Bunga Telang Flower / Dried Butterfly Pea flowers
(You can also get the Blue Butterfly Pea POWDER)
The butterfly pea flower is also called Bunga Telang in Malaysian or Indonesian; it means clear vision, or is known by its scientific name Clitoria ternatea.
You can find this plant easily in Malaysia. It can grow the whole year round in warmer temperature. Outside my parents’ home, my mum has the plant growing all over her fence, and sometimes it attracts people from the neighbourhood to stop by and “uninvitingly pluck” the flowers.
We use this flower for its blue colouring by extracting the natural colouring from the flower for the various Nonya kuihs, such as pulut Inti, pulut tatai and Nonya Chang, or even for our everyday rice.
How to extract the colouring from the flower?
There are a few ways to do it.
If you use the fresh flowers, once you remove them from the plant, remove the calyx (the green part of the flower). According to my mum, that part of the flower has no blue dye and so it may “disrupt” or counteract with the proper blue colouring from the flower. (more research on this).
So all you have to do is soak (not boil) the flowers in a cup of boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes for the blue dye to seep through the flower and into the water.
If you do not need the flowers immediately, you can dry the flowers and keep them in the refrigerator. To dry – you first place the fresh flowers under the sun until completely dry. Once they are dried, you can keep them in the fridge for a long time.
So to extract the colour from the dried flowers, some people say you boil the flowers until they start releasing the blue colour. However, you can also pour hot boiling water onto the flowers instead of boiling. Give it a go and see which method suits you.
Butterfly Pea flower is noted for its bright blue edible flowers. Aside from its many culinary uses, the blue butterfly pea vine has been used in Ayurveda as well as traditional Asian and Middle Eastern medicine. Its health benefits are increasingly supported by modern science.
The key ingredient in this tea is the Butterfly Pea flower or scientific name is Clitoria Ternatea is native to South East Asia. This ingredient has beneficial anthocyanins – provides the blue colour and has a variety of health benefits such as :
Loaded with antioxidants – that helps boost circulation and collagen production and prevent premature ageing.
It’s been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a memory enhancer, a stress alleviator, to lift the mood, and it is believed to balance blood sugar levels.
Strengthens the hair for healthy hair growth/prevent hair loss & greying
Possesses anti cancer properties.
Keeps skin glowing & healthy
Treats urinary problems.
Improves eyesight & night vision
Treats eye infections
Detoxifies the whole body
Enhances immune system
Scientific Support & Reference Citations
1. PIALA JJ, MADISSOO H, RUBIN B Diuretic activity of roots of Clitoria ternatea L. in dogs . Experientia. (1962)
2. El-Halawany AM, et al Screening for estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of plants growing in Egypt and Thailand .Pharmacognosy Res. (2011)
3. Ramanathan M, Balaji B, Justin A Behavioural and neurochemical evaluation of Perment an herbal formulation in chronic unpredictable mild stress induced depressive model . Indian J Exp Biol. (2011)
4. Taur DJ, Patil RY Evaluation of antiasthmatic activity of Clitoria ternatea L. roots . J Ethnopharmacol. (2011)
5. Kamkaen N, Wilkinson JM The antioxidant activity of Clitoria ternatea flower petal extracts and eye gel . Phytother Res. (2009)
6. Malik J, Karan M, Vasisht K Nootropic, anxiolytic and CNS-depressant studies on different plant sources of shankhpushpi .Pharm Biol. (2011)
7. Swain SS, Rout KK, Chand PK Production of Triterpenoid Anti-cancer Compound Taraxerol in Agrobacterium-Transformed Root Cultures of Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ter-natea L.) . Appl Biochem Biotechnol. (2012)
8. Kazuma K, Noda N, Suzuki M Malonylated flavonol glycosides from the petals of Clitoria ternatea . Phytochemistry. (2003)
9. Adisakwattana S, et al In vitro inhibitory effects of plant-based foods and their com-binations on intestinal glucosidase and pancreatic amylase . BMC Complement Al-tern Med. (2012) 10.
10. Terahara N, et al Five new anthocyanins, ternatins A3, B4, B3, B2, and D2, from Cli-toria ternatea flowers . J Nat Prod. (1996)
Picture Source @ MyBlueTea