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The Medicinal Power of Figs

FIGS! Those little, succulent, nutrition packed, bowel cleansing figs.

When was the last time you had a fig?

Fresh figs are only available about eight weeks of each year. When I see them arrive in stores I do a happy dance.

Two years ago, I bought a fig tree at home depot and planted it in my yard. Unfortunately, it was May in Phoenix and the tree was not able to root in time.

There is something special about a fig tree’s root system.

A fig tree has extremely deep roots with tiny hairs on them that allow it to absorb more nutrients than other trees.

The nutrients provided by figs include bioavailable potassium, sodium, b-vitamins, calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc.

If you have a yard you may want to consider planting fruit trees.

We have a lemon and a lime tree and lots of fresh aloe plants. I’m hoping to expand the nutritional density of our yard. I prefer to grow gardens instead of grass.

Figs are extremely alkaline which allows them to be great inflammation fighters.

Figs are a fruit

There is a lot of incorrect information around fruit. Many people believe sugars found in fruit are the same as other refined sugars. It is also common belief that fruit can feed yeast, mold, bacteria, candida and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

This is untrue.

The misinformation around fruit has led to a decrease in fruit consumption in the last 10 years. The average person in the United States consumes 201 servings of fruit per year.

This does not include fruit juice.

Hum, there are 365 days in a year and of those fruit is consumed 201 of those days so that leaves 164 days per year without a piece of fruit.

Yikes! No wonder we are sicker than ever.

Fruit is critical for healing.

If you feel that you are sensitive to fruit, it is best to start slowly. Fruit and especially figs can cause a strong detoxification reaction. That is why some people believe that they cannot handle fruit as well as other foods.

The two main areas where figs provide good medicine are the digestive tract and the neurological system.

Figs contain bacteria dissolving acids. Figs have the ability to kill off bad bacteria while promoting the buildup of good bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus in the digestive tract.

Figs work as a gentle laxative and they help to eliminate toxic wastes and mucus from the colon. This is a great way to boost immune function within the digestive tract and reduce bloating.

The neurological system is made up of your brain and spinal cord. This is the great circuit board of communication between your brain and the nerves that shoot out to all the parts of your body. You want to think about it like a big New York City subway map of interconnected points.

Figs are beneficial for all neurological conditions including brain fog, dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, tremors, MS, and ALS.

Fig Preparation

Fresh figs are a succulent treat in late summer. They are in season right now.

The other 10 months out of the year I eat dried figs. Some dried figs are soft and tender and great to eat right out of the package. Others are hard and dry.

You can soak dried figs in water for a few minutes to soften them up.  You can even soak figs for hours and then blend them into salad dressings, a fig puddings or add to a smoothie.

You’re probably thinking “fig pudding?” But let me remind you of the line in the song, We Wish You a Merry Christmas:

“Now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding, now bring us some figgy pudding, and a cup of good cheer.”

Figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England, and was a mash of soaked figs combined with bread into a type of bread pudding.

If you’re looking for a great morning or afternoon snack try a few fresh or dried figs, with celery sticks or cucumbers. One of my favorite snacks while I was nursing were dried figs and raw pecans.  A yummy combination.

The most common figs found in supermarkets include Black Mission, Brown Turkey, and Calimyrna.

if you have never had a fresh fig. This is your opportunity.

Figs are in season right now. Hop on down to your local grocery store and buy a package.

I consider fresh figs to be a delicacy, they are not cheap but they are one of the most potent types of medicine delivered to you from mother nature.

Try one or five and leave a comment below. I want to hear about your experience.

As I always say you become who you hang around so let’s hang out some more and we can help change medicine one person at a time.

With Love,

Dr. Purcell

Dr. Andrea Purcell

A trusted and well-respected Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Purcell has been in private practice for over twenty years. Dr. Purcell is a published author and has a women’s specialty practice for hormone balancing, weight loss, mystery illness, and gastro-intestinal concerns. Dr. Purcell assists her patients by identifying the underlying cause of disease and removing obstacles that impede the body's natural ability to heal. Drugs and surgery are used as a last resort. She believes that increasing health on the inside shines through to the outside.


  • Judy Feeney says:

    My mission figs are just coming into season. There is a large crop this year as the tree is now mature. After reading your commentary, I am encouraged to look for some good recipes. $5 Lb in the store for fresh! When dried they are hard, but now I feel even they can be utilized.

  • Mary says:

    Figs are the BEST fruit available, so sad such a short season fresh. So, I love how you told us how to soak them the rest of the year, and the 2 main benefits are ESSENTIAL! Trader Joe’s and Sprouts carry them.

  • Renee Boylan says:

    I have been eating figs since I am a kid did not know how good they are for you. I love them. Figs and cherries are my favorite.

  • Sandra Burggraeve says:

    I had fresh figs right off the tree when l was in Portugal years back. They were the best fruit l have ever eaten. the people who were with me worried l would get sick because l ate so very many. Nope. I have tasted dry figs when l was a child . They are so nothing once you have had a fresh fig right off the tree. l am sure there will be figs in heaven. LOl

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