The species is native to Mexico, where it is called “nopal”, and also appears on the Mexican flag. It was unknown in Europe prior to Christopher Columbus’s travels. Europeans arriving in the New World discovered the prickly pear and called it “tunas”.
When imported to Europe, the plant quickly adapted to the Mediterranean Basin (to the point of becoming a characteristic element of our landscape) and in particular in North Africa, which the Europeans used to call Barbary. Its resemblance to the fig and its ease of growth in North Africa gave it its European name: the Barbary fig tree.
The prickly pear was used primarily in popular Mexican medicine. The plant was believed to have many healing (Berber women used it on wounds and to protect their skin from the hot desert wind) and anti-ageing properties.
It is found in our “Extreme Ona-moisturising” cream to revitalise and stimulate cellular renewal.