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February 2024 Full Moon Highlight

While not the ‘February-ist’ of herbs, today’s highlight plant has appeared repeatedly in conversation, references, and culinary delights for me this month. When given this many signs I listen! 

Fig (Ficus carica) is a beautiful, sprawling tree that generously provides abundant fruit. We have a Brown Turkey Fig tree now in its fifth year. It provides us fruit twice a year - a bumper crop in early summer and another slightly smaller crop in early fall. The fruit is decadent, gorgeous, and is easily enjoyed straight from the tree. 

Figs have been used medicinally for millennia. The fruit, both fresh and dried, are incredibly high in fiber and are reliable and effective mild laxatives. They are demulcent and historically used with other herbs for respiratory infections. You don’t see them employed as often that way anymore and I think we all should consider bringing the practice back! A syrup of fig, elecampane, and thyme sounds not only like a win for sore throats and coughs but could easily be gourmet with some stinky cheese on crackers. Anyone who has ever harvested fresh figs is aware that they have a white, milky sap. This sap has long been used to remove warts and draw buried blisters. 

Magically figs are associated with fertility and love. Women hoping to conceive would carry small phallic images carved from fig wood; men would eat the fruit to overcome infertility or impotency. A delicious bit of date night magic, ha! 

I know we’re still in the last throes of winter but I invite you to do a little ‘garden dreaming’ this full moon. Perhaps a fig tree is just what your property needs to amp up the medicine and magic. Just be sure to site it properly - a happy fig will get really tall! 

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