All about Butterfly Pea – History, Usage, Facts, Benefits & More

Butterfly Pea, also known as Blue Pea, is a type of flowering plant from the Fabaceae family. It is known as the Clitoria Ternatea plant, Aprajita, Cordofan pea, and Asian Pigeonwings. Other names for this plant are Darwin Pea and Bluebellvine. The plants are most commonly found in the regions of South East Asia, specifically in Vietnam and Thailand. It is also seen in West and East Indies, Central and South America, and India and China. The flower blooms beautifully in its blue petals. The blue petals were used as herbal tea ingredient and as a dye. Some ancient people in the regions used this flower in cooking not only to add tastes and flavor to the dishes but also to add color.

Butterfly Pea flower is a type that belongs to the climbing legumes with leaves arranged alternately in oval leaflets. The stems of the plant are slender and covered with soft but short hairs. The funnel-shaped blooms in pink, white, and dark blue colors are like the genital of a woman.

Butterfly Pea Flower or Blue Flower has been used throughout centuries for food and drinks because of the health benefits and medicinal purposes it provides. The flower has been brewed ever since an early age. However, it was only a few decades ago when it was introduced as a tea. Different parts of the plant, such as flowers, leaves, roots, and stems, are used for culinary purposes and for medicinal uses.

  • For Food

The earthy and woody taste of the Butterfly Pea Flower tea is also used in cooking. There are dishes that include the flavor of this Blue Flower Tea. The flowers are usually dipped in the batter mixture and then fried in cooking oil. Some smoothie bowls have the colorful petals of this flower for aesthetics and for a unique taste. But to some ancient people, especially to the people in the regions of Asia, these flowers are intended to be added in dishes and recipes because of its medicinal benefits. In Thailand, local restaurants and food hubs serve dishes and desserts infused with the Blue Flower Tea. The powdered tea can be used as flavoring and spices or as food colorant without the need for brewing it first to achieve the color you want. It can turn the cooked rice into blue color without the need of using artificial food colorant.

  • For Drink

Originally served as a refreshing tea in most regions of South East Asia, the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea is now available in different parts of the world. Although most supermarkets do not have this product, some specialty online shops and retailers already have a market.

The Butterfly Pea flower or Blue Flower is used for drinks and beverages. The tea is commonly added with honey or lemon or both for a refreshing drink. This preparation was called in Thailand as nam dok anchan. Similar to chamomile tea, it is one of the common drinks in Thailand and in other parts of Asia. People love its taste whether in cold water or warm water, especially when added with honey, lemon, cinnamon, mint, ginger, and passion fruit.

The taste of the Blue Flower Tea is similar to that of fine green tea with earthy or woody taste. This type of tea is distinct because it changes color when the level of acidity or the pH balance level is changed. The said tea in deep blue color will turn into purple when added with lemon extracts or juice. The tea will turn red when added with fuchsia Roselle Hibiscus leaves.

Popularly used in teas and herbal drinks, the Blue Flower Tea is also used widely in cocktail drinks, incorporating the woody taste and the colors. One way to add flavor to punch and cocktails are by having frozen ice-cubed teas mixed with drinks. As drinks change colors, the magic concoction provides a real feisty drink that adds thrill to enjoying the drink.

  • Benefits

The reason why the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea is a great addition to several food and drinks is its medicinal and health benefits. It has been said that this tea is rich in antioxidants that help the body boost the immune system and fight inflammation. This is great for the health of the heart and blood pressure, as well as for the blood sugar level.

This is also the most preferred drink served in spas because it helps protect the skin from aging prematurely. The antioxidants contained in the tea help the skin to fight wrinkles and signs of aging. It can also be used as first aid treatment for pimple breakout and skin rashes and allergy. Also, this tea helps improve the circulation of blood and oxygen that benefits the skin, hair, and eyes.

The tea also benefits the brain. It revitalizes the brain and keeps it active and focused through the nutrients and properties it contains. Not only that, the anthocyanins found in the tea does not only provide relief from pains and aches but also reduce stress and anxiety.

Whether for iced tea, hot tea, lattes, cocktails, punch, and dishes, Butterfly Pea Flower proves to be of plenty of benefits and uses. You can add powdered flower tea to rice for added flavor and color or use it as a food coloring. The best thing with this herbal tea is that you can take it or drink it anytime without fear of overdose. Moreover, pregnant women and breastfeeding moms should not drink its tea or consume foods that contain this tea to avoid negative effects on the baby.