Butterfly Pea has been consumed for centuries as traditional medicine. It is also known as Asian Pigeon Wings, Blue Pea, Blue Bell Vine, Cordofan Pea, and Darwin pea, ‘Butterfly Pea’ (Clitoria ternatea). Known for its luminous indigo color, Butterfly Pea is loaded with health-promoting antioxidants, flavonoids, and peptides.
Its bright blue petals from its flowers have been used as an ingredient in herbal tea drinks as well as used as a vegetable in cooking and to color deserts. When steeped in warm or hot water, the blue flower imparts its blue color, making a blue tea that contains an impressive nutritional profile.
Blue tea is a natural caffeine-free beverage that contains the catechin EGCG – epigallocatechin gallate and anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting components such as flavonoids, tannins, and polyphenols.
Here’s how to make it:
Boil some blue pea flower petals, along with dried lemongrass, in water for 5 – 10 minutes. Add some honey to this concoction and serve warm. Have it before meals or post meals to aid in digestion and promote healthy sleep. This tea is most refreshing when served iced with fresh-squeezed lemon (or lime) and honey on a hot, humid day.
Below are some of its health benefits:
Helps Improve Vision
Proanthocyanidin, one of the important components of Butterfly Pea, is an antioxidant that helps increase blood flow to the capillaries of the eyes and is useful in the treatment of glaucoma, retinal damage, blurred vision, or tired eyes. (1)
Helps Facilitate Digestion
Being rich in antioxidants, the tea can protect our body against free radical damage. Free radicals are harmful substances that can damage healthy cells in the body. Having a cup of blue tea on an empty stomach, once or twice a week can help get rid of toxins that have accumulated in the system and improve digestive health. (2)
Helps Us Cope With Stress
A known Anxiolyhic has a calming effect. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and relaxes smooth vascular muscle thus aiding blood flow. (3)
Butterfly pea flowers are rich in anthocyanins that support well-being. Anthocyanins support antioxidant activity and are shown to support cardiovascular health in some studies. Some other foods that are loaded with anthocyanins are cranberries, blueberries, and elderberries. (4)