Butterfly pea flower is a plant species whose scientific name is Clitoria ternatea. The word clitoria is derived from the latin word clitoris and ternatea from the Indonesian island of Ternate. It is native to Equatorial Asia and is also used by the Americas, Africas, and Australia.
This plant is called by different names depending on the location, as Butterfly pea, Asian pigeonwings, Darwin pea, and Bluebellvine. In some places, it is grown as an ornamental plant. In India, it is considered as a holy flower by the Hindus and is used in puja rituals daily.
- Scientific Name: Clitoria ternatea
- English Name: Butterfly Pea
- Tamil Name: Sangu Pushpam, Kakkanam
- Sanskrit Name: Vishnukranta
- Malayalam Name: Shankha pushpam
- Hindi Name: Koyala
- Marathi Name: Gokarni
- Telugu Name: Dintena
- Bengali Name: Aprajita
BUTTERYFLY PEA FLOWER – PLANT DESCRIPTION
Butterfly Pea is a herbaceous plant that comes under the family Fabaceae. It is a creeper type plant that can live for long and grows well in moist or neutral soil.
The impressive feature of this plant is the flower. It has an attractive blue color flower with yellow markings inside. The flower is about 4 cm in length and 3 cm wide. Some varieties of butterfly pea yield white flowers.
This flowering plant produces fruits which are edible when tender. The fruit is a long, flat pod which contains six to ten seeds in each.
Butterfly Pea Flower Nutrition Facts
Blue / white butterfly pea flower is loaded with major nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, E and antioxidants.
Chemical constituents present in Butterfly pea flower
Butterfly pea contains 4 main chemical compounds such as flavonol glycosides, triterpenoids, steroids, and anthocyanins. The blue color of this flower is due to the presence of anthocyanins i.e, ternatins. These are water-soluble compounds that help to restore the skin’s collagen.
Usable Parts of Clitoria Ternatea
Roots: It decomposes nitrogen rich material which is used to improve the quality of the soil.
Flower: It is used to dye natural fibers and in traditional medicines for various purposes. Nowadays the flower is also used in gin for color changing.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BUTTERYFLY PEA FLOWER TEA
Apart from the color, butterfly pea flowers also have many health benefits. These have long been a part of Ayurvedic medicine. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology has stated that,” Butterfly pea flower has been used for centuries as an anti stress, nootropic, memory enhancer, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, tranquilizer and sedative agent.“
Waiting to know the facts of blue tea, come let’s get into.
Blue Tea for Weight Loss
Are you looking to stay fit? Then have this blue tea in your diet. This gives remarkable changes to you. The best and simple way for weight loss is drinking herbal teas and it’s been a trend nowadays.
Blue tea is devoid of caffeine, as well as fats, cholesterol and zero carbs. So it is an excellent drink for those who are on a weight loss diet because it cleanses the gut of any impurities and food waste, as well as controls appetite. To control the cravings of junk food, blue tea is a significant herbal drink to maintain optimal body weight.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, blue tea fights against fatty liver disease which is the main reason for weight gain. Blue tea burns fat from your body and prevents fatty liver disease. Also blue tea contains a high level of EGCG compound that speeds up the process of calorie burning and results in weight loss.
Boost Your Metabolism
Butterfly pea flower is rich in antioxidants having diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps in detoxification and sheds down unwanted water weight accumulated in the body. Drinking a cup of butterfly pea flower lemonade post meals, detoxifies and boosts up your body’s metabolism.
Blue Tea – A Natural Pain Reliever
A study in the journal of phytomedicine has proved that blue tea has antipyretic and analgesic properties that acts as a natural paracetamol; a fever reducer and pain killer.
If you’re suffering from fever and a hesitating tablet, then don’t worry? Intake of blue tea extract with a dosage of 200 to 400 mg lowers your body temperature for about 5 hours.
How does this happen? Blue tea helps the blood vessels to expand underneath the skin. This increases the blood flow and makes your body cool. Thus fever gets reduced.
Blue Tea – A Mood Enhancer
Butterfly-pea flower tea is said to have an earthy taste to enhance mood. Some studies have said that Blue Tea has stress-busting effects which can change your mood, refresh you, boost up your stamina and energy levels.
