Fig Leaves are used in cooking as a food wrapper. You don’t eat them.
They give a coconut-like aroma to food cooked in them.
They can also be used to line and garnish food platters.
In India, they are used for animal fodder.
In South Africa, a juice was made by simmering fig leaves in water, which was then used in making a Peppermint Liqueur.
A distillation of fig leaves, called “fig-leaf absolute”, was used in some perfumes to create a woodland-scent, but it’s use has been disallowed now by the The International Fragrance Association because the distillation was found to be phototoxic.
The skin of some people can be irritated by the latex in fig leaves; for that reason, they handle them with gloves.
Literature & Lore
There is a cast of the statue of David at the Victoria and Albert Museum. It had a detachable fig leaf made of plastic, which was hung on two small hooks when distinguished ladies such as Queen Victoria came to the museum.