Tea with Benefits: libido in a cup?

Butterfly_Pea_TeaBlue just became the new black when it comes to tea. Every evening during my recent retreat, I drank this incredible blue tea after dinner. I would swirl the dried flowers in my hot cup of water, creating a sea of deep, vivid blue. I figured something that rich in color had to be healthy for me, but I didn’t have a clue what I was drinking. All I knew was that I had two valid reasons why I should continue drinking it:

  1. Everyone who was drinking it was still alive.
  2. It was pretty.

Although my deductive reasoning was fairly sound, I did a little research upon arriving back in Chiang Mai. It turns out that Butterfly Pea Tea comes from a plant called clitoria ternatea. And now that I have all of the lady’s attention…

Not only does this flower visually resemble the female reproductive organ that the name is associated with, but it also is believed to be an aphrodisiac. However, before you either become a complete skeptic or get excited (no pun intended) to go test it out, please keep reading. There are a few other health claims that are worth the next minute of your time, apart from whether this exciting claim of improved libido is true or not.

Within the realm of Ayurvedic and natural medicine, Butterfly Pea Tea is claimed to:

  • Detoxify the body (contains the antioxidant anthocyanin also found in blueberries and purple grapes)
  • Be a natural antidepressant
  • Improve cognitive function, memory, and motivation
  • Lessen stress
  • Contain sedative properties
  • Improve healthy hair growth and hair root
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Slow the aging process
  • Improve skin
  • Improve eye sight and treat infections
  • Help with urinary problems
  • Balance hormones
  • Stimulate metabolism and improve weight

blue food.jpgSo…sign me up. Not only do Butterfly Pea Flowers make an aesthetically appealing beverage, but one with many added benefits.

In addition to tea, you can also use it as blue food coloring in baking or cooking. If you add some lemon juice, it turns purple. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll be excited (again, no pun intended) to test it out in some new recipes when I return to LA. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy it as a beverage and embrace whatever lovely side effects it gives me.

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