, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 27–30 | Cite as

Ficus carica

Research and development of a dry extract
  • Giovanna NicotraEmail author
  • Silvia Vicentini
  • Angelica Mazzolari


The common fig or Ficus carica L. is a very prolific fruit tree, commonly grown in the subtropical globe, whose leaves have a long traditional use as an antidiabetic agent in the Mediterranean area and as a hepatoprotector in the Indian subcontinent. In vitro and in vivo research and preliminary clinical data seem to support the empirical uses. In these studies, extracts of organic solvents (preclinical studies) or a decoction (clinical trial) have been used. The former form is scarcely suitable for human use while the latter is difficult to be reproduced on an industrial scale. Therefore, a dry powdered extract obtained from fig leaves by hydroalcoholic extraction has been developed. Ethanol is a versatile extraction solvent because, by changing its ratio with water, several mixtures with different affinity for hydrophilic or partially lipophilic bioactives can be prepared. The dry extract has been standardized by developing an innovative HPLC analytical method and the potential actives (total flavonoids and quercetin dihydrate) have been identified and quantified.

Key words

Ficus carica Hydroalcoholic extract Polyphenols Luteolin Quercetin dihydrate 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Morton J (1987) Fruits of warm climate Julia F Morton, Miami (FL-USA), p 47–50Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chevallier A (1996) The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley, London (UK), p 209Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    German Commission E (1990) Monographs Vol 3, Bundesanzeiger Nº 101Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yeh GY, Eisenberg AM, Kaptchuck TJ, Phillips RS (2003) Systematic Review of Herbs and Dietary Supplements for Glycemic Control in Diabetes Diabetes Care 26(4) 1277–1294Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gond NY, Khadabadi SS (2008) Hepatoprotective Activity of Ficus carica Leaf Extract on Rifampicin-Induced Hepatic Damage in Rats Indian J Pharm Sci 70(3) 364–366Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mohan KG, Pallavi E, Kumar RB, Ramesh M, Venkatesh S (2007) Hepatoprotective activity of Ficus carica Linn. leaf against tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in rats DARU 15(3) 162–166Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Vaya J, Saeed M (2006) Flavonoid content in the leaf extracts of the fig (Ficus carica L.), carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) and pistacho (Pistacia lentiscus L.) Biofactors 28(3–4) 169–175Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Konyalioglu S, Saglam H, Kivcak B (2005) α-Tocopherol, flavonoid, and phenol contents and antioxidant activity of Ficus carica leaves Pharmaceut Biol 43(8) 683–686Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Oliveira AP, Valentão P, Pereira JA, Silva BM et al (2009) Ficus carica L.: metabolic and biological screening Food Chem Toxicol 47(11) 2841–2846Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pèrez C, Canal JR, Campillo JE, Torres MD (2003) Experimental diabetes treated with Ficus carica extract: effect on oxidative stress parameters Acta Diabetol 40(1) 3–8Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pèrez C, Dominguez E, Ramiro JM, Romero A et al (1996) A study on the glycaemic balance in streptozotocin-diabetic rats treated with an aqueous extract of Ficus carica (fig tree) leaves Phytother Res 10(1) 82–83Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Torres MD, Dominguez E, Romero A, Campillo JE, Perez C (1993) Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activity of an aqueous extract from Ficus carica in streptozotocin-diabetic rats Diabetologia 36(Suppl 1) A–181Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Canal JR, Torres MD, Romero A, Pérez C (2000) A chloroform extract obtained from a decoction of Ficus carica leaves improves the cholesterolaemic status of rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes Acta Physiol Hung 87(1) 71–76Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fatemi A, Rasouli A, Asadi F (2007) Effect of Fig (Ficus carica) Leaf Extract on the secretion and content of Cholesterol in Hepg2 Cell Am J Anim Vet Sci 2(4) 104–107Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Asadi F, Pourkabir M, MacLaren R, Shahriari A (2006) Alterations to lipid parameters in response to Fig Tree (Ficus carica) Leaf Extract in chicken liver slices Turk J Vet Anim Sci 30 315–318Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Serraclara A, Hawkins F, Pérez C, Dominguez E et al (2003) Hypoglycemic action of an oral fig-leaf decoction in type-1 diabetic patients Diabetes Res Clin Pract 39(1) 19–22Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer and CEC Editore 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanna Nicotra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Silvia Vicentini
    • 1
  • Angelica Mazzolari
    • 1
  1. 1.EPO srl Istituto Farmochimico FitoterapicoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations