Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Facts, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Butterfly Pea Flower TeaButterfly Pea Flower Tea

Drinking tea is a tradition in many cultures. In addition, who doesn’t enjoy drinking tea on a cold day or after a busy day. There are so many types of tea to choose from, the most popular ones being green, black, oolong, ginger, white, rooibos, and herbal. 

If you are new to tea drinking, you may not be familiar with unique tea varieties like butterfly pea flower tea. That said, once you familiarize yourself with it, you will likely not forget it because of its mesmerizing change of color.


Butterfly pea flower tea can change from its deep blue color when you add water to a rich violet color if you add lemon. As a result, it has also been dubbed blue tea. In this article, we dig deep to understand better where and how this tea is made, its nutrients, benefits and side effects. Take a look.

What is Butterfly Flower Tea?

It is made from the perennial leguminous herb Clitoria ternatea, or as it is best-known as the butterfly pea (2). This perennial herbaceous plant belongs to the Fabaceae family. It has long been cultivated as a forage and fodder crop.

That said, it has attracted significant interest over the years after researchers have discovered its agricultural and medical applications. Butterfly pea products can be used in food colors, cosmetics, traditional medicine, or eco-friendly insecticide (2). Over time, the butterfly pea has gained use as tea and in cocktails. 

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Nutrients

Unlike most tea varieties, butterfly pea flower tea caffeine content is zero. This makes it an excellent drink of choice if you are looking for a tea variety without caffeine. This tea is loaded with antioxidants such as kaempferol and p-Coumaric acid (5). It also contains vitamins E, A, and C. butterfly pea flower teabutterfly pea flower tea

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Health Benefits

Some people drink this tea out of curiosity for the color change. On the other hand, others consume it due to its rich flavors. Perhaps such people are unfamiliar with its extensive list of health benefits. Drinking blue tea has been linked to several health benefits. Some of the blue butterfly pea flower tea health benefits include: 

Read More: White Peony Tea Facts, Health Benefits And Side Effects

Packed with Antioxidants

Drinking this tea floods your body with antioxidants or, as they are also known, free-radical scavengers. These substances are best known for fighting free radicals in your body, hence the name free-radical scavengers. However, they also play other significant roles in your body, including (5):

  • Reducing Disease Risk

Antioxidants are also known as free-radical scavengers because they prevent damage to your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced by your body in response to environment or other pressures (5).

If your body cannot remove these substances, you experience oxidative stress. According to Medical News Today, oxidative stress increases your risk for cancer, stroke, respiratory diseases, heart disease, Parkinson’s diseases, arthritis and immune deficiency (5). It is also responsible for emphysema and other ischemic and inflammatory diseases (5).

butterfly pea flower teabutterfly pea flower tea

  • Reducing Inflammation

Antioxidants also help in reducing inflammation. Inflammation is sometimes a comprehensive response to a foreign organism in your body (6). This response is divided into chronic and acute depending on the inflammatory process and cellular mechanism (6).

Recent studies acknowledge that inflammation is a significant factor in the progression of several chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, and many more (6). Again, researchers reveal that free radicals from various biological processes further cause various inflammatory associated infections (6).

Since antioxidants help fight these free radicals, it is possible to reduce inflammation. Drinking butterfly flower pea tea can help ease inflammation. 

  • Improving Mental Health

Free radicals attack the hippocampus part of your brain. The hippocampus has a significant role in learning and memory. This means when the free radicals attack this area, they disrupt these functions. Drinking butterfly pea flower tea can help improve brain function and mental health by preventing such problems.

