Better late than never, so here's a blog post on Tuesday about the plant ally I went live with on Instagram yesterday, Blue Butterfly Pea Flower, Clitoria Ternatea. Also known as Asian pigeon wings, this plant is native to South East Asia and India. Its in the Fabaceae, otherwise known as the Pea family. The parts used are the flowers and young seed pods, before they fully develop the seeds and become too fibrous. The leaves of this plant could be used for chop and drop, a permaculture term referring to a process of building soil.
This plant is a nitrogen fixing plant, as most Fabaceae plants are, which means its taking Nitrogen out of the atmosphere and making it bio-available to the plants around it. If you were to cut back the leaves of this plant and use them to cover the soil as green fertilizer, they would add Nitrogen and other nutrients to your soil. It's a vining perennial plant that loves full sun!
Most flowering plants that you grow for the flowers will want 6-8 hours of sunlight. This plant grows beautifully on a trellis or I personally have it growing up three bamboo stakes all tied together at the top.
The energetics of this plant are cooling and neutral, meaning it's not drying or moistening. In traditional cultures, it is used to make purple rice, blue infusions with citrus, and sweet desserts, infusing the flowers in coconut milk.
This plant is a panacea of healing. The doctrine of signatures of this plant is letting us know a bit about what it's good for. The blue color indicates the third eye and how supportive of the pituitary gland this flower is. A powerful nootropic, I love to blend it with Tulsi, Sage or Rosemary to help stimulate cerebral circulation. It's also a powerful memory enhancer.
The doctrine of signatures is also alluding to another powerful way this plant helps the body, by assisting the reproductive system. Traditionally this plant was seen as a female aphrodisiac. It can help aid a wide array of menstrual issues.
It's a very calming, stress reducing plant ally. I love blending it with Tulsi and Ashwagandha for this purpose, like I did with Sweet Clarity Elixir. It's also a powerful anti-anxiety and anti-depressant.
The flowers are super rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and peptides, which help aid the body in an array of ways. Regular use of the blue flowers can improve eyesight, hair growth, and skin health by stimulating collagen.
Almost done listing the healing properties, I swear! It's a diuretic, meaning it'll promote urination, which will lower blood pressure and rid the body of toxins. I love blending it with Lemongrass and Biden's Alba for this purpose, it creates a lovely teal color I like to call Mermaid Tea. The flowers help to regulate blood sugar levels and are great heart tonics.
So in honor of all that it does, please always use caution when introducing a new plant ally to your system. General rule of thumb if you've never worked with a plant internally before, start slow with simples. Simples are a one plant infusion or tisane, which could be compared to a tea. By working with one plant only at a time, you can feel how your body reacts, if you have an allergy or even more subtle if you get a long with that plant.
As humans we all have our own energetics, as do the plants. Not all plants will work for you and not all plants work for each person in the same way. So please go slow and take extra caution if your own any prescription medications, especially prescription diuretics, anti-depressants, blood pressure medications. Consult your license health care practitioner if you have heart concerns, are diabetic, or have any other health concerns before working with any new plants!
Let me know if you have any questions or comments, or if you'd like seeds, I'm happy to share!