According to research conducted for more than 10 years at the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACH), consumption of dahlia roots, helps reducing glucose levels and glycosylated hemoglobin in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
For the study, a group of patients with type 2 diabetes consumed an infusion made of dahlia roots. The results showed decreased levels of glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol, as well as energy improvements, less heaviness in the legs and less fluids retention, among other symptoms typically associated with the disease.
“The dahlia is a medicinally wasted species, since it can solve some health problems in an efficient and economical way,”, points out MSc José Merced Mejía Muñoz, who heads several phytotechnic studies on properties and benefits of the dahlia.
He adds that there is an inulin in the tubers of the plant that is similar to starch; and when consumed by the human body is not digested, because we do not have the necessary enzymes for its degradation and therefore do not raise the levels of glucose in the blood.
In addition, dahlias are also a source of natural fiber and dietary fiber that reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, help to lose weight and regulate blood pressure due to the ordering of metabolism. Its components, Mejía Muñoz explains, also allow reducing the risk of osteoporosis thanks to the absorption of minerals, specifically calcium, as well as antioxidants against premature aging.
Also, the dahlia contains some minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and calcium that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body; in addition to benzoic acid, which is a natural antibiotic.
“We have closely studied more than ten different species to see which of them provides the best benefits for medicinal use. Of these, Dahlia coccinea and Dahlia campanulata stand out. The latter stands out because its tubers contain 80 percent inulin,” says the specialist.
UACH works with a program of collection, characterization and conservation of dahlias that among its research lines includes the use of its tuberous roots, ligules and petals as medicine and food.
“We are prepared to develop technology packages of plants that we have selected within the university to reproduce high inulin indexes, but with a social focus. We do not want any company or laboratory to take over this millennial resource and then the communities have to pay for it,” says Mejía Muñoz.
The professor and researcher emphasizes that the dahlia is a plant of Mexican origin that is found throughout the national territory, except for its peninsulas. It can be cultivated in all climates, but ideally it is temperate and sunny, and it does not require greenhouses to be cultivated. The dahlia or acocoxóchitl was declared in 1963 as a symbol of national floriculture by the then president Adolfo López Mateos.
Source: La Jornada