Fig leaf tea is safe and effective for reducing EASI values in patients with mild AD and can be taken continuously for the management of AD symptoms.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a recurrent pruritic skin disease that does not have a definitive cure. Previous studies on animals and cultured cells have demonstrated the role of fig (Ficus carica) in alleviating the symptoms of AD and allergies.
This randomized double-blinded controlled trial, published in Nutrients, aimed to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and safety of fig leaf tea in individuals with mild AD. The primary outcomes of the study were obtained from the eczema area and severity index (EASI) score, while the secondary outcomes included the visual analogue scale (VAS) and Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM) evaluating interference with routine activities and itching.
A total of 30 study participants were randomized to the placebo and fig leaf tea group. Positive outcomes of the consumption of fig leaf tea were reported in 14 out of 15 participants in the intervention group. There was a significant decrease in the EASI values in the fig leaf tea group compared to the placebo group, particularly at weeks 4 and 8, which weakened 4 weeks following the termination of consumption of the tea. This signifies the effectiveness of continued consumption of fig leaf tea in AD. Only one study subject in the intervention reported worsening AD symptoms during the treatment period. The authors recorded no significant differences in VAS and POEM questionnaire results between the two groups. There were no significant differences in the levels of thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), immunoglobulin (Ig)-E, and the T helper (Th1)/(Th2) ratio between the placebo and fig leaf tea groups.
In summary, continued long-term intake of fig leaf tea is safe and effective at significantly decreasing the EASI values in patients with mild AD. Future clinical implications include the evaluation of therapeutic efficacy and safety profile in a larger sample size and the comparison of fig leaf tea with other pharmacological interventions for treating AD.
Abe, T., Koyama, Y., Nishimura, K., Okiura, A., & Takahashi, T. (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Fig (Ficus carica L.) Leaf Tea in Adults with Mild Atopic Dermatitis: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Preliminary Trial. Nutrients, 14(21). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14214470