While Mexicans revere Cactus and Dahlia as their beloved national flowers, the Chinese have added them to the lengthy list of medicinal herbs used to cure diseases.
It is claimed that Cactus has been found useful to deal with some respiratory illnesses, enteritis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, burns, and cancer.
It also helps to improve immunity, reduce blood sugar, and resist gastric ulcers, said Zhang Hong, a noted expert with the provincial institute of traditional medicine of Liaoning Province, northeast China.
Meanwhile, Dahlia, which came to China in the early years of last century, has been used by local doctors to treat HIV patientsin combination with other medicines.
Chinese scientists have discovered that Dahlia is among 31 anti-HIV herbs that have been selected from among 400-plus plants.
Some scientists say the combination of herbal medicine and Western therapy was more effective.
They expressed the hope that the nationwide war on SARS disease could further boost the development of traditional Chinese medicine, and in particular, its combination with Western medicine.