Many people haven’t heard of butterfly pea flower tea, although they are fast becoming the minority as the world discovers this famous Thai drink. Known as a mood enhancer, it also has properties that reduce stress and promote a feeling of calmness. Rather contradictorily, it can also increase energy, refresh the brain and boost cognition. It might sound too good to be true, but it isn’t.
What Is Butterfly Pea?
Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea) is a creeper native to south-east Asia and southern Asia, although these days it can be found in Africa, Australia and North America. It grows along the ground and is often used by farmers as cattle fodder or to add nitrates to depleted soil. The flowers, shaped liked the female body part its Latin name comes from, are deep blue, although there are white varieties.
As well as being used to make a soothing, relaxing tea, butterfly pea flowers are edible, and in Thailand, they are battered and deep-fried.
Primarily, they are used as a food colouring, though, turning both sweet and savoury dishes blue. Imagine blue rice, perhaps best served at Halloween.
The tea can be drunk hot or cold, and if you add some lemon juice, the tea will turn purple. This is a great way to get your children to drink healthy, ‘magical’ water. Make blue ice cubes to add to drinks at parties. Or add the cold tea to cocktails.
Abundant Health Benefits.
Butterfly pea flower tea has been used for thousands of years in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for precisely the same reasons modern science has told us it can be used today.
First up, butterfly pea flowers are natural nootropics. Nootropics are substances that improve cognitive function. By that, we mean it can boost memory, increase focus and attention, and even motivation. It’s the perfect solution for that mid-afternoon slump, when knock off time seems like it’s never going to come.
Years of study have also uncovered the fact that the bio-compounds in the flowers have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anti-stress and anti-depressant properties. Could there be a better, healthier pick-me-up? Although, keep in mind, blue tea can only help with mild cases of stress, anxiety and depression. Prolonged stress or anxiety, known as chronic stress or anxiety, can have serious health implications if not treated medically.
Blue tea contains an abundance of flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and benefits for your immune system. This is one reason they decrease the risk of heart disease and generally improve the health of our cardiovascular system.
Anthocyanin is another type of antioxidant found in butterfly pea flowers and many blue, red and purple fruit and vegetables. This bio-compound also has anti-inflammatory qualities and is very effective at boosting the health of your heart.
By now, you are beginning to see the complete picture regarding butterfly pea tea and its immense benefits for our health. It keeps our stress and anxiety levels down, which can lead to heart problems if not addressed. By boosting our energy, it keeps us active, again contributing to heart health. But then, at the end of the day, a soothing cup of blue tea will also provide you with some well-earned relaxation. You deserve it.