Discover the Butterfly Pea
Clitoria Ternatea, commonly known as ‘Blue Butterfly Pea’, is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Fabaceae. It is mainly distributed in the tropical regions of Asia such as Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma, and the Philippines.
What does the Clitoria-Ternatea plant look like in nature?
Its leaves are elliptical and obtuse, carried by a liana that appreciates humid and neutral soils. The most obvious characteristic of this plant is the blue color of its flowers, with spots of a light yellow.
It is a climbing liana, fast growing and vigorous (up to 3 m high). It produces numerous blue flowers of 5 cm in diameter with a white throat tinged with yellow. It blooms all year round in Asia and in Europe, it can be seen blooming from July to September.
The origin of the Botanical name of Clitoria-Ternatea.
The flower gets its Latin name from the similarity in shape to the female sex. The beans that follow the flowering, are therefore consumed in Asia for their so-called “aphrodisiac power”.
Its other name, Butterfly Pea, comes from its color. It is a beautiful blue flower with yellow spots. There is a variety (more voluminous) of Clitoria Ternatea known as double or multilevel
In Europe, this plant is cultivated for its decorative interest. Ideal to cover a trellis in a sheltered corner of the garden or as a perennial in a veranda.
To which family does the Butterfly-Pea belong?
Note that its color is composed of two pigments. Depending on the PH, one of the two colors will be highlighted, ranging from a deep blue, to purple and even pale pink.
Benefits of Clitoria Ternatea flowers.
Different parts of this plant have been used in traditional Asian medicines. It is used to treat a variety of disorders such as hydrops, ascites, liver problems, hemicrania, irritation of the urethra and bladder, and hypertrophy of the abdominal viscera.
In addition, the medicinal properties of this plant are scientifically validated, at international level, and it is attributed several biological effects such as antioxidant, anti-diabetic and hepato-protective properties.
Relaxing with Magic Blue Tea
Feeling anxious or nervous? Butterfly Pea is known for its soothing “anti-stress” properties. Butterfly-Pea tea is widely used to balance the nervous system, but also as an analgesic and anti-diabetic.
Butterfly Pea for its Antioxidants.
Antioxidants, the Butterfly Pea is full of them. It is also a plant that contains flavonoids, anthocyanins and phenolic compounds that stimulate a rejuvenating action.
Improve Cognitive Functions.
Drinking blue butterfly tea helps cognitive functions. Many scientists refer to it as a natural, caffeine-free nootropic.
To boost memory.
Drinking butterfly pea flower tea increases the level of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that is essential for good brain coordination. The infusion of the flowers is also used as an anti-inflammatory eyewash.
Hair growth and beauty.
The presence of bio-flavonoids (or flavonoids and vitamin P) promotes hair growth, helps to make it denser, thicker and reduce graying.
Traditional uses of Blue Butterfly Pea
The flowers of Clitoria Ternatea have been used in Southeast Asia since ancient times.
It is at the same time a traditional medicine, a food coloring, an ornamental plant. This dynamic liana helps revitalize nutrient poor soils.
Traditional medicine recommends it to treat sexual problems, related to fertility, menstruation, and of course as an aphrodisiac.
Blue rice is consumed in different regions of the world such as Malaysia with the “nasi kerabu” which is a rice dyed with Clitoria Ternatea.
The fresh flowers are eaten in salads. They have a slightly sweet taste. We mix them with cucumber, tomatoes and all kinds of raw vegetables.
What is the use of Butterfly-Pea Powder ?
Clitoria Ternatea powder, is used for cakes or sprinkled as powdered sugar for finishing.
The powder makes it possible to obtain a concentrated natural food coloring. It is easy to use and the powder is soluble in most liquids. The change of color, according to the PH, remains and allows to prepare all kinds of cocktails with surprising colors.
Also used as blue matcha, it allows all the fantasies in cooking, pastry and tea room.
I hope you have learned more about the Butterfly-Pea. If you’re looking for recipes with Butterfly Peas, don’t hesitate to check out our other blog posts which are a real source of culinary inspiration!
See you soon.