English Common Name: Cyclamen, Persian violet
Arabic Name: دويك الجبل
Once the Persian violet (Cyclamen persicum) begins to blossom, it signals the close arrival of autumn. The Cyclamen is characteristic of white or pink flowers with a dot of purple at the end of each petal, usually surrounded by green leaves and foliage. It requires moist soil and light shade in order to grow healthily. The Persian violet is found in areas around southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
According to a study conducted in Israel in 2002, Cyclamen’s leaves and buds are used by Arab indigenous herbal practitioners to treat external skin infections, and ear infections. There is very little literature on the Persian violet’s properties, as there has been more interest in its horticulture than in its benefits, since it is not commonly edible, and its roots are well-known to be toxic. Nonetheless, a few studies have shown that it possesses spermicidal (destroys sperm) activity, and antioxidant activity.