It’s the time of the year, when I wasn’t ready to say final good-bye to my grandmother. She was 98 when bells from other world started ringing for her at Renown. She would have been 100 this year. Life close to a century seems, you are guaranteed to live on mother Earth for eternity. If someone lives that long, in India its commonly said, they have scaled Golden-Stairs to Heaven and their final rights are celebrated. Her grand and great-grandchildren were fortunate to see, happy go lucky person.
My grandparents had nine children, times their husbands and times their grandchildren, a total of 40 family members, excluding any cousins. Still there was always enough space to accomodate anyone. In any family occasion, females will have enough within help to assist in cooking, cleaning and taking care of visitors. Guests have a special place in Indian Culture; they are considered ‘Messengers of God’. Grandparents home was a preferred abode for kids during holidays, because of the freedom to play. In the corner of the house, was a huge Fig tree, completely covered with fruits. Sight of fruits on the ground was a common feature. I recall, my mother offering me to try fig fruit. I was shocked to imagine fig as a fruit, because at that age I only knew of banana, mango, orange, grapes, and apple as a fruit. I showed my usual resistance, to this crunchy fruit packed with zillion seeds.
Now whenever I see an Anjeer, as is called in India, those nostalgic memories buried in a corner of my heart as untold stories become alive. My NaturOganic life now understands its benefits. Mr. Fig is a scion of Mulberry family like I am a clan of Sandhir. I don’t know the benefits of Sandhir’s but Fig definitely, has many health benefits. Its nutritional packets are filled with Vitamins, Minerals and fibers. Its consumed in constipation, cough, bronchitis etc. Research shows its consumption can improve memory, anxiety, learning skills in models of Alzheimer’s disease. Its said to have benefits for skin and hair. That’s why probably none of my grandparents suffered from Alzheimer’s. Grandma was never hospitalized till 98.
Interestingly, almost all Ayurvedic texts elaborately mentions about Fig, under the name of Falgu (its Sanskrit Name). The first textual reference appears under-fruit category and later under special benefits categories, such as in lung ailments and in promotion of health. Ficus Carica, is one of the fifty four herbal ingredients in very popular herbal nutritive Jam, Chawanprash. Chawanprash occupies a special place in Indian Kitchen and is relished by all, whether a kid or an old. The market size of Chawanprash is $80 billion (2010) and is hugely marketed by big celebrities in India, this italicize people’s trust in its benefits.
There is also a tradition to soak the Fig overnight and chew it first thing in the morning.
Writing on Fig and its relation to my dear ones is in continuation of my reflection to contribute to Vibrant Healthy Communities. Share your experiences and thoughts, if you have any similar plant memories and how was Fig helpful to you!