Ficus carica L. is also known as ‘anjir/anjeer’ in Hindi and ‘fig’ in English. It is produced in countries like Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Greece, California, and Brazil. It grows in hot, dry and slightly cold climatic conditions. Figs are consumed worldwide in both dried and fresh forms. The edible part of anjeer, which is a fruit, is a receptacle, fleshy and hollow.

Anjeer tree is a native plant of Asia (southwestern part) and has now spread to Europe and other parts of the world. Anjeer plays a vital role in Indian mythology as an object of worship. Anjeer tree has been known to be a rich source of food and medicine since ancient times.

Nutritional Value of Anjeer: 

According to data from the United States Department of Agriculture, dried anjeer has been found to have high nutrient value since it is a rich source of minerals and vitamins compared to other dried fruits.

Nutrient Quantity per 100 g 
Carbohydrate 73.50 % 
Protein 4.67 % 
Fat 0.56 % 
Dietary fibre 3.68 % 
Energy 317.78 kcal 
Table 1: Nutritional profile of dried fig fruit sample.

Minerals Concentration (ppm) 
Strontium (Sr) Saturated (maximum possible quantity) 
Calcium (Ca) 1545.46 
Magnesium (Mg) 679.04 
Phosphorus (P) 365.75 
Iron (Fe) 29.49 
Cadmium (Cd) 0.0034 
Copper (Cu) 5.02 
Manganese (Mn) 4.75 
Arsenic (As) 1.669 
Chromium (Cr) 1.47 
Titanium (Ti) 0.3727 
Nickel (Ni) 1.178 
Tin (Sn) 1.329 
Zinc (Zn) 9.87 
Cobalt (Co) 0.032 
Lead (Pb) 0.680 
Lithium (Li) 0.245 
Molybdenum (Mo) 0.026 
Thallium (Tl) 1.5686 
Antimony (Sb) 0.298 
Selenium (Se) 0.790 
Table 2: Mineral composition of dried anjeer fruit

Therapeutic Uses of Anjeer: 

Unani, Siddha, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicines use anjeer for various medicinal properties. It is used as a diuretic, expectorant and mild laxative in the Unani medication system. Most interesting biological activities of anjeer can be studied to develop healing methods using it in future.

Parts of anjeer plant such as seeds, fruits, barks, leaves, shoots and latex have been exploited for various medicinal applications. Due to its therapeutic benefits, anjeer has traditionally been used in medicines for the treatment of various conditions such as cardiovascular disorders, colic, loss of appetite, indigestion and diarrhoea (gastrointestinal disorders), cough, sore throat, bronchial problems (respiratory disorders). It is also used as a remedy due to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Studies have also shown that anjeer exhibits the following activities:

  • Hypolipidemic  
  • Hepatoprotective 
  • Antidiabetic  
  • Antipyretic  
  • Antispasmodic  
  • Antifungal  
  • Antibacterial  
  • Immunomodulatory
Uses  Part 
Cough treatment Leaf 
Colic treatment  Leaf, root and fruit 
Treatment of metabolic disorders Fig 
Antidiarrhoeal  Fig fruit 
Indigestion  Leaf, root and fruit  
Tuberculosis  Leaf 
Respiratory conditions Fig fruit 
A mild laxative, expectorant, and diuretic Fig fruit 
Anti-inflammatory  Fig fruit 
Anthelmintic  Leaf 
Anticancer  Fig fruit 
Prevention of nutritional anaemia  Leaf 
Piles Fig fruit 
Gout Fig fruit 
Laxative  Fig fruit 
Antioxidant  Fig fruit 
Nutritive diet  Fig fruit, leaf 
Various drug preparations Fig fruit 
Cardiovascular conditions Fig fruit 
Antiplatelet and anti-inflammatory Fig fruit 
Ringworm, leucoderma and spasms   Roots, fig fruit 
Table 3: Traditional and current uses of anjeer 

Benefits of Anjeer: 

Benefits of Anjeer as an Effective Antioxidant  

  • Anjeer consists of phenolic compounds that are beneficial to human health due to their antioxidant activity as hydrogen donators, reducing agents, singlet oxygen quenchers, free radical scavengers, etc.
  • Studies have stated that various constituents of anjeer scavenge reactive oxygen species to prevent damage to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), lipids and proteins. 

Anticancer Benefits of Anjeer 

  • Cytotoxic compounds have been extracted from anjeer latex.
  • These compounds during in vitro studies exhibited inhibition of proliferation by several cancer cell lines.
  • Thus, anjeer latex is considered a possible inhibitor of the production and development of cancerous cells.
  • Studies on the impact of anjeer latex on stomach cancer cell line growth demonstrate its potential antitumor effects.

