Ficus carica (generic name)

treats Diabetes
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Interactions with Drugs

Theoretically, because fig leaf contains furocoumarins, it may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).

Theoretically, fig leaf may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

Interactions with Herbs & Dietary Supplements

Theoretically, because fig leaf contains furocoumarins, it may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.

Theoretically, fig leaf may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.


This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature, and was peer-reviewed and edited by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration ( Tracee Abrams, PharmD (University of Rhode Island); Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD (University of Toronto); Nina Crowley, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Dana A. Hackman, BS (Northeastern University); Catherine Kirkwood, MPH, CCCJS-MAC (MD Anderson Cancer Center); Adrianne Rogers, MD (Harvard Medical School); Erica Seamon, PharmD (Nova Southeastern University); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).


DISCLAIMER: Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to Selected references are listed below.

Anahory T, Darbas H, Ongaro O, et al. Serratia ficaria: a misidentified or unidentified rare cause of human infections in fig tree culture zones. J Clin Microbiol 1998;36(11):3266-3272.

Antico A, Zoccatelli G, Marcotulli C, et al. Oral allergy syndrome to fig. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2003;131(2):138-142.

Bollero D, Stella M, Rivolin A, et al. Fig leaf tanning lotion and sun-related burns: case reports. Burns 2001;27(7):777-779.

Brehler R, Abrams E, Sedlmayr S. Cross-reactivity between Ficus benjamina (weeping fig) and natural rubber latex. Allergy 1998;53(4):402-406.

Caiaffa MF, Cataldo VM, Tursi A, et al. Fig and mulberry cross-allergy. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003;91(5):493-495.

Diez-Gomez ML, Quirce S, Aragoneses E, et al. Asthma caused by Ficus benjamina latex: evidence of cross-reactivity with fig fruit and papain. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1998;80(1):24-30.

Erdmann SM, Hipler UC, Merk HF, et al. Sensitization to fig with cross-sensitization to weeping fig and natural rubber latex. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2004;133(3):316.

Focke M, Hemmer W, Wohrl S, et al. Cross-reactivity between Ficus benjamina latex and fig fruit in patients with clinical fig allergy. Clin Exp Allergy 2003;33(7):971-977.

Kanerva L, Estlander T, Petman L, et al. Occupational allergic contact urticaria to yucca (Yucca aloifolia), weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), and spathe flower (Spathiphyllum wallisii). Allergy 2001;56(10):1008-1011.

Ozdamar E, Ozbek S, Akin S. An unusual cause of burn injury: fig leaf decoction used as a remedy for a dermatitis of unknown etiology. J Burn Care Rehabil 2003;24(4):229-233.

Perez C, Canal JR, Torres MD. Experimental diabetes treated with ficus carica extract: effect on oxidative stress parameters. Acta Diabetol 2003;40(1):3-8.

Richter G, Schwarz HP, Dorner F, et al. Activation and inactivation of human factor X by proteases derived from Ficus carica. Br J Haematol 2002;119(4):1042-1051.

Rubnov S, Kashman Y, Rabinowitz R, et al. Suppressors of cancer cell proliferation from fig (Ficus carica) resin: isolation and structure elucidation. J Nat Prod 2001;64(7):993-996.

Serraclara A, Hawkins F, Perez C, et al. Hypoglycemic action of an oral fig-leaf decoction in type-I diabetic patients. Diabetes Res Clin Pract 1998;39(1):19-22.

Werfel S, Rueff F, Przybilla B. [Anaphylactic reaction to Ficus benjamina (weeping fig)]. Hautarzt 2001;52(10 Pt 2):935-937.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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