The Magic of Blue Butterfly Pea Flower
- Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. Today we're gonna be talking about an herb not many people know about. It's an amazing herb coming from Southeast Asia most commonly found in Thailand. It's Latin name is Clitoria ternatea and it's called that because it has a very similar appearance to certain elements of the lady garden. But its more traditional name is blue butterfly pea flower. And this is an amazing plant.
It was traditionally used in Southeast Asia and also incorporated in Ayurvedic medicine as well and Ayurveda regards it as a sacred healing plant and there's a lot of mysticism surrounding it. And so we'll start with the mysticism and then we'll progress kind of into the modern knowledge of it. So traditionally this was, as I said, considered a sacred healing plant and it was intended to symbolize the perfect attachment to the divine. It was as almost like a godlike plant the way they revered it. And it was frequently grown in temples and was used in Hindu rituals as a part of the worship of the goddess Durga and the Lord Shiva. It's got this amazing blue color to it that is so rare to find intense blues like this in nature. There's very few things with that kind of color. And this color blue was known as Krishna light and it was said that this plant was created under Krishna consciousness and even today throughout Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand, you find it grown in people's homes because they say it gives the home an aura of invincibility. Pretty amazing stuff.
Now in terms of how it grows as I mentioned, it grows through Southeast Asia. It's a flower that grows on a vine. It's vibrant and incredibly blue flower. And we hear a lot these days about soil being depleted by all our modern agriculture. And there, of course, that's a huge issue. In theory, we wanna practice something along the lines of a regenerative agriculture that leaves the soil better than we found it. And blue butterfly pea flower actually works in this way pretty significantly because it is a nitrogen fixer. So it puts more nitrogen back into the soil really leaving it better than it was before the blue butterfly pea flower came along. And it's a very robust plant that grows easily in the wild.
It's not something that's been heavily domesticated and can't grow without lots of help and protection from man and it can grow perfectly fine without any synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. So it's really good just on its own. It doesn't need much help. It's really robust and full of vitality and can fight off pests and things like that on its own. And what it's gonna do for our human bodies? So these blue pigments that you see in there are antioxidants called proanthocyanidin and anthocyanin. Anthocyanin you may be familiar with. You also see in things like blueberries, but blue payments generally are not found in that many foods in nature. Things like the yellows and the reds and the oranges you see and obviously green, you see so much more often. Blue is pretty rare and these antioxidants are part of what makes this a great beauty food because they're stimulating synthesis of collagen and elastin.
So for the quality of skin health are amazing, but that's not all. Blue butterfly pea flower has actually been shown in in vitro research to inhibit glycation which is the main metabolic process that leads to aging and wrinkling of the skin. It's where when we have a glucose-based metabolism and this glucose causes the proteins to become sticky and it results in the skin cells becoming actually stiff and kind of brittle over time and so you get wrinkling and stuff like that. Blue butterfly pea flower inhibits this process which is pretty amazing and then it's also traditionally an Ayurveda was regarded as a brain tonic and it's always interesting to look at how something was used and regarded traditionally compared to what now that science is looking at these natural plant medicines more.
What is supported by the modern science and indeed when we look at the modern scientific research on this, you find that it stimulates acetylcholine production. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that declines as we age. And so what is acetylcholine doing? Well, it's involved in a lot of functions. Some, for example, are muscle movement, sensation of pain, learning, and memory formation. It has involvements in the regulation of the endocrine system, which is dealing with your hormone balance and also in REM, rapid eye movement sleep cycles, which are so important for many aspects of both physical and cognitive mental health. So on the brain side of things, it's pretty amazing.
And it also has these phenolic compounds in there that have antioxidant properties that support liver health. It's also anti-microbial and it has properties to it that may turn out to be very beneficial for folks with diabetes and blood sugar imbalances because it reduces postprandial glucose levels. That means when you eat something that's gonna be raising your blood sugar if you're taking Clitoria ternatea, blue butterfly, it's not gonna rise as much. So it's keeping you at a more of an equilibrium when it comes to balancing your blood sugar.
