This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Cyclamen orbiculato folio inferne purpur as-cente C. B. Cyclamen europaeum Linn. Sowbread: a low plant, without any other stalk than the (lender pedicles of the leaves and flowers: the leaves are pretty large, round, of a green colour above with white specks, and purplish underneath: the flowers purplish, mo-nopetalous, deeply divided into five segments, followed by round seed-vessels: the roots large, somewhat globular, with several fibres, blackish on the outside and white within. It is perennial, a native of the southern parts of Europe, and cultivated in some of our gardens.
The fresh roots of arthanita have a nauseous, acrid, biting taste, and no remarkable smell: by drying, their acrimony is greatly abated; by long keeping, it is almost destroyed; though after they have loft so much as to make very little impression on the organs of taste, they still betray, when taken internally, a great degree of irritating power. Dried and powdered, they have been given in doses of a dram, and found to operate as a strong inflammatory, yet flow cathartic. The juice is said to purge when applied externally to the belly in ointments; and the juice or bruised root to be of great efficacy for softening and discussing indolent hard tumours. The flowers are of a different nature, having a moderately strong and very pleasant smell, and little other than a mucilaginous taste: they have not been used medicinally, and the use of the roots is now, among us, in great measure laid aside.