How to Make Fig Leaf Tea with Foraged Fig Leaves

A cup of fig leaf tea brews in a mason jar. A jar of fig leaf tea sits nearby. Both jars are sitting on a dark wooden table.
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Fig leaf tea may help me sleep at night not because it possesses any sleep-inducing properties (that I know of) but because I’ve started to drink it in the afternoons instead of black tea.

I look so forward to my first cup of puerh every morning. In my medium-size teapot, I brew 2 teaspoons of this fermented, aged black tea, along with ¼ teaspoon cacao nibs and (until recently) drink it all day long. For the past few weeks, I’ve cut myself off at 1pm (which may still be too late) in the hopes that I’ll sleep at night. From 1pm onward, I’ve been drinking herbal tea.

As I started getting low on herbal tea, I happened to trim our fig tree. I wondered if I could dry the leaves and brew them. Turns out, I can! And I save money!

Fig leaf tea tastes something like mild green tea—grassy and earthy. It has a sweet, woody fragrance.

Plastic-free tea

By brewing loose-leaf tea, whether you make it yourself from foraged leaves or you buy it at the store, you’ll avoid consuming microplastics.

Many tea bags contain plastic in the bag’s sealant. The paper itself of other tea bags contains plastic. And “silky” synthetic bags are completely made of plastic. (Synthetic is plastic.) Just one of these silk-like bags can shed billions of microplastics into a single cup of tea. And although scientists don’t know what effect ingesting a petroleum-based product laced with toxins has on us, I will hazard a guess that it’s bad.

Harvest the fig leaves

If you don’t have a fig tree, you may be able to forage the leaves. These borderline invasive trees grow all over the place where I live in Northern California. A critter must have dropped his treat in the backyard because we did not plant our fig tree. The critter also seems to return for the figs once they ripen (I ate only one last year).

When harvesting the leaves (and also when harvesting figs), wear gloves. You may be allergic to the milky white sap that oozes from cut fig leaves and cut unripe figs. This sap can cause a skin rash.

Dehydrate the leaves, brew the fig leaf tea

I triple washed the leaves (and saved the water for the garden), and dried some of them in the oven at a very low temperature of 200°F for 30 minutes. Others I dried in the oven after baking bread, turning off the oven and allowing it to cool for about 15 minutes before arranging the leaves directly on the wire racks. I shut the door and let the leaves dry overnight. By morning, they had turned crisp. If you have a solar food dehydrator, fig leaves are perfect for drying in it.

Next, I crushed the dried leaves with my hands, heated the water, filled an infuser with about a tablespoon’s worth and brewed a cup.

Thirty-five fig leaves rendered the equivalent of about 20 tea bags.

fig leaves submerged in a metal tub of water set in a white sink
Washing the fig leaves in a large container in the sink
several wet fig leaves arranged on silver cooling racks sitting on a white tiled background
Draining the leaves
13 washed fig leaves drying on a clothesline
I grew impatient and hung the leaves up to dry after washing them
A pile of dried fig leaves sitting in a metal baking sheet. The metal baking sheet is sitting on a wooden table.
Dried fig leaves
Two glass jars filled with fig leaf tea sit on a wooden table
Store in jars
A cup of fig leaf tea brews in a mason jar. A jar of fig leaf tea sits nearby. Both jars are sitting on a dark wooden table.
A cup of fig leaf tea brews in a mason jar. A jar of fig leaf tea sits nearby. Both jars are sitting on a dark wooden table.
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5 from 2 votes

Fig Leaf Tea

Course: Drinks


  • fresh fig leaves


  • Wash the fig leaves and allow them to dry.
  • Preheat the oven to 200℉. Arrange the fig leaves on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet. Dehydrate in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool. Crush the leaves with your hands and stores in glass jars. (Alternatively, dehydrate the leaves in a food dehydrator.)
  • To brew a cup of tea, fill and infuser with a tablespoon of the crushed fig leaves. Immerse in a cup of hot water and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add sweetener if desired.

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6 Replies to “How to Make Fig Leaf Tea with Foraged Fig Leaves”

  1. Dagmar Logie says: Reply

    Hello Anne-Marie! Fig leaves are edible and I use them to bake smallish pieces of fresh salmon. I first lightly oil the leaves on both sides, then wrap the seasoned salmon in the leaf into a nice little package, inserting the stem to hold it together. Bake in hot oven until leaves are crisp, but not too long. A lovely presentation, too!

  2. Hello Anne-Marie, thanks for your posts, I love this website. I also love tea and I have a fig tree in my front yard, but unfortunately I also own dogs and would just like to mention that the sap is toxic to dogs when eaten, will give a rash from skin conatct and some dogs even get upset stomachs just from the smell the plant gives off when watered, so do be careful around your pets with this.

    1. Thanks for that note about dogs and the sap! I’m trying to figure out where to put a fig tree in my yard, so the back yard (with the dog) is not the place!

  3. Another leaf to keep my eye out for to add to my collection of teas..Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Hmm, sounds interesting, thank you

  5. Thanks for the tips Anne-Marie! For anyone making it, keep in mind that fig leaf tea lowers blood glucose levels. If you already take medication for this, it may lower it to dangerous levels. If you have mild issues with high glucose this tea may help regulate it.

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