Purple pea flower or Bunga Telang in Bahasa Indonesia, scientifically known as Clitoria ternatea or butterfly pea flower, is a vibrant blue-purple flower commonly used in herbal teas and traditional medicine, well-known for its brilliant blue hue. This bright blue-purple flowers have funnel-shaped petals, and butterfly-shaped crown. No one would have thought that this flower, which is often used as an ornamental plant, actually has amazing health benefits.
Butterfly pea flower is a common ingredient in many herbal teas, mixed drinks, and cosmetic products. It is rich in antioxidants and may be linked to several health benefits, including increased weight loss, better blood sugar control, and improvements in hair and skin health.
Traditionally, butterfly pea tea is enjoyed as part of a soothing meditation, which began with an intention in mind. The idea is to watch the colors of the tea transform as you visualize yourself growing and changing.
How to use butterfly pea flower
Use the flowers to brew an herbal tea, which is known for its earthy flavor and vibrant blue color.
To make butterfly pea flower tea, also referred to as blue tea, simply add 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of dried flowers to 1 cup (240 mL) of hot water.
Let the tea steep for 10–15 minutes before straining out the dried flowers. Enjoy hot or served over ice.
The Butterfly pea flower tea is famous for its deep cobalt blue color, which transforms based on the pH level of the drink. For example, adding lemon or lime juice will turn the blue tea a rich violet color. Adding tonic water lowers the pH even more and turns the blue tea a bright pink.
You can also add a bit of lemon juice, lime juice, or honey to the herbal tea, as above, to make purple lemonade. The acidity of citrus fruits can also turn the drink a deep purple hue, thanks to the ternatins the plant naturally contains.
Aside from making tea with it, try using it in cocktails or as a natural food dye, such as for desserts.
Here are 9 incredible health benefits of purple pea flower:
- Antioxidant-rich: Purple pea flower is packed with antioxidants that help combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body, promoting overall health and well-being.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: The flower contains flavonoids and other bioactive compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing inflammation in the body and supporting joint and cardiovascular health.
- Cognitive enhancement: Studies suggest that purple pea flower may enhance cognitive function and memory due to its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.
- Digestive health: Purple pea flower has been traditionally used to support digestive health, alleviating issues such as bloating, indigestion, and constipation.
- Skin health: The flower’s antioxidants may help protect the skin against damage from free radicals and environmental factors, potentially promoting healthy, radiant skin.
- Eye health: Purple pea flower contains anthocyanins, which are beneficial for eye health and may help protect against age-related macular degeneration and other vision-related issues.
- Blood sugar regulation: Some research suggests that purple pea flower may have a blood glucose-lowering effect, potentially aiding in the management of diabetes and promoting stable blood sugar levels.
- Stress relief: The flower has been traditionally used to reduce stress and anxiety, thanks to its calming properties that may promote relaxation and a sense of well-being.
- Weight management: Purple pea flower may have potential weight management benefits. It has been found to inhibit the activity of certain enzymes involved in fat storage, potentially aiding in weight control.
Nutritionists generally consider butterfly pea flower safe when consumed in moderation.
However, if you have underlying health conditions or are taking any medications, you should talk with your doctor before using butterfly pea flower or other herbal products.
Pregnant and lactating women should not consume purple pea flowers.