It also reduces anxiety symptoms, cools your mind, relaxes the nerves and creates positive emotions in you. So that you can have a good night’s sleep. Thus Blue tea is an excellent anti-depressant and relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Butterfly Pea Flower for Skin
Anti-aging is the major problem for many people. Everyone loves to have a youthful looking skin. Elastin and Collagen are the main protein components responsible for the development of skin and to maintain its elasticity.
Blue tea contains highly rich compounds of flavonoids that stimulates the collagen production in the connective tissues and strengthens your skin cells.
Taking a cup of hot blue tea regularly will remove undigested food particles and clears your stomach, liver and kidneys. Thus it cleanses the body internally and makes your dull skin more radiant and glossy. It also removes dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Enhances Healthy Digestive System
Antioxidant rich blue tea or butterfly pea flower tea is an excellent beverage to add to your detox diet, especially in the hot summer. Antioxidants protect your body from free radicals which damages the healthy cells.
Intake of blue tea on an empty stomach two times a week will flush out the toxins built up in the digestive system and greatly improves the digestive organs health.
Fights against Cancer Cells
Also, free radicals are the major reason for low immunity, chronic inflammation, and various diseases including cancer. Antioxidants like the proanthocyanidin and cyclotides fight against the free radicals to prevent damage.
Flavonoid compounds boost up the immune system and protect you from diseases. Further, blue tea also gives you relief from asthma and cough.
Beneficial for Hair Growth
Blue butterfly pea flowers are very good for hair growth too. The anthocyanin present in it increases the blood circulation and maintains the scalp healthy. This strengthens the hair follicles and helps in the growth of new hair.
Good for a Healthy Eyesight
Blue Tea is a highly nutritious drink rich in proanthocyanidin complexes.
This compound makes it a refreshing and delightful beverage to enhance eyesight.
As it is a repository of analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, people of Bali used butterfly pea flower tea as a natural solution for treating eye disorders.
In Malaysia, blue tea is also known as Bunga Telang, meaning clear vision. It is consumed in their regular diet to maintain strong and healthy eyes. It helps in reducing discomfort, redness and swelling caused due to eye infections, etc.
Drinking blue tea which is diffused with essential nutrients, increases the blood flow to the capillaries of visual organs. This in turn cures the symptoms of glaucoma, blurred vision and is very effective in treating lens, corneal, and retinal damage.
Effective for Type 2 Diabetes
Intake of a cup of blue tea regularly creates wonders in people with type 2 diabetes. It prevents the sudden increase of blood sugar levels.
Blue tea is an abundant source of phenolic acid and phenolic amide antioxidants that have antihyperglycemic effects. It enhances insulin secretion, regulates the glucose level and blood sugar level in the body.
Blue butterfly pea flower tea prevents the excessive absorption of sugar from the food and keeps the level normal.
A recent study has also revealed that the liquid butterfly pea flower extract has anti diabetic properties which is similar to the drug glibenclamide. As a whole, Butterfly Pea Flower Tea is definitely an excellent healthy addition to the diabetic diet.
Promotes Cardiac Health
Blue tea is a storehouse of antioxidants that not only protects you from several infections, it is also helpful in keeping your heart healthy.
The bioflavonoids in blue tea play a major role in protecting and maintaining the cardiac system. With the antihyperlipidemic components, blue tea tremendously lowers cholesterol levels and lipid levels in the bloodstream. This reduces the risk of heart disease.
Furthermore, drinking a glass/cup of blue tea reduces the concentrations of bad LDL cholesterol and harmful triglycerides and helps to increase the good HDL cholesterol level in the body.
So you’ll be free from the risk of heart attack, atherosclerosis, blood clots in the arteries, and heart disease such as high blood pressure or hypertension.
Blue Tea – Good for a Healthy Brain
Butterfly pea flower tea is also linked to brain health. A study has concluded that the antioxidants in blue tea increases brain power and enhances memory.
Studies in animals have shown that butterfly pea flower extract cures depression, calms your nerves, improves memory, and increases the cognitive skills.
The root extract of the butterfly pea plant contains acetylcholine which provides effective communication between nerve cells.
