by Liberty Stembridge, Health Columnist
Published in Health on 14th December, 2018
Drinking tea to aid weight loss is not a new idea, in fact the explosion of "detox teas" or "skinny teas" that we've seen in the past year, propagated largely by social media influencers has given tea-drinking somewhat of a bad rep. However, natural wellness experts have been using herbal teas (rather than laxative-based teas) to aid various different ailments and assist in losing weight for many years.
There seems to be a tea for every problem, whether it helping you to lose weight and boost your metabolism, decrease anxiety, improve heart health and so on.
Each different tea has particular attributes that make it suited to certain uses. Black tea, for example, improves your body's ability to process sugar by supporting your gut bacteria, whereas white tea is thought to help prevent cancer by providing vital antioxidants.
In fact, you've probably picked up a ginger and lemon tea to help battle a particularly nasty cold at least once. While all of these tea's are fairly popular, another tea is entering the scene and growing in popularity quickly - blue tea, and it brings with it a wide variety of health benefits.
Blue Tea is a unique tea, both in colour and properties. It's vibrant blue colour attracts stares wherever it goes. Also known as butterfly pea tea after the flower it comes from, Blue Tea began (as most teas do) in tropical Asia and spread throughout the rest of Asia and into Southern & Central America.
The whole flower is dried whole and then steeped in hot water to create a completely caffeine-free herbal beverage that is commonly described as having an "earthy" flavor similar to that of unflavored green tea.
Of course, no tea is going to magically make you shed all of your excess weight, and if they claim to do so, they're probably lying. However, they can aid your body in burning more energy and losing weight as a result, which is exactly what Blue Tea does.
Studies have shown that Blue Tea can boost your metabolism (aka how much energy you burn) and this can result in better digestion and quicker weight loss. This can be particularly helpful to anyone dealing with an underactive metabolism.
One of the major selling points of Blue Tea is it's antioxidants. Like green tea, Blue Tea is chock-full of antioxidants that help to fight free radicals, slowing down premature aging of the body and warding of cancer in the process.
Blue butterfly tea is often consumed by diabetics to help regulate blood sugar levels. While not a replacement for medical treatment, blue butterfly tea can help with symptoms of diabetes by regulating blood sugar levels and so is often consumed in between meals.
Stress is one of the major modern silent killers. It can contribute to heart disease, obesity and a myriad of other chronic health conditions. Many tea-drinkers consume tea to help them relax, unaware of how much caffeine is in them.
Green tea and black tea both contain enough caffeine to put you on edge, which isn't very helpful if you're trying to reduce stress or anxiety. Blue tea however, contains no caffeine and therefore won't give you the jitters before bed.
Any tea that is rich in antioxidants will be amazing for your hair and skin, but since this tea is also full of many vital vitamins and minerals, it's been shown to be even more effective in strengthening your hair, skin and nails while preventing premature ageing.
Blue Tea contains cyclotides, which can actually actively kill of cancer inducing cells by weakening their cell membranes. This makes blue tea, along with many other teas, excellent natural ways to assist in preventing cancer and benign tumors.
In studies conducted in India, the butterfly pea plant showed significant anti-microbial properties against bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus (a bacteria that can cause anything from minor skin infections to serious diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis). This has led many to start drinking Blue Tea in order to ward off infection from such bacteria.
Blue Tea gets it's beautiful indigo color from chemical plant pigments called flavonoids that are found in almost all fruits and vegetables. That's not all it gets however, as flavonoids are also powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties as well as immune system-boosting benefits.
Good news for glasses wearers - the butterfly pea plant contains an antioxidant called proanthocyanidin, which increases blood flow to the capillaries of the eyes, which can be useful in the treatment of damage to the retina, weary eyes, blurry vision, glaucoma and more.
If you've ever had a fever you know how nightmarish they can be. However, recent studies have shown that Blue Tea may boast some impressive fever reduction properties. Recent studies looking at the effects of blue tea extract on the body have shown that butterfly pea extract can lead to a significant reduction in body temperature, lasting for as much five hours after being taken.
Like the sound of this vibrant little drink? You can reap all the benefits right away by making it in under five minutes at home. Simply add hot water to some dried pieces of Butterfly Pea Flower and steep for around four minutes.
You'll know it's ready when the water is a deep shade of blue. Once cooled, simply sit back, relax, and sip. Or leave it to cool even longer and drink with ice for a healthy summer drink. If the flavor isn't appealing to you, try adding honey for a little extra sweetness.