Since ancient times, fig leaf tea has been used as a natural remedy to promote wellness. In particular, it is considered a healthy supplement to reduce constipation, control glucose and improve lipid profile. Is there evidence of its properties?
First of all, it should be remembered that the fig tree is a tree that belongs to the Mulberry or Moraceae family. Its scientific name is Ficus carica L. and it is native to southwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Although it is known for its fruits, its roots and leaves are also used in traditional medicine. Discover its benefits below.
Fig leaf tea benefits
The fig leaf has components that are used for medicinal purposes. According to an article published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it provides phenolic compounds, organic acids and volatile substances that give it hypoglycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, hypolipemic and antimicrobial effects.
And although the evidence for its properties is still limited, some studies support its health effects. Of course, it should be used in moderation, without replacing medical treatments. Let’s see its main applications.
Fig leaf tea will not miraculously cure diabetes. In fact, this disease must be addressed with individualized medical treatment. However, this natural remedy can serve as a supplement to lower high blood glucose levels.
A clinical trial shared in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice found that fig leaf tea added to the diet can help control postprandial blood glucose. That is, it reduces blood sugar spikes after meals.
Both the fruits of the fig tree and its leaves have been used in alternative medicine as natural supplements to calm constipation. Its intake stimulates digestion, softens the stool and, therefore, favors its expulsion.
To enhance the effect, the ideal is to ingest the infusion in combination with the fruit, which stands out for its high fiber content and its laxative effect.
3. Cholesterol and triglycerides
To date, no relevant clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the ability of fig leaf to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. These properties are often justified by anecdotal data.
Even so, an animal study reported in Phytotherapy Research determined that these leaves help to modulate the lipid profile and reduce risk factors associated with lipids. It is believed, among other things, that it increases the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
4. Antibacterial activity
The fig leaf has components with antibacterial properties that can reduce the risk of infections. In a study shared in the Journal of Bacteriology and Virology, extracts from the leaves helped inhibit the growth of oral bacteria.
How to prepare fig leaf tea?
Due to its composition, fig leaf tea is a good supplement for food. In fact, its intake is recommended within the framework of a healthy and varied diet to enjoy its benefits. Do you dare to try it?
- 2 cups of water (500 milliliters).
- 2 tablespoons of dried fig leaves (30 grams).
- First, pour the cups of water into a pot and bring them to a boil.
- When they come to a boil, reduce the heat, add the leaves and let them cook for 5 minutes.
- After this time, remove from heat, let cool and strain.
- Avoid adding sugar, honey, or other types of sweeteners.
- You can drink 2 cups a day, 2 or 3 times a week. Avoid prolonged consumption.
Contraindications and possible risks
Fig leaf tea is safe for most people, as long as it is consumed in moderation. When ingested excessively it can cause diarrhea. Therefore, the ideal is to take it only occasionally.
On the other hand, if there is a history of allergy to figs, it is better to avoid it. People who develop allergic reactions can experience mild to severe symptoms, such as skin rashes, digestive discomfort, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
In case of having a scheduled surgery, it is necessary to avoid its consumption. Its intake is believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Nor should it be consumed simultaneously with anticoagulant, antidiabetic drugs or drugs for any chronic disease. It is unknown if it can cause interactions.
Given the lack of evidence on its safety and efficacy, it should not be administered during pregnancy and lactation. It is not known if there are risks for this population. When in doubt, it is best to see a doctor.
What is there to remember about fig leaf tea?
In folk medicine, the fig leaf is used to increase the state of well-being. Its consumption is associated with the reduction of constipation and cholesterol. It is even believed that it helps control blood glucose levels. In any case, studies on its properties are still limited.
More research is required to determine its effectiveness on human health. Therefore, it should be used with caution; only in specific cases and as a supplement to the diet.