Now there's a lot of ways that you can take blue butterfly and bring it into your diet. In Southeast Asia, it's used in a wide variety of applications. You see it being used in tea or cold water infusion. You'll see making all kinds of different drinks with it. People make rice with it. So it's like this vibrant blue rice. Now it's become kind of a favorite thing amongst bartenders to use, even in the mainstream world because it has this interesting property to it that it's incredibly blue but if you add a little bit of citrus to it, like lemon or lime, it instantly turns purple. And so they love that as kind of a little trick to be able to show people and impress people with. So there's lots you can do with it and it has a very subtle flavor. It's almost like a very mild green tea type flavor. So you can add it to almost anything to get all these benefits and to get this incredible blue color without changing the flavor.
Many of these herbs that we work with are amazing but you have to be really strategic about how you use them to combine the flavors properly to deal with some of the bitters and the sours and things like that. But with blue butterfly, you don't have to worry about flavor combination so much. Some people put it in smoothies, put it in their oatmeal. We've got a recipe on how to make it into an ice cream.
Now, traditionally it was often done that they would take the actual flowers, sun dry them, and infuse them. And that's certainly one way to do it. And the most common way you see this today. Like sometimes you can buy like the whole flowers in a form that's either sun-dried or oven-dried. Now it's an interesting way to take it, but it's slightly suboptimal. When you're sun drying you're only able to get the moisture levels down to about 10% moisture. And this is still kind of high. So you run the risk of having contamination with things like yeast and mold and microbial contamination. So it may not be as pure as you would want it to be. And also when things are left drying out in the sun it's not a super controlled environment unless it's very protected. It could be a car exhaust getting onto it could be things just flying through the air. It's like it's not as protected as one would ideally like. Another way it's done in the modern world is that it's oven-dried.
Problem with that is you're heating it up to such high temperatures that you could be damaging a lot of these very heat-sensitive compounds that we find in here. So ideally you don't want it to get too hot. You can use it in hot food preparations but you wanna have the option of keeping it in a raw state if you really wanna extract some maximum level of benefits out of it. So the way ours is processed is in a pretty special way.
First, it goes through a treatment of aqueous ozone and this is to kill any microbes that might be left on the flowers and this is interesting because lots of things that one would do to kill off microbes say would have a detrimental effect on the integrity or the nutrition of whatever the base compound is, but here it appears to be the opposite. This is something that definitely needs more research done on it to understand more, but so far it appears that you're not damaging any healthy ingredients, and what's actually happening is it's enhancing the antioxidant potential. That's something that it's gonna be exciting to see how the research expands in future years but I'm very optimistic in that department.
And so once it goes through that process, then it goes through freeze-drying. And in freeze-drying, you're able to get down to 3% moisture content. Much lower than the 10% that you would get with sun drying. So you've already gotten ready rid of the microbes through the ozone treatment and then you brought it down so low in terms of moisture that you don't have to worry about anything new coming in. So this gives it great protection as well as great shelf life. And this is drying it without exposing it to heat. So you're maintaining the integrity of a lot of these sensitive compounds. Now some people will freeze-dry it and that's done well, but then they will mechanically grind it into a powder and that creates a lot of friction. With friction comes heat, with heat comes potential damage as we were talking about. So the way that ours is done is it's made when it's freeze-dried simultaneously they have it fly around inside of a chamber in like a vortex and as it's doing this, it's freeze drying and it makes it into a powder while preserving the cellular integrity. So if you look at it under a microscope it's not totally broken down in the way that you would find with something that has been mechanically ground down.
So it's really the ultimate way. You get it in a fairly fine powder and you can consume the whole thing. It's not just an extraction to water like you would get with a tea or cold water extraction. You get everything that's in there and you're preserving the optimal cellular integrity. So you're gonna get absolutely the most of it. So this is an incredible thing.
And again, I just love how many different ways you can apply it and incorporate it because of that very gentle flavor. So often it's always a little bit of a challenge, a fun challenge, but challenge nonetheless to figure out how we're gonna incorporate some of these different herbs and make them taste amazing. With blue butterfly flower, it's so easy and has so many benefits for so many of areas of your health from beauty and anti-aging, blood sugar, stress, brain performance. It's just fantastic.
So I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't already. If you have tried it, leave us a comment. I'm curious to know what your experience has been like and if you do end up ordering it and give it a try for the first time you got to keep us posted. I'm curious to hear how you like it. Thanks so much for joining us today guys. I hope to see you again soon and have a wonderful day.