Butterfly Pea Flower, Clitoria ternatea, is a beautiful flowering vine that is native to South East Asia, mostly enjoyed in Thailand and Taiwan as a drink often mixed with honey and lemon.
The flowers are also infused into foods to prepare traditional dishes that display the rich blue hues that the flowers are so famously known for. Butterfly pea flowers have become increasingly popular among mixologists, as they produce deep blue colors when infused into water.
But they are perhaps most famous these days for their color changing magic...when citric acid is introduced to the brew, the color of the liquid will change from blue to bright violet purple! A splash of lemon or lime will do the trick.
5 Benefits to Drinking Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
When applied topically, butterfly pea flower was shown to increase skin hydration by up to 70%! It was also shown to reduce inflammation, redness and swelling-all common skin complaints. Many skincare and cosmetic companies use butterfly pea flower in their products, due to this remarkable ability.
2. Rich in Antioxidants
Butterfly pea flowers are extremely rich in antioxidant compounds, called ternatins. These ternatins are the reason for the extreme color that they produce when infused, but they have also been shown to reduce inflammation and inhibit cancer cell growth. Another antioxidant compound found in butterfly pea flowers is known as kaemphferol, which has been studied extensively for its cancer-fighting properties. Along with p-coumarin acid, know for being anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antiviral, and Delphinidin-3,5-glucoside, also known to boost immune function and fight cancer cells.
In Ayurvedic traditions of healing, Butterfly Pea Flower is considered one of the best brain herbs for improving memory, calming nervous conditions like anxiety and depression, and even used to help manage the symptoms of Alzheimer's. This is believed to be because of a compound present in the plant called, acetylcholine, which is memory enhancing and essential for brain health.
4. Reproductive Health
As the name may suggest, Clitoria ternatea, many early herbalist recognized the similarities between this flower and the female clitoris. The doctrine of signatures informs us of affinities of plants to humans-in this case, butterfly pea flower has been shown to be an effective aphrodisiac, increasing sperm production, and is often associated with fertility and safe childbirth.
5. Weight Management
One study showed that butterfly pea flower extract slowed the formation of fat cells by regulating certain pathways involved in cell progression. Another study also showed that some of the compounds found in butterfly pea flowers may also block the synthesis of fat cells in your body.