Belonging to the mulberry family, there is a plethora of fig tree varieties. Most of them are small at 10-30 feet and thrive in warm, dry climates. Pollinated by a tiny wasp, fig trees never blossom because the flowers are on the inside, producing dozens and sometimes hundreds of miniscule seeds that give figs their unique, crunchy texture. Scientists studying the effect of fresh fig "latex" on a stomach cancer cell line found that the latex acted as an anticancer substance without any toxic effect on normal cells. In another trial, dried figs were weighted down into 1 ml of distilled water for 3 months. After the water was drained, it was found that fig tree latex powder still retained its anticancer properties. Results showed that figs, dried or fresh, are possible subjects for helping treat stomach cancer.
• Often mentioned in the Bible as a sign of peace and prosperity, the fig tree is so ancient, remnants of the fruit have been discovered in Neolithic excavations sites circa 5,000 B.C.
• Dried figs are sometimes roasted and ground as a coffee substitute or converted into alcohol as a liqueur or tobacco flavoring.