Butterfly pea flower tea is an herbal tea made with the flower of the plant Clitoria ternatea. This plant, also known as butterfly-pea, is common in Southeast Asian countries, especially Thailand and Malaysia. Butterfly pea flower tea has been consumed for centuries in these countries, and it has been introduced to markets outside of Asia only recently.
The peculiar color-changing properties of this drink add a touch of magic to it. Butterfly pea flower tea’s remarkable color-changing characteristics have a scientific explanation, though—they depend on the pH. If you add lemon juice, the acidity will turn the color from blue to purple. Thanks to this fascinating feature and great health benefits, butterfly pea flower tea is poised to become the next trend in exotic beverages.
Kathy Chan travels throughout Asia often to look for new teas and infusions to introduce to the global market. In southeast Asia, butterfly pea flower is used in both food and drinks. In Thai restaurants, for example, butterfly pea flower adds natural food coloring to rice desserts and puddings. The color-changing drink is also used after dinner with honey and lemon. Thanks to Chan, butterfly pea flower tea was added to the list of products sold by Whole Foods and other major U.S. retailers.
Benefits of Butterfly Pea Tea
Butterfly pea tea is famous for its color-changing properties, but it can also offer incredible health benefits.
Has Antioxidant Properties
A study that measured the aqueous extract of Clitoria ternatea found that the plant has strong antioxidant properties and might also help to prevent AGE-mediated diabetic complications. AGE defines the accumulation of advanced glycation end products that are associated with the progression of age-related diseases.
May Fight Cancer
A study that evaluated the cytotoxicity and chemosensitizing activities of cyclotides from Clitoria ternatea in lung cancer cells showed positive results, prompting researchers to believe that the plant may help in the treatment of lung cancer.
Is a Powerful Inhibitor
Clitoria ternatea might have wound healing potential. The results of a study conducted in India showed that the plant could help in the treatment of different types of skin wounds.
May Fight Inflammation
Several studies found that Clitoria ternatea has powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Scientists believe that the plant may be useful in developing drugs for protection against chronic inflammatory diseases.
Promotes Brain Health
A study conducted on rats showed that treatment with Clitoria ternatea root extract supported memory performance. The results of the experiment demonstrated that the plant may contribute to improving cognitive behavior and preventing the progression of cognitive deterioration in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
You can combine butterfly pea flower tea with other food ingredients and make delicious smoothies, like our Color Changing Smoothie.