cuttings are put in individual pots. Layering.
Cultivation of the herb:Occasionally found in forests, more commonly around villages, in waste ground, fields etc. Open places, generally along the banks of streams at elevations of 600 - 2700 metres in Nepal.
Known hazards of Ficus palmata:The sap and the half-ripe fruits are said to be poisonous.
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.