Famed for its indigo-blue colour, there’s a lot more to this beau­ti­ful bloom than meets the eye. By Poon Li-Wei

Herworld (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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