What is This Blue Tea?

Butterfly Pea is the flower used to make this blue tea I tried for the first time this weekend.  I was reading the menu at a Thai restaurant when I noticed some information about the tea listed.  It was quite interesting and I asked the waiter more.  After chatting with him I decided to try some for myself.

After placing my order the waiter came back to my table and showed me that he had just picked the flower out of their garden to make me the tea. I was not even expecting that.  I just thought it would be a ready made tea bag or dried leaves.  Seeing the fresh flowers in his hand was impressive. He even pointed  to exactly where he picked it from in the garden behind where I was sitting.  The garden was incorporated into the restaurant’s outdoor space.

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Image: Cosmo Botanicals

Now that’s what I call freshly made tea.According to what was written on the menu the flower is supposed to be good for hair loss and maintaining healthy eyesight. It claims to improve blurry vision, help reduce inflammation in the eyes and give them a natural protection from the sun. It’s also said to be good for the digestive system and considered to be a natural diuretic and laxative.  Although this is a flower that’s widely used in Asia, it’s becoming popular in other parts of the world with people’s continued interest in healthy eating.

I decided to do some additional research outside of the paragraph on the menu and discovered so much more.   Firstly, it’s scientific name is Clitoria Ternatea and from what I have been reading, it’s definitely considered to be good for overall health.

Below are some of my findings of the benefits of drinking Butterfly Pea tea.

Antioxidants

Flavanoids make this flower a good antioxidant. Known to cleanse cells of toxins, it has anthocyanin, which is stronger than Vitamin E.  Some boast of its anti-aging properties for both skin and hair, which explains why some beauty products use this in theor formulas.

It’s also been found to help fight E coli, and K. pneumonia.

Reduces Inflammation

Studies have shown that this flower has capabilities of reducing inflammation and swelling in the body.

Improving Memory

Memory loss is something that can be quite scary for many of us.  Especially as we get older.  We seek out options for helping boost memory function.  There have been claims that the Butterfly Pea flower is effective in improving memory when taken regularly.

Constipation

What I read on the menu about it’s natural laxative capabilities held true in other findings about this flower.

Conceiving

Some have said that this flower can help women who are having problems conceiving.  I didn’t find any scientific study to back this claim, but have read it on some natural health blogs and websites.

It’s also claimed that it helps those with menstrual bleeding issues.

Sexual Enhancement

Another claim of this plant is that it has the ability to improve sexual function for women.  Noted as being an aphrodisiac, some say it helps improve sexual desire.

Migraines

If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine headache, you certainly are someone that’s always looking for alternatives to getting relief.  It can be such a debilitating feeling.  I read that chewing dried leaves from this flower daily can help improve the pain associated with migraines.

Anti-Cancer Properties

One of the most interesting and unexpected things I read in some of my findings is that this plant has cyclotides which are peptides known to have the ability to fight tumors. It’s been reported to be able to penetrate the cancer cell membrane and help kill the cells. 

These are just a few of the many health benefits I discovered through reading about this plant.  I’m definitely going to incorporate this more into my diet. Especially since I know it grows not too far from where I am now.  Maybe I can even explore growing some of my own.  That way, I always have easy access and can pick it out of my own garden the same way the waiter picked it for me in the restaurant.

Resources: US National Library of Medicine, Herbpathy.com, Health & Healing Facebook PageHeal Dove, Herbal Teas Online, Dr. Ray SahelianDr. Al Sears M.D. ,  Indian Journal of Medical Science by Dr. Ray Sahelian, M.D.

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