What is Butterfly Pea Flower?

Apr 01, 2022

The Butterfly Pea is a plant that’s native to Asia and is known for its vibrant blue flowers. It’s rich in antioxidants and has been linked with a number of health benefits such as skin and hair health. But there is much more to this dynamic ingredient.  
Three Butterfly Pea Gin Mocktails on a table

Butterfly Pea is high in anthocyanins compounds known as ternatins, which are responsible for the plant's famous blue flowers. 

What is Butterfly Pea Flower used for? 

The unique vibrant blue of Butterfly Pea Flower means that it makes a good natural dye for foods, drinks, cosmetics and textiles. It is also popular as a herbal tea. 

But Butterfly Pea Flower has a trick up its sleeve that makes it a really interesting ingredient. When the acidity of the pea flower changes, the colour changes too - which is why it’s started to appear in speciality cocktails. 

What are the health benefits of Butterfly Pea Flower? 

Butterfly pea flower is rich in an array of antioxidants, including ternatins, kaemphferol, p-coumaric acid, and delphinidin-3,5-glucoside. Antioxidants help the body work more effectively. 

Related: Everything you need to know about antioxidants

Studies suggest that the ternatins in Butterfly Pea Flower can help alleviate inflammation and could be useful in protection against inflammatory diseases by suppressing the excessive production of pro-inflammatory mediators from macrophage cells. 

In addition, Butterfly Pea Flower is known to support skin and hair health. A 2021 study published in the journal Molecules, found that butterfly pea extract can increase skin hydration by 70 per cent. And a 2021 study found that butterfly pea extract could be more effective in promoting hair growth than minoxidil (a common hair loss treatment.) 

Another area in which Butterfly Pea Flower is thought to be beneficial is in weight management. A study published in 2019 found that Butterfly Pea Flower extract may slow the formation of fat cells by regulating the pathways involved in cell progression. 

Studies have also found that ternatins, found in Butterfly Pea Flower, may block the synthesis of fat cells in the body. 

It doesn’t stop there. Studies have also shown that Butterfly Pea Flower can help in stabilising blood sugar levels.  

While more studies are needed to discover how butterfly pea flower impacts our health, and how much you would need to ingest to reap the benefits, it’s clear that this versatile ingredient is a great addition to your diet. 

Ms Sans Call Me Indigo is a Butterfly Pea Non-Alcoholic Gin substitute

Ms Sans Call Me Indigo is an Australian-made, non-alcoholic butterfly pea gin alternative. It gets it's deep purple colour naturally from butterfly pea flower and changes it's colour from indigo to a pinky-blue shade when citrus is added. 

Pubmed.gov - Cosmetic and Dermatological Properties of Selected Ayurvedic Plant Extracts Pubmed.gov - Clitoria ternatea Flower Petal Extract Inhibits Adipogenesis and Lipid Accumulation in 3T3-L1 Preadipocytes by Downregulating Adipogenic Gene Expression, Pubmed.gov -  Protective Role of Ternatin Anthocyanins and Quercetin Glycosides from Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea Leguminosae) Blue Flower Petals against Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Induced Inflammation in Macrophage

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