12 Amazing Butterfly Pea Flower Benefits (Aparajita) and Side Effects.
Have you ever wondered about the brilliant blue hue often found in herbal tea blends? Yes! Butterfly pea flower is one of the popular ingredients that adds a beautiful blue hue to your cuisines. But in recent years, the Butterfly pea flower’s benefits are attributed to its healthy properties and antioxidant content. From reducing stress and anxiety to relieving constipation, Butterfly pea flower consumption has several advantages.
The Butterfly pea flower is a fantastic brain-boosting herb native to tropical equatorial Asia. Let us go through the article to learn the Butterfly pea flower benefits.
What is Butterfly Pea Flower and its Nutrition Facts:
The Butterfly pea is Asia’s native plant whose scientific name is Clitoriaternatea. The striking, vibrant blue colour helps you recognize the plant (1). The unique colour of this plant is attributed to the antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins (2). This is why textiles, foods and drinks use butterfly pea flower as a natural dye. Some people also brew herbal tea by using these flowers combined with honey. It is also called Blue Ternate, Blue Pea, Aparajita flower, Gokarna flower, Shankhpushpi, Darwin pea, Cordofan Pea, Bluebell vine and Asian Pigeon wings.
The anthocyanin compounds called ternatins present in the Butterfly pea flowers to give them a vibrant blue hue. In addition, these flowers also have several antioxidants such as kaempferol, p-Coumaric acid, Delphinidin-3, and 5-glucoside, which can be very beneficial to a healthy body.
Health Benefits of Butterfly Pea Flower:
Butterfly pea flowers have many health benefits and are widely used in Ayurvedic medicine as they are edible flowers that have rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. And the flavonoids present in these flowers can cure upper respiratory infections. The following section gives you detailed information about how butterfly pea flower extract can benefit our body.
1. Rich in Antioxidants:
The Butterfly pea flower or Asian Pigeonwings benefits include its usage in many functional beverages worldwide. For example, when mixed with lemon and honey, this beverage is a popular choice for a post-meal treat in Thailand. In addition, the consumption of Butterfly pea flowers in beverages increases the antioxidant activity in the body, which can be beneficial for the body’s healthy functioning, as per a study in 2019 (3).
Butterfly pea flower benefits include its anti-inflammatory properties attributed to the high amount of antioxidants. It might also help protect you against several chronic diseases by reducing inflammation. Furthermore, the anaesthetic properties of Blue tea extracts help you provide relief from swelling and pain efficiently. It might also effectively treat internal and external inflammations in our bodies (4).
The Butterfly pea flower helps your body fight against inflammation and infections by boosting the immune system with the help of flavonoids. In addition, the blue tea extracts exhibit anti-microbial properties against Staphylococcus Aureus, as per many Indian studies.
Read: Edible Flowers – Flowers that you can eat
3. Aiding Weight Loss:
As per some studies, the Butterfly pea flower might aid in weight loss. For example, another test-tube study suggests that there might be a slow formation of fat cells by regulating specific pathways in cell progression with the help of butterfly pea flower extract (5). In addition, this flower might help block the synthesis of fat cells in your body using elements called ternatins, as per some older test-tube and animal studies (6)(7)(8). However, further research is needed on how the Butterfly pea flower impacts weight loss.
4. Regulating Diabetes:
As per studies, butterfly pea flower or blue ternate might be good for diabetics and related symptoms by reducing the risk. For instance, despite the sugar levels in the drink, the butterfly pea flower extracts increase antioxidant levels and lower blood sugar and insulin levels, as per a study conducted on 15 men (9). In addition, the butterfly pea flower also has antioxidant properties that might reduce complications related to diabetes by protecting your body against cell damage, according to another study (10). However, the impact of the butterfly pea flowers, effect on long-term sugar control needs additional studies.
5. Boosts Brain Health:
Regular administration of Blue butterfly pea extracts boosts the levels of a chemical called acetylcholine in the brain of rats and other animals, as per several studies. Good brain health depends on the chemical Acetylcholine. The benefits of the butterfly pea flower include a decrease in age-associated memory loss and improved memory with the help of high levels of Acetylcholine. In addition, you can improve your thinking abilities and boost overall brain health with the regular consumption of blue butterfly pea (11).
6. Lowers the Risk of Cancer:
The Butterfly pea plant is known to have a wide range of pharmacological activities with the help of an active substance called quercetin. This substance inhibits cancer cell activity because quercetin is known to have anti-breast cancer activity. Therefore, the antimetastatic activity of the Butterfly pea flower extract might positively affect the in-vitro breast cancer cells (12)
7. Help Reduce Blood Pressure:
Butterfly pea flower or blue ternate might be an excellent option for lowering hypertension. The naturally available antioxidants present in the Butterfly pea flower might help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and suppress RAS activation in a study conducted on rats (13).
