The Extensionist’s Lense: The Healing Wonders of the Blue Flower

Blue Ternate! Good for the Brain

During the Health and Wellness training at Remnant Institute of Alternative Medicine (RIAM)- Ilo-ilo City, I was amused and attracted to one of their beverage servings in one of the grub we had. It is colored blue and tastes good and mouth-watering. According to the RIAM staff that catered us, it was a shake from blue pigmented flowers which are hanging on the backyard. I thought at first that it was just a houseplant or an ornamental plant with its aesthetic appearance, but it serves a dual purpose. This flower has the power to heal, and offers beneficial enzymes needed by the body that other plants cannot provide.

It is the Clitoria ternatea or Butterfly Pea flower, a twining evergreen perennial herb with compound leaves. The stems are pubescent and spindly. The flowers are in various shades of blue or pure white. The fruits are pods resembling thin peas. The plants belong to the family Fabaceae. The roots, seeds and flowers have medicinal value and are used to treat various ailments (Gomez and Kalamani, 2003).

Recent studies found significant levels of some non-enzymic antioxidants namely ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione and total carotenoids in the leaves and flowers of two varieties of Clitoria ternatea, one bearing blue flowers and the other bearing white flowers.

According to the staff that I have interrogated, there are various benefits that can be extracted from this flower. It is a natural anti-oxidant, improves blood circulation, and helps prevent hair loss and graying hair. It also cleanses blood, & improves night vision, revitalizes skin and hair.  This was confirmed by Doctor Mischelle Palma when she claimed that dark colored plants are rich in anti-oxidants.

Recipe: Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria ternatea) Tea

You will need 10 dried flowers per cup of tea. Scald the dried flowers with boiling water to clean them. Drain the flowers through a sieve and pour the liquid away. Then scald the flowers again with boiling water and let them infuse about 5 – 10 minutes. Drain again through a sieve and serve the flower tea hot or chilled, sweeten with sugar or honey. You may add the flowers to other fruit- or herbal tea mixes as well. Alternatively add the infusion to fruit juice or cocktails. Tea from Butterfly Pea Flowers (Clitoria ternatea) operates draining and supports the eyesight. The flowers containing the powerful antioxidant blue proanthocyanidin. The butterfly flower tea tastes a bit like black tea, but the taste is quite slight.

Recipe: Butterfly Pea Flower (Clitoria ternatea) Shake

For this recipe, you need fresh butterfly Pea flowers at least 7-10 flowers for one serving. Wash it thoroughly with clean water. Put it on a blender and add your preference amount of sugar or honey to sweeten it. Pour a cup or two of water and liquidize it. You can add calamansi juice to enhance the taste. Chill and serve.