|Dahlias decorate a wedding cake.|
Photo by Cooper Studios in Shelton, Washington.
Historians say the ancient Aztecs used dahlia flowers to treat epilepsy, and manuscripts found in Mexico also recorded other medicinal uses for the plant: a preparation of dahlia stems was used to treat urinary-tract disorders, for instance. King Philip of Spain's botanist, Francisco Hernandez, sent to Mexico in the 1570s, recorded medicinal uses for the dahlia as well as its floral properties.
|The dahlia tuber was a source|
of healing for early Aztecs.
Observers of medical research report that long before insulin was discovered for treating diabetic patients, a particular type of sugar was processed from dahlia tubers, and used for such treatment. Today, medical research and studies have focused on the use of chemicals present in dahlias for liver and kidney issues.
|Petals and a full cactus dahlia blossom top and surround this |
elegant wedding cake. Cooper Studios photo.
The sharp, spicy tang of petals punches up the flavor of lettuces in a salad, and the whole flowers, whose substantial texture means they last well and whose wide range of colors lends itself to table decor, are often used to float in beverages and to decorate cakes.