With no sign of respite from cold wave, people are relying on warming foods to prevent themselves from biting cold. Tea and coffee are among the most consumed beverages in the cold season but going overboard with caffeinated drinks can lead to acidity, headache, insomnia among other issues. One may try healthy alternatives to tea and coffee and blue flower tea is one of them. Much like green tea, it is a storehouse of antioxidants and helps give a boost to immune system, preventing winter illnesses. It is derived from butterfly pea flower and has a beautiful blue hue which is due to the presence of antioxidants called anthocyanins in it. It is widely used to impart blue colour to some dishes. (Also read: 7 healthy tea, coffee and hot beverages to keep you warm this winter)
Blue flower tea has some amazing benefits. It is known to control blood sugar spikes, is useful for people who have respiratory disorders, prevents certain types of cancer and also helps boost immunity.
Dietician Garima Goyal spoke to HT Digital on some of the research-backed benefits of blue flower tea.
1. Diabetic friendly
If you are worried about managing your blood sugar levels, this super drink can help to some extent. Its hypoglycaemic property makes this drink diabetes friendly. Also its antioxidant content prevents various infections, which diabetics are more prone to.
2. Treats respiratory disorders
The extract of blue tea leaves has shown to possess anti-asthmatic activity and can be used as a potential alternative for the treatment of allergies and other respiratory disorders such as bronchitis. Its anti-inflammatory property makes it an excellent treatment option for cold and cough and reducing lung irritation.
3. Nootropic activity
Do you feel dull in the winters and often feel low on energy? This drink can refresh your brain and gives a boost to its activity and functioning, making a person feel energised.
4. Anti carcinogenic effect
Antioxidants in this blue-hued concoction fights off the free radicals that are responsible for causing cell damage, which further cause cell proliferation and cancer. In various animal trials, the extract of this plant has been seen to exhibit anti-carcinogenic effect. This effect is due to the various antioxidant compounds present such as kaempferol, p-coumarin, ternatins etc.
5. Potent antibiotic
The extracts of this flower have strong anti-microbial properties and destroy both the bacteria as well as fungi.
6. Hepatoprotective effects
Liver ailments can be treated with this beverage as it possesses strong hepatoprotective activity.
7. Mind boosting power
Ayurveda considers this as the brain herb as it enhances the brain health by improving memory and combating anxiety and depression. Also the presence of acetylcholine in it makes it a good treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease. This flower is very beneficial for brain health and also reduces the symptoms of stress induced ulcers.
8. Eye functioning
The presence of anthocyanins in this blue flower increases the blood flow to the eyes and treats various eye disorders such as glaucoma, retinal damage, blurred vision, tired eyes etc.
9. Immunity booster
The blue tea is a rich source of antioxidants called ternatins. These compounds possess strong anti-inflammatory properties and prevent the growth of cancer cells. Various other antioxidants are also present in this flower which boost the body’s immune system and prevent cancer cell proliferation.
10. Anti pyretic effect
It works as a natural paracetamol. Paracetamol functions as a pain reliever and fever reducer and blue flower tea does just the same. This property of reducing fever occurs because this extract expands the blood vessels under the skin, thus cooling the blood by increasing the blood flow and reducing temperature.
“This healthy and beautiful beverage has been used since ancient times as a part of the traditional medicine and serves a lot of health benefits, for which definitely more human trials are needed. But the research available till date approves of the benefits it offers, with little or no side effects,” says Garima.