8. Helps Aid Digestion:
The use of butterfly pea flower aids in digestion by relaxing the stomach muscles with the help of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Its anthelminthic property also helps prevent the growth of worms in the gut. In addition, the benefits of drinking butterfly pea tea include acting as a mild laxative by stimulating the bile flow from the liver (14). Finally, the Butterfly pea flower tea relieves unnecessary waste from your body by replacing it with antioxidants because it is diuretic in nature, like many other teas.
9. Good for Eyes:
The Butterfly pea flower benefits the eyes. Its impacts on cognitive health have been subjected to numerous studies in the last twenty years. Unfortunately, many of these studies were conducted on animals. Although early research is promising, further examination is needed to understand how butterfly pea flowers benefit human health (15).
Read: What are the Pros and Cons of Monk Fruit?
10. Slow down Skin Ageing:
The free radicals present in our body might increase the chances of health issues and might accelerate ageing. The Butterfly pea flower has anti-ageing properties, which get rid of free radicals in the body with the help of antioxidants present. Several products are available, with butterfly pea flowers as prominent ingredients. Incorporating Butterfly pea flower tea into your daily routine has shown promising results in dealing with skin issues (16). So age gracefully by drinking butterfly pea flower tea.
11. Boosts Hair Growth:
The butterfly pea flower is a perfect solution for hair growth. You can find this ingredient in shampoos, hair mists, and skincare serums by cosmetic manufacturers. Within one hour after topical application, butterfly pea extracts might increase your skin’s hydration by 70%, as a study conducted in 2021 (17). In addition, the butterfly pea flower can be beneficial in promoting hair health since it contains a rich array of antioxidants (18). However, there is a need for more research to understand the Butterfly pea flower’s effects on hair fully.
12. Eco-Friendly Natural Food Colorant:
The butterfly pea flower is a popular food colourant used in Malay, Peranakan and Thai cuisines. The butterfly pea flower food colouring is a perfect addition to any dish or drink. This is because it doesn’t change the taste of any of these cuisines. After all, its petals practically have no scent or flavour.
Ways to Use Butterfly Pea Flower:
Now that we know all the benefits, let us know the different ways you can use the Butterfly pea flower:
- Hair mists, toners, shampoos and face masks are some of the cosmetic products that use Butterfly pea flower as an ingredient.
- The earthy flavour and vibrant blue colour of the butterfly pea flower make it one of the best brewed herbal tea.
- Butterfly pea with lemon is one of the famous concoctions that offers several benefits. First, the lemon in the blue tea converts the colour into a deep purple hue because of the naturally available ternatins in the plant.
How to Make Blue Tea – Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Recipe:
Here is a simple recipe you can try for the preparation of Butterfly pea flower tea:
- One cup of hot water.
- Honey as per taste.
- Three to four Butterfly pea flowers.
- Boil one cup of water.
- Now add the butterfly pea flower to the hot water.
- Let it steep for about five minutes.
- Make sure not to over steep the flowers.
- Strain into a glass and add honey as per your taste.
Best Time to Drink Blue Tea:
Morning with breakfast and post-lunch is the best time to consume Blue tea, whether hot or iced tea. If you wish to enhance the tea’s flavour, you can add a little honey. Blue tea vastly improves digestive health by flushing out the toxins from your body. This is possible when you drink a cup of blue tea on an empty stomach once or twice a week.
Butterfly Pea Flower Side Effects:
Nutritionists believe the Butterfly pea flower is generally safe when consumed in moderation. Though nausea, stomach pain and diarrhoea are some of the anecdotal side effects of the consumption of Butterfly pea flower. However, there is no scientific proof to support the claims.
However, it is always better to consult a doctor before adding Butterfly pea flower to your diet. Especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or taking any medications.
Read: Amazing Benefits of Jackfruit
Whether it is herbal teas, mixed drinks, and cosmetic products, the uses of the Butterfly pea flower are many. The benefits of the Butterfly pea flower include increased weight loss, better blood sugar control and improvements in hair and skin health with the help of the antioxidants present in it. It has a great potential addition to your diet because it is versatile and associated with very few side effects. Don’t forget to let us know if you found the article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based purely on research and is not a replacement for professional advice. You can always consult your doctor or health care professional before adding anything to your diet. Furthermore, the website is not responsible for the authenticity and accuracy of the information.
1. How should we take care of butterfly pea plants?
Ans: It is essential to water the plant regularly during the first growing season. Although make sure you don’t over overwater the plant. These plants require supplemental irrigation only during dry and hot weather because they are drought tolerant.
2. How does the Butterfly pea tea change its colour?
Ans: The colour-changing ability is the unique attribute of the butterfly pea plant. When the PH level is altered, the blue colour of the tea changes to deep violet or purple.
3. What parts of the Butterfly pea plant are edible?
Ans: The tender pods, young shoots, leaves and flowers of the butterfly pea plant are commonly edible. The plant’s leaves are also used as a green colourant in many cuisines.