When we think of tea the colors black and green may come to mind — but what about blue? It’s not what you’re used to, but something you may want to keep an eye out for. Butterfly pea tea has an eye-catching, vibrant blue hue — which is certainly a conversation starter — but you’ll be more impressed with its ability to boost memory, promote healthy skin, and ease stress.
This variety of tea comes from a deep blue plant native to South East Asia called, you guessed it, the butterfly pea. According to the US News and World Report, the flavor is “a bit earthy and woody, similar to green tea (although it’s milder than matcha).” It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine remedies for things like improving memory, mood, and the immune system.
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.
The same is true about flavonoids, which are a type of polyphenol 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 mention how versatile butterfly pea flowers are for adding to any skincare routine, like using the powdered version (Buy on Amazon, $14.99) in a DIY beauty mask or buying a hydrating facial mist like Teami Face Mist Spray Toner (Buy on Amazon, $27.99) that has it listed as one of the ingredients. But it’s also easy to get those all of those amazing anti-aging perks simply by drinking this tea!
Butterfly 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 can work to help ease stress and boost your memory — making it a relaxing and healthy part of your routine.
To make it at home, simply add one small pouch of butterfly pea tea (Buy on Amazon, $12.99) to a mug of hot water and let it steep for about five minutes. As it’s brewing, the color-changing effect adds a fun flare that makes it stand out from other types of tea. Watch as it goes from from light blue to dark purple in Bon Appétit’s video below:
Once it’s finished steeping, you can drink it while it’s still warm with a dash of honey and a squeeze of lemon. You can also chill the tea and pour it into a glass along with some ice cubes for a refreshing drink to enjoy in the sun.
This variety of tea is definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a vibrant, delicious, and healthy drink!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.
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