Figs are one of the most popular foods amongst primates including humans in areas where they grow. They contain ample amounts of a very important class of biochemicals called mono-amine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI's) which have a very significant impact on our state of mind.
Mono-amine oxidase (MAO) is an enzyme which breaks down the monoamine neurotransmitters in our brains which include serotonin, dopamine etc. Mono-amine oxidase inhibitors slow the break down and so boost the levels of these neurotransmitters. Added to this, at least one of the mono-amine neurotransmitters, norepinephrine, stimulates the pineal gland. This causes the pineal gland to produce more of its hormones. These hormones have a pivotal effect on human development and our states of mind. It is possible that the presence of the powerfully influential chemicals in figs may be the underlying reason why the fig tree had significance to the ancient mystics.
Figs are one of the oldest cultivated plants, having been grown since at least 5000BC. The symbiotic relationship between humans and fruit trees is one we still sense to day. Figs are one of the most densely mineralised of all fruits, being particularly high in calcium, also potassium, magnesium and iron. In the wild they contain a lot of insect material which is highly nutritious.
Growing tips for Britain from Helen Hurworth:
Figs are easy to grow in the UK. They do especially well in large pots in a sunny corner. The most favoured variety is 'Brown Turkey'. This is widely available, but I would advise to try and buy from organic supplier like 'Garden Organic' or support your local nursery by buying from them. Top Tip. Remove ALL buds In November, these will not grown big enough through the Winter and will exhaust the plant for the next year. Remove them All. Then the buds the next Spring have a good season to grow. This is the number one reason people don't get big or ripe enough figs on their trees and say they don't fruit.