THE MAGICAL FLOWER
Famed for its indigo-blue colour, there’s a lot more to this beautiful bloom than meets the eye. By Poon Li-Wei
Things you can do with the vibrant butterfly pea flower.
What is it?
The butterfly pea flower (aka bunga telang) is also scientifically known as clitoria ternatea, so named after its resemblance to the shape of the female genitals – the plant is found in Southeast Asian countries.
Where to get it?
It’s not commonly found, but you can get your hands on some butterfly pea flower tea at The Hive Bulk Foods located in Bangsar (Instagram: @ thehivebulkfoods). But if you’re keen on the flower itself, see if your local market has it or check out Ben’s Independent Grocer.
What are the health benefits?
According to the International Journal of Natural and Social Sciences, its extract was found to have antidepressant and calming properties – especially in combating anxiety. In addition, it exhibited anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial activity to keep infections at bay – not to mention, recent reports have stated that its components could very well suppress tumours and enhance one’s immunity. For those facing digestive issues, it can also act as a mild laxative.
How to consume it?
There are butterfly pea flower pills that you can take as a supplement, but we’d much rather brew a beautiful cup of caffeine-free blue tea that yields a woody taste. Just throw in a handful (about a dozen) flowers in hot water and allow it to steep for 10 minutes – then add honey to sweeten the taste.