Butterfly pea is a plant native to Asia recognize it by its striking, vibrant blue flowers also known as Cordofan pea and Darwin pea. It is also rich in anthocyanins, which are the antioxidant compounds responsible for its unique color.
For this reason, manufacturers may use butterfly pea flower in cosmetics or as a natural dye for foods, drinks, and textiles. It is also frequently combined with lemongrass and lemon to form herbal tea.
When the acidic content in the Cordofan pea flower tea changes, its color changes as well. This quality makes butterfly pea flower a popular ingredient in mixed drinks. It is also known for its medicinal properties, and has been studied for a variety of possible health benefits.
Butterfly pea (Clitoria ternatea ) is a versatile forage plant and single-plant grass. It provides substances that are used for medicinal purposes and is also an ornamental plant and fodder crop. It’s adaptable to a wide range of temperature, rain, and altitude. Cordofan pea, a popular forage legume that is well-loved by livestock, is generally preferred over other legumes due to its thin stem and large leaves.
Cordofan pea flower tea or other drinks that use Darwin pea flower extract change their color according to the amount of pH dissolution. A deep blue tea becomes purple as more lemon is added to the mixture, turning a purpler shade the more lemon juice is added to the mix.
Thailand and Vietnam have butterfly-shaped purple pea flower tea that often includes honey and lemon juice, often in a beverage that’s served after meals or listed as a beverage or refreshment at hotels and spas. The drink is also called nam dok anchan in Thai.
related: Pea Greens Nutritional Facts
Plant Specie Scientific Overview
Scientific name of butterfly pea is Citoria Ternatea, it belongs to kingdome plantae, genus Ternatea, and order Fabaceae .
Other synonymous names of this flower are known to be as Asian Pigeonwings, Bluebellvine, Darwin Pea, Corodofan Pea, Blue Pea, Mussel Shell Creeper, and Bung Telang.
Nutrients in Butterfly Pea Flower
Butterfly pea flower petals are abundant in anthocyanin compounds called ternatins, which make the petals appear blue. Test-tube studies show that ternatins can relieve pain and prevent tumor growth.
This composite compound has been studied extensively for its cancer-fighting properties. Test tube studies show that it may kill cancer cells.
Some research suggests that phosphoric acid may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects, which could help protect against disease (6Trusted).
According to one study, this antioxidant may help stimulate immune function and cause cell death in colorectal cancer cells.
Butterfly Pea Health Benefits
- Supports skin and hair:
Cosmetic manufacturers tout the effectiveness of butterfly pea extract in items such as skincare lotions and hair sprays. According to a 2021 study, the extract can enhance your skin’s hydration by 70% for one hour after topical application (82% of respondents found this estimate believable).
A recent study noted that cordofan pea extract might be a more effective hair growth treatment than minoxidil, which is a common treatment used to promote growth. Butterfly pea flower contains a great deal of antioxidants, which could be beneficial in terms of promoting hair and skin health.
- Promotes weight loss:
Some studies even recommend the potential of Cordofan pea flower aid in weight loss efforts. One test-tube study even reveals butterfly pea flower extract to decrease the formation of fat cells through regulating certain cellular pathways that contribute to cell growth.
- Stabilizes blood sugar level:
Some researches suggested that it may lowers diabetes risk or symptoms.
Drinking some beverage that contains butterfly pea flower extract led to an increase in antioxidant levels and reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, independent of the sugar content. Moreover, further research demonstrated that administering Darwin pea flower extract to rats with diabetes will lower their blood sugar levels compared to those in the control group.
Nutritionists typically consider this a safe to consume in balanced or moderation way. Butterfly pea flower has been said to cause side effects such as nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea, but there is no definitive research to support these claims. However, if you are suffering from an illness or taking any medications, you should consult your doctor before using this flower or any other herbal products.
Butterfly pea flower is a common ingredient in many herbal teas, mixed drinks, and cosmetic products. These are high in antioxidants and many other helpful substances, which are linked to several health benefits, such as better blood sugar control, enhanced fat loss, and better hair and skin It also poses few risks, so it’s an excellent addition to your diet.