Similarly, this tea can also boost mental health because it enhances your mood, calms, and soothes you. It might explain why people drink this tea after a long, rough and strenuous day.

blue butterfly pea flower tea health benefitsblue butterfly pea flower tea health benefitsMay Reduce Risk of Several Health Conditions

Drinking purple butterfly pea flower tea can also help reduce your risk of various conditions because of its vitamin E content. According to Medical News Today, vitamin E is associated with reduced risk of (7):

  • Coronary Heart Disease. Experts reveal that vitamin E inhibits the formation of LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and prevents the formation of blood clots. These are among the risk factors of coronary heart disease.
  • Eye Disorders. This vitamin helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and other eye disorders.
  • Cancer. Medical News Today also reveals that vitamin E has antioxidants and immune-modulating properties that help prevent cancer (7).
  • Chronic Conditions. Drinking this tea can also reduce the risk of chronic conditions due to vitamin E content. Experts reveal that this vitamin prevents or delays the onset of chronic conditions that are linked to reactive oxygen species molecules (7).
  • Inflammation. Vitamin E also prevents inflammation and supports immune function.

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May Help Promote Weight Loss

Of course, many people are curious to know if butterfly pea flower tea can promote weight loss. Unfortunately butterfly pea flower tea may not be your to-go-to tea if you want to shed pounds.

For one, it has no caffeine. Although it may seem like a good thing, it may also be disadvantageous because caffeine means an extra energy boost. When your energy levels are high, you are active and burn calories.

Secondly, there is no sufficient evidence to back up the running theory that drinking this tea can promote weight loss. Although some studies reveal that the tea contains ternatins that promote fat loss, more research is needed to determine its impact (1). 

purple butterfly pea flower teapurple butterfly pea flower tea

May Help Manage Diabetes

Early studies also reveal that the herb Clitoria ternatea from which butterfly pea flower tea comes has anti-diabetic properties (4). To determine if this tea can help manage diabetes, researchers conducted an animal study in 2015 to assess the effect of this tea on blood sugar levels.

The study findings revealed that the rats administered butterfly pea flower tea had a significant drop in their blood sugar levels (4). Drawing from these findings, the researchers concluded the tea could help manage diabetes in humans by stabilizing or reducing blood sugar levels. 

Remember that no human study has been conducted to back up this animal study. Again, you do not know the effect of long-term drinking butterfly pea flower tea on your blood sugar levels. So, seek consultation first.

Improves Skin and Hair Health

Drinking butterfly pea flower tea can also improve hair and skin health, so it is not surprising that it is used to make cosmetic products. Experts reveal that Clitoria ternatea L., better known as butterfly pea, has ernatin anthocyanins, A1-A3, B1-B4, C1 C4 and D1-D3 that boost skin and hair health (3).

Additionally, they also reveal that tea contains antioxidants and the phenolic compounds quercetin and kaempferol derivatives that promote hair and skin health (3).  

May Reduce Depression

Drinking butterfly pea flower tea has also been found to have antistress and antidepressant properties that can help reduce depression (3). It is an excellent mood-enhancing tea to consume to soothe, calm your mood, and alleviate stress and depressive feelings (3). Before you drink this tea for stress relief or treat depression, be sure to get professional help first.

Read More: Pomegranate White Tea Facts, Health Benefits And Side Effects

butterfly pea flower teabutterfly pea flower tea

Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Side Effects

There are some drawbacks to consuming too much butterfly pea flower tea. First, if you do not drink this tea in moderation, you may experience nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Although research is still lacking to second these side effects, it would be best if you generally consumed it in moderation.

Likewise, because of the lack of sufficient research on this tea, it is hard to tell who can and cannot consume it (3).  

Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or have underlying medical conditions. Some conditions may interact with this tea causing adverse effects. Similarly, let your doctor know if you are also taking supplements or other herbal products.  

The Bottom Line

Butterfly pea flower tea is made from the leguminous herb Clitoria ternatea. It is simply made by adding a handful of these flowers to hot water. If you add lemon or any citrus ingredient like lime juice, the tea turns blue, giving it the name blue tea.

The tea has no caffeine but is packed with antioxidants that reduce disease risk. Drinking blue tea can also improve hair and skin health, manage diabetes, reduce depression, and promote weight loss. However, drinking too much can result in nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea. With this in mind, talk to your doctor before adding this tea to your diet plan.


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