Consuming blue tea extract regularly with a dosage of 50-100 mg per day boosts up your brain and prevents you from brain diseases.
Common uses of Butterfly Pea Flower
Butterfly pea flower is used as a natural food coloring in different countries. In Southeast Asia, it is used to add natural color to glutinous rice, Eurasian Putugal (steamed rice cake) and other desserts.
Malaysian people used blue butterfly pea flowers as an ingredient in nasi kerabu for bluish appearance. In Burma and Thailand, these flowers are dipped in batter, fried and then eaten. Likewise different people use this flower in different ways.
The common usage of butterfly pea flower is tea. It is made as both hot drink and cold drink varieties.
Butterfly pea flower has various magical properties and in Ayurvedic medicine, it is used as an anti-stress, antidepressant, nootropic, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, sedative or tranquilizer. In Chinese medicine, it is also used to treat female libido.
Recipes with Butterfly pea flower
Butterfly pea tea or water has no real taste or flavor. We use these flowers in some drinks and foods because they are healthy to the eyes and the antioxidants present in it offer more health benefits. Also, they can make the most beautiful and healthy drinks.
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea or Blue Tea
Butterfly pea flower is most commonly consumed as blue tea. This is quite an easy and simple recipe prepared in 5 to 10 minutes.
- 1 cup of water
- Few blue butterfly pea flower petals
- Dried lemongrass
- Honey / sugar
1. Take a cup of boiled water
2. Add a few blue butterfly pea flower petals and dried lemongrass into the water and let it boil for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Now add honey or sugar to this herbal concoction for taste and then serve it hot before meals.
4. You can also have it cold after your meals. Taking it post meals helps in the digestion process and gives you a healthy sleep.
Butterfly Pea Flower Lemonade
- 3 cups of water
- ½ cup dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- Ice cubes
- Soda water
- Few mint leaves (optional)
1. Soak the fresh or dried butterfly pea flowers in warm water for a few minutes.
2. Press the flowers on the bottom of the bowl to extract the color using the back of a spoon. Once the color is clear enough, filter the flowers and discard.
3. Add sugar to the tea and stir it well.
4. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to it.
5. Now fill half of your glass with ice cubes and the butterfly pea lemonade.
6. Pour soda water to the rest of the glass.
7. Now butterfly pea lemonade is ready and you can serve it with mint leaves if needed.
Butterfly Pea Flower Gin
Butterfly pea flower is not only used in the preparation of tea and lemonade, it is also used in making color changing alcohol which is also called as Butterfly pea flower gin.
People use butterfly pea flowers to neutralize gin and it gives a splendid color change in your cocktails.
1. First take a cup of gin or vodka, and infuse butterfly pea flowers in it.
2. Add a very little amount ( ⅛ teaspoon) of baking soda to it. After adding it you can see the magical color change to blue. This will not affect the taste anyway.
3. You can also have some additives like the fresh lemon juice or fruit juice or ice cubes at the top and serve your guest. But this is optional.
The butterfly pea infused alcohol takes the color of the blue flowers in a matter of hours. Some like to infuse the butterfly pea flowers overnight. You can infuse it to your wished hours. But before starting your process, make sure whether the alcohol is stored in a clean, washed vessel. Because, if your vessel has any acidic residue, it will affect the color formation.
Side Effects of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
Butterfly pea flower tea or blue tea does not have any reported side effects. It is said to be super safe and healthy for anyone to consume. But too much of anything is good for nothing. Likewise, over consumption of blue tea may lead to diarrhea or vomiting.
It can be consumed by all group people, but if you find any discomfort or other symptoms in your body, consult your medical advisor immediately.
Also, we don’t recommend blue tea for pregnant and lactating women. Consult your doctor if needed.
Is Butterfly pea flower poisonous?
Not at all. According to the scientific test done in animals, it is confirmed that butterfly pea flowers do not have any toxic substances. It is extremely safe and healthy. But make sure that you are not consuming overdose.
Herbal products are always healthy. Consuming organic butterfly pea flower tea will cause no harm to your body. But it is good for pregnant women to avoid herbal teas without the consultation of your doctor.