Sourfig was handed down as a family recipe. Brandy, honey and Sourfig; cough syrup for the whole family, apparently brought them through the Great ‘Flu of the thirties or something. Today we think twice before we give a small child alcohol, then we refuse anyway. Alcohol damages the growth cycle and is a traditional method of stunting a puppy’s development, making lapdogs of substandard hounds. Sourfig grows very easily, under almost all conditions except extreme moisture, which makes them susceptible to parasites of all sorts. Some varieties have fruit juicy enough to eat, some fruit are dried for eating, but we only ever use fresh juice. Like so many of our herbs, this was acquired in the middle of the night, from a public sidewalk. We had need, I remembered seeing some in town, so I got off my television-eye, and got me some herbs.The plant is brittle, heavy with juice and the roots barely penetrate the topsoil. Grab a handful, shove it in a bag, and take it home. No-one will even notice you took a bit, it really grows like a weed. The entire runner can be laid down in a shallow furrow and kick a bit of dust over. Water when you remember.
Sour fig is real easy. You take hold of one of the triangular fingers, and snap off the bottom bit. If you do this with half a care, a little string will now connect the plant to the little finger you are holding. Keep pulling until the string pulls out of your leaf, and hold your harvest to the light to look for scars and blemishes. You will soon learn to recognise clean, fresh, healthy leaves. One or two should be enough for any of the purposes I shall propose to you.
The bit you need from the plant is the juice inside the leaf. Juice a few leaves through a strainer for use in skin cream, Best is we get on with the uses we know of.
This herb is a whole pharmacy in one leaf. And as we said, some types carry fruit, sour figs, ya?
- Sore throats of just about any sort get better after gargling a bit of Sourfig juice. Even a victim of Jagged Metal Krusty-O’s will find benefit here. For a sore throat, chew the leaf from one end in a nibbling sort of way, but try to not ingest the skin and fibers. Why? Dunno, just the way I find best. I chew the leaf into a pulp, Then I swallow the juice right in the back of the throat. The actual leaf fibres and skin I spit out again, but there is not much, this thing is juicy! All kinds of hurt soon disappear.
- Wet wounds. These are the ones that just keep oozing, and the cream they gave you just makes your whole soul ooze. Fever blisters and other herpes sores, grass burns, nappy rash, that horrible, oozing, festering stench in your dog’s ear that just cannot be cured, this is your herb. Pick a leaf, and hold the open end close to the area to be treated, like a small tube of toothpaste. Gently squeeze the leaf just behind the opening, and some juice should fall out onto the area. Do not rub. Pinch off the used end of the leaf, and repeat until the entire area is under juice, WITHOUT EVER TOUCHING THE LEAF TO THE WOUND/S. It will dry into an invisible skin soon enough. Repeat until the wound dries out, it should not take too many days.
- Fungal infections usually depend on moisture in the wrong places. I suspect this is why Sourfig clears up cottonmouth, scurvy nipple, ball rash and athlete’s foot. I bet it can do dandruff too! It sure helps with that fungus that causes your toenails to go all gooky. That stinky infestation in your dog’s ear is also a fungus. Has anyone tried it for Candida? Just the juice, just the juice…