Categories: My herbal garden Plant list

Clitoria ternatea – Butterfly pea

Clitoria ternatea, commonly known as Butterfly pea

The botanical name is Clitoria ternatea and it is more commonly known as Senchan in Thai or Butterfly pea in English.

Clitoria ternatea has been and is still used widely around the world in traditional medicine and for making Butterfly pea tea..

The genus Clitoria´s name reflects the flower’s resemblance to the female genitalia. Botanists have discussed changing the name because some find it inappropriate, there have been many suggestions for other names, but until now no solution has been found so the name stays the same.

In Thai traditional medicine it is also believed to be beneficial for female reproductive health.

All over Thailand street vendors is selling a  Butterfly pea tea made from the flower, the drink is a radiant purple/color.

One of the many benefits of the tea one is, that it is believed to be good for detoxifying and cleansing the body.

Because of the strong color, the flowers are also used for food color and clothing dyes.

Butterfly pea has many antioxidants and is therefore believed to strengthen the body’s immune system, boost energy, slow down aging, reduce the risk of cancer and reduce blood sugar levels of patients with diabetes. It is also believed to be beneficial for depression.

Externally Clitoria ternatea is among other uses, used for treating hair loss and strengthening the hair. The juice is also used for eye care. The plant is also used for toots powders and treating toothache.

The flower of Butterfly pea
A cup of Butterfly pea tea
Dried Butterfly pea flowers
Leaf of Butterfly pea
A Butterfly pea twig
Fresh from the farm
First label
Replanted in a bigger bag.
Starting to grow.
An ideal place full sun and a palm to climb on.
Dig a hole 3-4 times the size of the root ball.
Fill the bottom of the planting hole and compress it
Place the plant firmly on the soil, without damaging the roots.
Fill the hole with soil and give water.

References:“Thai Herbal Medicine” by C. Pierce Salguero, Herbpathy, MedThai, Wikipedia, Sanbi

Clitoria ternatea

Botanical name: Clitoria ternatea

English name: Butterfly pea

Thai name: อัญชัน Senchan

Family: Fabacea

Genus: Clitoria

Species: Clitoria ternatea

Parts used in traditional medicine:

Flower, Leafs, Roots

Taste: Cooling


Clitoria ternatea is a perennial climbing wine with blue flowers. It can grow upto 1,80 meter.

Origin: Africa

Range: Africa, now widespread throughout humid and sub-humid lowlands of Asia.

Elevations: 185-610 meters.

Care: Full sun, moist neutral soil.