Is Butterfly Pea Flower Tea Safe During Pregnancy?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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The butterfly pea flower is a beautiful blue flower plant with origins in Asia and is often found in tea blends under the name Clitoria ternatea. However, similar to many herbs, pregnant women often wonder if it is safe for them to consume butterfly pea flowers. 

Overall, there is a lack of evidence demonstrating the safety of butterfly pea flower tea for pregnant women. Therefore, it is best to avoid this tea (both made from powder or dried whole flowers or leaves) and opt for a safe herbal tea instead. 

Let’s dive into more information about this tea, including powders, dried flowers, herbal tea blends, and more! 

Is Butterfly Pea Tea Safe for Pregnant Women? 

Since butterfly blue pea flower tea consumption has not been widely researched in pregnant women, it is best to avoid it during pregnancy.

Blue Butterfly pea tea is gaining popularity as a trendy health drink for its many proclaimed benefits as well as its photo-worthy color. Typically whole, dried flowers are used to brew an herbal tea, but there are also powdered versions available — more on the powdered options below!

This tea may have some benefits for pregnant women as it is famous for its antioxidant composition, specifically from the antioxidant anthocyanin (source: Frontiers in Plant Science). 

Anthocyanin is a type of compound called a flavonoid that gives this tea its vibrant blue color and many of its proposed health benefits.

butterfly pea flower tea in a glass cup and glass teapot with dry butterfly pea flowers

Antioxidants function to fight against harmful free radicals that are naturally occurring compounds. Free radicals are produced in the body by essential processes such as energy metabolism (source: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health). 

For pregnant women, antioxidants are a great way to combat oxidative stress. 

Furthermore, a study that involved diabetic rats found that consuming extracts from butterfly pea flowers experienced decreased blood sugar levels (source: Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science). Yet, more research needs to be done to conclude whether this effect is present in humans. 

Though seemingly beneficial, there is not a significant amount of studies or evidence supporting the safety of drinking this tea during pregnancy. 

Additionally, it is important to consider the other ingredients that this tea blends may contain. For example, many blends that include butterfly pea flower tea also include lemongrass or hibiscus

Unfortunately, it is recommended to avoid both hibiscus and lemongrass herbs and teas during pregnancy. Therefore, avoid butterfly pea flower tea or any tea blends in general that include lemongrass or hibiscus. 

Is Butterfly Pea Flower Powder Safe in Pregnancy?

Similarly, it is best to avoid butterfly pea flower powder during pregnancy due to a lack of evidence demonstrating its safety. This powder is made from ground-up dried flowers. 

It is often used in drinks such as lemonade, desserts, and even noodles to make them a bright blue color. Due to its beautiful color, butterfly pea flower powder is often used in cosmetics and beauty products as well.

butterfly pea flower lemonade in a glass with fresh lemons and butterfly pea flowers

Instead of drinking tea made from butterfly pea flowers or dried powder, you can instead opt for an herbal tea that is considered safe for pregnant women, such as peppermint tea or ginger tea (source: American Pregnancy Association). However, it is important to carefully check the ingredients list to ensure there are not any other added herbs that may be unsafe during pregnancy.

These recommended teas are also rich in antioxidant properties and have many health benefits, from relieving nausea or morning sickness to promoting uterine health and much more. 

I hope you found this article helpful in breaking down butterfly pea flower powder and tea safety information.