It’s common knowledge that drinking plenty of water is essential for a healthy body. But let’s be honest, no one wants to drink plain old water all day, every day. That gets insanely boring.
If you’re like me, you have a beverage in your hand from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. And I’m always looking for healthy drink options that I can enjoy to supplement my daily water intake.
Of course, I don’t want anything with a ton of added sugar and I’m not interested in drinking my daily calories. These restrictions severely cut my beverage options, but I am not defeated!
My quest for healthy beverages led me to Butterfly Pea Flower Tea—and it’s an herbal powerhouse I didn’t know I was missing out on.
What Is Butterfly Pea Flower?
If you’ve heard of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea, then you’re probably familiar with its one defining feature–its brilliant blue hue. Butterfly pea flower is often featured in cosmetics and cocktails, but it’s the herbal tea blend that caught my attention as a healthy drink alternative.
The butterfly pea is a plant that’s been studied in recent years for its antioxidant content and possible health benefits. Some of that research has suggested that butterfly pea flower may help promote weight loss, reduce blood sugar levels, and ensure healthy skin and hair.
The scientific name of this plant—which is native to Asia and recognized by its striking blue flowers—is Clitoria ternatea. It gets its unique, vibrant color from being rich in anthocyanins, which are antioxidant compounds called ternatins. This is why it’s used as a natural dye in drinks, foods, and textiles, as well as an ingredient in cosmetics.
The Health Benefits Of Butterfly Pea Flower
The plant contains a number of antioxidants, including Kaempferol–a compound that studies have indicated may kill off cancer cells. There’s also p-coumaric acid, which research has suggested may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral effects.
There’s also research that indicates butterfly pea flower stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes, despite the natural sugar levels of the herbal tea blend.
Butterfly pea flower extract may also help with weight loss, with one study suggesting it slows down the formation of fat cells by regulating pathways that are involved in cell progression. And those ternatins we talked about earlier might block the synthesis of fat cells. However, there is still a lot more research needed to understand the impact of butterfly pea flower on weight loss.
Studies have also shown that butterfly pea flower supports skin and hair health, which is why cosmetic manufacturers like to use it in their products. It can be found in everything from shampoo to cleansing facial masks.
One study suggested that topical application of butterfly pea extract may increase skin hydration by 70 percent in just one hour. Another study found that the extract might be better at promoting hair growth than minoxidil, which is one of the most common products used to treat hair loss.
While nutritionists generally consider butterfly pea flower to be safe to consume in moderation, there have been some anecdotal reports of side effects like nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
If you are on any medication or have an underlying health condition, you should talk to your doctor before using herbal products like butterfly pea flower.
How To Make Blue Tea
Butterfly Pea Flower Tea–aka “blue tea”–is super easy to make. Simply add one teaspoon (four grams) of dried flowers to one cup (240 mL) of hot water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes, then strain out the dried flowers. You can enjoy this tea hot, or you can serve it over ice.
To give your tea a flavor boost, you can add lemon juice, lime juice, or honey. Just know that citrus fruit acidity will turn the drink from blue to a deep purple.
Where To Find Butterfly Pea Flower
Chances are you won’t find Butterfly Pea Flower Powder at your local grocery store. Your best bet is to go online, and these are the best choices I have found.
A high-quality tea at a great value, Khwan’s Tea Pure Dried Butterfly Pea Flower comes from local farmers in Thailand. 100% organic and GMO-free, the dried flowers are perfect for those who prefer to steep loose-leaf tea and can easily be mixed with other teas for a custom blend.
The versatile flowers can also be used in a number of other applications, such as making lattes, blue milk tea, and even desserts!
If you love the convenience of bagged tea, this 100% USDA Organic Butterfly Pea Flower Tea from Incas is a clear winner. Filled with quality dried butterfly pea flowers sourced from Thailand, the eco-conscious tea bags are made from Abaca Hemp paper that is free of dyes, bleach, adhesives, and staples.
For the most flexibility, using a powdered form of butterfly pea flowers is definitely the way to go. Foraged and sun-dried in Thailand, this 100% pure Butterfly Pea Flower Powder is ceremonial grade, meaning it’s the highest quality you can get.
Beyond teas and lattes, easily add a scoop of this nutrient-rich powder to smoothies, lemonade, cocktails, ice cream, baked goods, and even your morning pancakes! The subtle earthy taste pairs well with just about anything, and of course, the powder adds a wonderful, vibrant hue.