Superfoods or “superflowers” in this case – often herald from exotic locations around the world and gain their health-coveted status from being exceptionally high in nutritional value. The blue butterfly pea flowers certainly fit both those bills. The butterfly pea flower is an exquisite indigo coloured bloom native to tropical equatorial Asia that has an impressive antioxidant content stored in its beautiful petals.
The flowers are traditionally brewed into a tea in order to transfer the nutritional content into a beverage which can then be enjoyed as overall wellness tonic with a host of benefits. It is traditionally used for anti-ageing benefits, as a memory enhancer, rich source of antioxidants to prevent against free radical damage, for eye health and hormonal support.
“One of the most impressive features of the butterfly pea flower is the abundance of antioxidants including proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins which you can get from the tea,” says Anna Mitsios, naturopath and founder of Edible Beauty Australia, which uses the attractive petals of the blue butterfly pea as the key ingredient in one of their beauty teas.
“It is the antioxidants that are what provides the mesmerising blue hue of the flower. These antioxidants work incredibly well at reversing free radical damage and improving blood flow to the eyes, skin and hair,” explains Anna. “One of the reasons why we love using it in our tea is that proanthocyanidins are able to enhance the collagen production of skin cells, thereby supporting skin elasticity and reducing premature wrinkles and other signs of ageing. Traditionally the flower has been used to promote dark, lustrous thick hair due to its bioflavonoid content which promotes hair growth. There are just so many health reasons to enjoy this beautiful flower.”
proanthocyanidins are able to enhance the collagen production of skin cells, thereby supporting skin elasticity and reducing premature wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
And aside from those benefits, the tea itself is a stunning spectacle, taking on the deep blue colour of the flowers to create a beverage almost too pretty to drink! Even more exciting is that these anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that change colour depending on the pH. This means that if you brew the tea with water it will be blue, but simply add a squeeze of lemon juice and watch it change to a gorgeous purple… try that for a tea party trick and then tell your guests how incredible it is for their wellbeing too!