Butterfly Pea (Anchan) Tea
Infuse a handful of fresh flowers or a teaspoon of dried or powdered Butterfly Pea flowers in 2 cups of warm water, strain, and serve. Can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Butterfly Pea Lemonade
Infuse a handful of fresh flowers or a teaspoon of dried butterfly pea flowers in 2 cups of warm water, let it cool to room temperature, strain, add the juice of one-half lemon. Serve cool.
Butterfly Pea Sparkling Lemonade
You can also prepare Butterfly pea lemonade with soda water as a refreshing and festive variation that is perfect for hot Summer days. Serve cool.
I grow Butterfly Pea in my garden in Miami. This is an easy plant to cultivate even if planted in a pot in places with hot climates. The more you harvest the flowers, the more flowers the plant will make. Clitoria ternatea can be grown from seeds. Those living in Miami can get these plants directly from Little River Cooperative (this nursery also ship plants nationwide!)
Butterfly Pea healing uses:
Butterfly Pea (Anchan, Shankhpushpi) is well-known and extensively used in Ayurveda to support the central nervous system and to support memory function in particular.
Although different plants are referred as Shankhpushpi in different regions of India — leading to uncertainty regarding its source — in this article, I am referring to Clitoria ternatea Linn. (Leguminosae). Other plants commonly used under the name Shankhpushpi include Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois., Evolvulus alsinoides Linn., both from Convolvulaceae.
“Its extracts possess a wide range of pharmacological activities including antimicrobial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic, local anesthetic, anti-diabetic, insecticidal, blood platelet aggregation-inhibiting and for use as a vascular smooth muscle relaxing properties. This plant has a long use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for several diseases, and the scientific studies have reconfirmed those with modern relevance.”
“Clitoria ternatea or commonly known as 'Butterfly pea' has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine in which various parts of the plants are used to treat health issues such as indigestion, constipation, arthritis, skin diseases, liver and intestinal problems.”
Antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Memory enhancer, anti-stress, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, sedative
Nootropic (can help with cognitive function)
May protect against obesity
Contributes to healthy-looking skin, hair, and eyes
Butterfly Pea has antipyretic properties and may provide pain relief and reduce a fever
In some cultures, Butterfly pea is used to treat eye ailments
Contains pigments that allow it to naturally color foods and beverages
When combined with an acidic ingredient such as lemon (which changes the pH of water), the tea color will shift from blue to violet
Used in devotional ceremonies to represent protection, love, and peace
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.
About the author: Carol Jamault is a Certified Health and Life Coach (CHC), Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), and Yoga Instructor (RYT-200) with extensive training in Ayurveda and Herbalism. She focuses on supporting her clients with stress management tools and self-care routines through an integrative approach to wellness. She guides those in a quest for personal growth and better health, by providing curated information and teaching a therapeutic lifestyle that naturally allows to restore balance, improving wellness and fostering longevity. Carol has been studying alternative healing, ethnobotany, circadian medicine, Ayurveda and herbalism since 2001. She is the founder of Hridayam Bodywork & Apothecary and partners with corporations and wellness studios to provide therapeutic bodywork, private coaching, workshops, and lectures.