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Butterfly Pea Flower

butterfly pea flower clitoria ternatea herbal cocktail herbal dye herbal mocktail

If you haven't had a chance to check out our June newsletter, you may have missed our spotlight on Butterfly Pea Flower.  Here is some great info and yummy recipes to help you get to know this magical plant!  If you like, you can read the full newsletter here.

Butterfly Pea Flower:
Magical & Medicinal Color-Changer!

Watching this special flower change colors as it's made into tea and other yummy beverages really taps a primal joy within us! Traditionally it has been used as a welcoming beverage called Nam Doc Anchan in Thailand and has a long history of medicinal use in Ayurvedic practice. The breathtaking Clitoria ternatea a.k.a. Butterfly Pea Flower is native to Southeast Asia but is now grown widely across the world.

This evergreen perennial is a member of the Pea family (naturally).  The almost viney shrubs grow quickly and prodigiously.  They love warmth, full sunlight, and regular watering but can still thrive in less-than-ideal conditions!  Make sure to plant in rich, somewhat sandy soil and to prune your Butterfly Pea regularly.  It may be a bit too cold here on the North Coast to grow your own, but if you have a green house, you could give it a shot!
As a tea, Butterfly Pea Flower has been described as somewhat earthy & woody...much like green tea!  Our Thai variety here at Moonrise has a fresh "green" taste to it as well!  Medicinally, this pea vine has been used many ailments and it acts on many systems of the body.  The extracts have been shown to have mild sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, muscle relaxing and a multitude of other beneficial effects.  It has been shown to be high in anti-oxidants and thus could be quite helpful for cardiovascular health as well.
It is generally reported as safe but pregnant folks should avoid as it contains flavanoids know to cause uterine contractions.

Check out a few of our favorite recipes below!



Herbal Recipes with Butterfly Pea Flower

Simply Sapphire Sun Tea

4 Tablespoons Butterfly Pea flower
32oz filtered water
a glass quart jar with lid


1. Combine your Butterfly Pea flower and water in your jar and close lid. Place in the sun until colors deepens as desired.

Colorspell Magical Lemonade

1/2 cup Butterfly Pea flower
5 cups filtered water
1 cup (or to taste) Sugar
1 cup lemon juice

1. Combine 3 cups of the filtered water with sugar and Butterfly Pea flowers.  Bring to simmer and remove from heat.  Cover & let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain out flowers & set aside to cool.  You have effectively made a Butterfly Pea Simple Syrup.
2. Combine lemon juice and remaining 2 cups of water.
3.  The magic is in the serving!  Fill glasses with ice (if desired) and pour in butterfly pea syrup about halfway or as desired. Pour your lemon mixture over the top and watch the spectacular color change! Stir liquids to mix and enjoy! 

Mood Magic Mule (Cocktail or Mocktail)

1/2 cup Butterfly pea infused vodka or Butterfly Pea infusion for mocktails
1/2 cup Pineapple juice
1 cup Ginger beer
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

*Optional: Garnish with pineapple, lemon or lime wedges.

Although mules usually go in a copper mug, you don't want to miss the color change!  Pour vodka or butterfly pea infusion into clear mug or glass with desired amount of ice. Pour in your pineapple juice, ginger beer & lime and gently stir


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