Benefits of Anjeer as a Hepatoprotective Agent  

  • Several studies have shown the potential hepatoprotective activity of anjeer extract.
  • Research on rats studied the petroleum ether extract from leaves of anjeer.
  • The extract was evaluated in a study on rats for hepatoprotective activity, and significant reversal of histological, biochemical and functional changes was observed.
  • This suggested the prospective hepatoprotective activity of the extract.

Benefits of Anjeer as a Hypoglycaemic Agent  

  • Antidiabetic effect of extract of anjeer stem bark was demonstrated.
  • It was found that the extract restored the blood glucose levels to normal.
  • A study on diabetic rats showed that the anjeer leaf extract has a hypoglycaemic effect.
  • A preclinical study also showed that anjeer and its leaves in food help to control hyperglycaemia. 

Benefits of Anjeer in Controlling Cholesterol  

  • Studies on anjeer leaf extract demonstrated its potential in reducing hepatic triglyceride (TG) and secretion of cholesterol (total cholesterol) and TG from the liver.
  • The results of studies performed on animal models indicate that anjeer fruit may reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases.

Anjeer as an Antibacterial & Antifungal Agent  

  • Anjeer extract demonstrated antibacterial activity against oral bacteria in a study.
  • The effect of the extract in combination with antibiotics against oral bacteria indicated that anjeer could be used as a natural antibacterial agent.
  • Studies also reported that the anjeer leaf extract also exhibits bactericidal activity and moderate antifungal activity.

Benefits of Anjeer Due to its Antipyretic Activity  

Extracts of anjeer have been studied to demonstrate a reduction in body temperature and yeast-induced rise in temperature. The extract showed effects comparable to generic antipyretic drugs.

Benefits of Anjeer Against Tuberculosis 

  • In a study, leaves extract of anjeer was found effective against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis causing bacteria).
  • Due to this ability, it is traditionally used in Malaysia for the management of tuberculosis. 

Anjeer as an Antispasmodic & Antiplatelet Agent 

  • Experiments have shown the antispasmodic effect of anjeer extract. Results also show the possibility of the ripe dried fruit having spasmolytic activity.
  • The extract was investigated using an ex-vivo model of human platelets, and the antispasmodic and antiplatelet effects were observed. 

Immunomodulatory Effect of Anjeer 

Evaluation and study of its immunomodulatory effect proved that the anjeer extract remarkably improved antibody response.

How to Use Anjeer? 

Anjeer is popularly sold in dry form to enable access in all seasons. Anjeer is also consumed as juice, leaves decoction, tea and a sweet.

Side Effects of Anjeer 

The side effects of anjeer are as follows: 

  • A preclinical study shows that the extract of anjeer leaf, when used in high dosage,  may cause hepatic damage.
  • Some other studies have also demonstrated that its leaves exhibit moderate toxicity if more than regular dosage is used.

Precautions to Take With Anjeer 

You should keep the following points in mind: 

  • Due to the possible toxicity of anjeer leaves (when consumed in high quantities), it is advised that you should take precautions and seek advice from an Ayurvedic practitioner regarding the safe quantity of anjeer leaves that can be used.
  • Anjeer helps in lowering blood sugar levels. However, people with diabetes, when consuming fig orally, should monitor blood sugar levels regularly.

Interaction With Other Drugs 

Anjeer contains phenolic compounds, which have anticoagulant activity. Patients taking blood thinners may consult their doctors before taking anjeer in a regular diet.

Eating anjeer may lower blood sugar. Therefore, one must monitor their blood sugar closely. Also, the dose of diabetes medication may need to be changed on medical advice. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1) Can we use anjeer to treat acne? 

Yes, anjeer shows antiacne activity, according to studies. It has been reported that the extract of its fruits and leaves shows antiacne activity, almost comparable to that of generic medicines.

2) Does anjeer have any effect on sperm parameters? 

Yes, it was found in a study that its leaf extract influenced sperm parameters and improved sperm count. Some studies also reported the aphrodisiac activity of anjeer extract, but the result was found to be dose-dependent.

3) Is anjeer useful helpful in managing constipation? 

Yes, anjeer can be used as a mild laxative. Specifically, anjeer fruit is used to treat constipation due to its laxative properties.

3) Is anjeer helpful in Alzheimer’s disease? 

Yes, the anjeer leaves possess anticholinesterase and anti-HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) activity; reports state that cholinesterase and HSV-1 infection have a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, after extensive research, it can be utilised as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

4) Is anjeer beneficial for the kidney? 

Yes, according to a study, the extract of anjeer has been found to be effective in lowering urea, serum creatinine, and blood urea nitrogen level, which indicates the nephroprotective effect of anjeer.

5) Can anjeer be used as an effective remedy for preventing bleeding disorders? 

Yes, polyphenols present in anjeer contain pharmacologically active components that act as anticoagulants. These components may be helpful to prevent bleeding disorders.

6) Can anjeer help fight the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? 

No, there have not been any reported evidence or studies that support the anti-HIV properties of anjeer. 

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