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Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Thrills The Eye and Dazzles The Tastebuds — and It’s Healthy!

Packed with powerful antioxidants, this tea is good for your heart, skin and brain

When we think of tea the colors black and green may come to mind — but what about purple? Meet butterfly pea flower tea. It’s vibrant bluish purple hue makes it an instant standout, but you’ll be more surprised that the taste resembles that of your favorite herbal tea. Need more convincing that this tea is worth trying? Well, it turns out that science links butterfly pea flower tea with helping to boost memory, promote healthy skin and ease stress. Plus, you can turn this tea into a medley of hot or cold drinks to enjoy any time of the year. Here’s the scoop on the flavor and benefits of butterfly pea flower tea along with tips for steeping it at home.

Where butterfly pea flower tea comes from

This variety of tea comes from a deep blue flower native to South East Asia called, you guessed it, the butterfly pea. The plant is a perennial climbing vine that produces pods filled with edible peas. The petals from its flowers are dried and then left whole or crushed into a powder before it’s steeped for tea.

What does butterfly pea flower tea taste like?

Despite its striking purple appearance, butterfly pea flower tea doesn’t taste drastically different from other varieties of herbal tea. In fact, registered dietitian nutritionist Janet Helm, MS, RDN, describes this tea’s flavor as “a bit earthy and woody, similar to green tea (although it’s milder than matcha).”

3 health benefits of sipping butterfly pea tea

For centuries, butterfly pea flower tea has been used in Ayurvedic (an ancient medical system native to India) and traditional Chinese medicine remedies as a soothing drink for the mind, body and soul. Below, you can find three key health benefits of this caffeine-free tea that are backed by modern research.

1. It helps protect against chronic diseases

Butterfly pea flowers are packed with antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids, according to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Healthline reports that polyphenols have a wide range of health benefits. As an antioxidant, they can neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that may lead to issues like heart disease, blood clots and digestion problems.

2. It helps boost skin health

Flavonoids, found in butterfly pea tea, are particularly known for their skin-boosting benefits. The skincare experts at Native Essentials rave about how flavonoids promote healthy skin aging by reducing redness, calming stress and soothing inflammation. They note you can use a powdered version of butterfly pea tea in a DIY beauty mask. But, it’s also easy to get those all of those amazing anti-aging perks simply by drinking this tea!

3. It helps slow cognitive decline

Butterfly pea tea can also protect our brain health as we age. A 2015 review of studies published in the Journal of Natural Remedies found that it contains alkaloid, taraxerol and anthocyanin. These active chemicals work to help ease stress and boost your memory.

How to brew butterfly pea flower tea

To make steeped butterfly pea flower tea at home, buy it as loose petals (Buy from Walmart, $9.99) or in tea bag form (Buy from Walmart, $12.99). Then follow these tips from John Richard, tea expert at All About Tea, to brew this tea correctly.

  1. Water temperature: To preserve the tea’s vibrant blue color, steep it in hot water that is around 195°F. Avoid boiling water as it may result in a duller color. 
  2. Steep time: Place one tea bag in a mug or 1 tsp. of loose petals in a tea pot. Steep in 1 cup of hot water for 3 to 5 minutes to fully extract its beneficial compounds. Adjust the steeping time based on personal preference for flavor intensity. 
  3. Enhance the color: If you want to transform the tea’s color to a deeper purple hue, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice to change the pH. 

3 ways to upgrade steeped butterfly pea flower tea

For a flavor twist on butterfly pea flower tea, try these three ideas from Richard.

  1. Butterfly pea lemonade: Brew butterfly pea tea as usual and let it cool. Mix the cooled tea with freshly squeezed lemon juice, a touch of honey or your preferred sweetener and ice cubes for a refreshing lemonade.
  2. Blue herbal infusion: Combine butterfly pea tea with other herbal teas like chamomile or lavender for a calming and aromatic blend. You can mix ½ tsp. of loose petal butterfly pea tea with ½ tsp. of another tea variety for each cup, or adjust the ratios based on your flavor preferences. 
  3. Butterfly pea latte: Steep the tea in hot milk instead of water, add a hint of vanilla extract and sweeten to taste. Sip this soothing and visually appealing tea latte. 

Looking to add more delicious and nutritious teas to your pantry? Check out the stories below:

Study: This Tea is So Good at Easing Stress, Just Smelling It Works Better Than Meds

Sipping This Herbal Tea Can Help Lower Blood Pressure, Balance Gut Health, and Ward Off Dementia

Tired of Regular Green Tea? Try Hojicha, its Less-Caffeinated Cousin

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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