Was your childhood filled with mood friendship rings and litmus test strips in science class? You might not know the relation between that and the blue pea flower, but you’re about to find out!

Bunga telang, or the Blue Pea Flower is the vibrant violet flower you might have seen sprinkled along the streets and bushes or even in your mother’s kitchen! As a child in the kampong you might have stained your hands and clothes with it crushed in your palms- besides being up to no good with your friends, tasting the nectar of the ixora flower, among other things (your secret’s safe with us ;))

In other parts of its native land in Southeast Asia, the Blue Pea Flower is known as Butterfly-Pea Flower, Aprajita, Cordofan Pea, Blue Tea Flowers and Asian Pigeonwings. It thrives in grassland, open woodland, bush, riverine vegetations.

We know it’s responsible for the colour of our all-time favourite Nasi Kerabu, and in Thailand, nam dok anchan is a refreshing lemongrass drink dyed by the blue-pea flower that locals crave on a hot sweaty day. In other parts of the world, blue-pea flower tea is adored for its soothing benefits. But just how far do the benefits go? Does this flower just dye food and drinks and occasionally makes drinkers feel good?

Well, we’ve done our research and it turns out, there is MORE to this gorgeous delicate shrub than we imagined!

Ready to explore its wide-range of benefits and perks? Get ready because it’s quite the impressive list.

For a start, remember the mood rings and the science experiments? Well, the colour of this blue-pea flower extract changes when its pH level changes! Think of it as a nature’s mood changing accessory or pH indicator (litmus test strip who?!)

 

 

With a little acid, the blue colour of the flower changes to purple, and it turns a bright hot pink as the acidity increases. You can try this at home and see for yourself! Boil a big batch of these fresh flowers and mix the resulting extract with different amounts of lemon juice. The results make a good, natural food colouring too as they are tasteless!

Next, the health benefits sound too good to be true. But science continues to prove that nature is the best doctor. The blue-pea flower has been found to enhance memory, reduce anxiety (anxiolytic), is an antidepressant, a tranquilizer and a type of sedative agent! It’s also found to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic (fever-reducing), analgesic (pain-relieving), diuretic (increases urine), local anesthetic (numbing), antidiabetic, insecticidal (insect-killing and repelling), blood platelet aggregation-inhibiting and has muscle relaxing properties. 1 Whoa!

Looks like our little friend here is a powerhouse! Additionally, it contains some potent antioxidants too that will protect your skin by slowing down aging and giving the skin a youthful appearance.

 

 

 

But. That. Is. Not. It!

It also boosts collagen production in your body by virtue of it being an anthocyanin3– any water-soluble compound present in natural blue, red and purple pigments. Collagen is an important part of your body’s healing process.

That’s a three-tiered superb news for you ladies! An affordable, almost-free and easily-accessible skin supplement! What more can you ask for!

If you’re not feeling like Dora the Explorer anytime soon, we have good news for you. What if we told you that you can reap the benefits of this caffeine-free drink right in the comfort of your own home OR in a nice café in the city. Whichever your vibe, you can get this revitalising zingy drink infused with Blue-Pea Flower, lemon and crunchy ice here at Ahh-Yum.

 

 

After hearing all the magical benefits of the blue-pea flower, how can you not try it out? *BRB, ordering blue pea flower & lemon soda satu!

 

Sources:

1 Mukherjee, P.K. (2008). The Ayurvedic medicine Clitoria ternatea—From traditional use to scientific assessment. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 120 (3), 291-301. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2008.09.009

2 Source: livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html

3Bone, K. & Mills, S. (2013). Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy (Second Edition). Modern Herbal Medicine. 353-961. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-443-06992-5.00010-4