Maybe you’ve seen Butterfly Flower Tea on your social media feed. That’s where I first discovered it. The color changing magical tea mesmerized me and I watched influencers’ reels on replay. It starts with a brilliant blue hue but its color changes depending on what you add to it.
Obviously, I had to try it but is butterfly pea flower tea more than just a pretty face? Does it have health benefits too?
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What is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?
Butterfly pea flower tea is a herbal tea made from the flowers of the Clitoria ternatea plant. It goes by many names: Asian pigeonwings. bluebellvine, cordofan pea, Darwin pea, blue pea, or butterfly pea plant. As its name suggests, it features a bright blue flower.
The plant is native to Southeast Asia and is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, cuisine, as a food dye, and in Indian rituals.
Although it’s been enjoyed for centuries in countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, and China it only recently started to get noticed in the United States.
At first glance, you may think artificial colors are involved. But it gets its color organically and is an FDA approved natural food dye.
How Do You Prepare Butterfly Pea Flower Tea?
Prepare butterfly pea flower tea just as you would any tea. You can purchase loose butterfly pea flowers or tea bags. Steep the tea for about five minutes or until the hot water turns blue. If using loose tea leaves, you can remove the dried flowers or leave them for decoration. Drink it as a hot or iced tea.
Although you don’t need to add any sweeteners, the fun and beauty come with the addition of a slice of lemon or lime juice, as you watch the color change from a bright blue to a purple hue.
There’s no shortage of cocktail or mocktail recipes featuring the blue pea flower. Mix the tea with your favorite alcohol. Some people even make a butterfly pea flower syrup out of the tea and add that to their drinks.
Why is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea So Popular?
Butterfly Pea Flower has gained popularity in recent years for a couple of reasons:
- Its striking blue color lends itself to an attractive photo, perfect to post on one’s Instagram or TikTok feed. It’s no wonder that influencers share it so often on their social media feeds.
- The color changes depending on the pH level of what you add to it.
- On its own, it has a slightly sweet earthy flavor, making it a pleasant alternative to traditional tea and coffee.
- It claims to have many unique health benefits which we will discuss in detail.
Health Benefits of Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
Although I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, I’m deeply passionate about health products and learning all that I can. While it’s true that this tea contains rich antioxidants, many of the studies have not been performed on humans or are anecdotal.
If you have any health conditions or pregnant or breastfeeding, please check with your doctor before you drink this tea on a regular basis. However, there appear to be few side effects.
Still, butterfly pea flower tea is a zero-calorie caffeine-free herbal tea and a good source of hydration. It’s no surprise that many of the diets I’ve followed or meal kits I’ve tried involve soups and teas.
However, some potential health benefits of drinking butterfly pea flower tea include:
Butterfly pea flower tea is packed with antioxidants that are beneficial for our overall health. Antioxidants help to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
One powerful antioxidant is anthocyanin which is also present in blueberries and red wine.
Butterfly pea flower also contains acetylcholine, which supposedly helps with focus, mood, and brain health.
Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
Improve Skin and Hair
You can also find polyphenols in this tea, which stimulated hair growth in animal studies. And as for skin, butterfly pea flower tea has anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce redness and even rosacea. Also, drinking more water and tea leads to better skin hydration.
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My Experience with Butterfly Pea Flower Tea
To appreciate the full effect of this beautiful blue tea, you’ll want to brew your tea in a clear mug.
I experimented by adding fresh lemons until I got a violet color. Try different additives to see the bright color change into different shades of blue, purple, pink, and even red. To get the latter, use a hibiscus flower.
I didn’t add any sweetener like honey or agave nectar to my hot tea. Alone, the tea had a mild taste which I don’t mind. Would I buy it for the taste alone? Maybe.
The fresh lemon juice gave it a citrusy taste. I don’t usually add any lemon to my tea but I had to see the full color-changing properties. I was not disappointed. It was the most gorgeous cup of tea ever.
Although I love my coffee in the morning, I often have a cup of tea at night. I find that helps me control my hunger. Before reaching for an after-dinner snack, I see if a cup of tea satiates me. It usually does.
Have I noticed a difference in my hair or skin? No. However, drinking more water visibly helps the appearance of my aging skin.
I haven’t tried creating a butterfly tea flower cocktail yet but I’m sure it will be a conversation starter.
Have you tried butterfly pea flower tea yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Michelle Platt is a former attorney and teacher who loves to do the research so you don’t have to. She takes a deep dive into each topic and writes about her wellness journey here. She loves trying out new workouts and products to share with you. She is currently completing her personal training certification. This native New Yorker recently made the move to the suburbs of Minneapolis, where she lives with her husband, two kids, and two dogs.