Also known as groundbread, sowbread
and swinebread. This is a perennial plant found in Europe, in the
Mediterranean area, the Alps, and some mountain forests. The bulbous roots
grow leathery, veined leaves which are dark grey-green in colour and have
light spots on top. The leaves are a reddish colour underneath. Drooping
flowers bloom from June to September which vary in colour from pink through
to red-violet. The flowers are grown on naked stems which roll up at seeding
time so that the seeds are protected by the leaves.
The roots of the
cyclamen plant have a drastic purgative property. It is used popularly by
Europeans in the form of a decoction of the dried bulb, for the treatment of
dropsy, mucous congestion, colds, flatulence and intestinal worms. Cyclamen
is poisonous to humans, even in very small doses. In the past, it has been
used as a poison for arrowheads.