ShankuPushpam,Blue Pea,Clitoria, Butterfly Pea Flowers | Uses in Medicines,Food Recipe,Tea,Alcoholic Drinks Etc

More photos on Shankupushpam, the Herbal flower of Kerala. Shankpushpam is also having names like Shankupushpi, Blue peas, Butterfly peas, Aparajita, Asian pigeonwings, Bluebellvine, Cordofan pea, Darvin pea etc, and scientifically named as Clitoria Ternatea. This Ayurvedic herbal flower plant of Kerala is the same time ingredient of many recipes in Asian countries. The tropical plant which is of Asian origin is now also seen in African and American countries.

Despite shakupushpam's medicinal value, this plant is seen as abandoned vines in between the shrubs and trees. It's often seen as a weed growing in between other plants. Shankpushpams is a herb only to the people who know its medicinal value. Its noticed more for the peculiarly shaped vibrant bluepea flowers.

Clitoria Flowers appears in colors like snowy white, dark blue, fluorescent blue, violet, purple etc. I have got some light violet flowers and buds of Butterfly Peas here. I have already posted the photos of blue and white clitoria flowers previously.
shankupushpam herbal flowers bud closeup photograph,clitoria flower bud

Butterfly peas/Shankupushpam Herbal flower's Bud

Walking around after the rain, these are some of the photos I snapped from nature. As these plants of Shankupushpams are seen abundant all over in between trees and plants, they came in front naturally and I couldn't help taking some closeup snaps of the flowers and buds.

Am trying to present a little more details on the medicinal value of this common tropical herbal plant in this post. No part of this vine plant is unusable as per Ayurvedic maestros. In ancient books on Ayurveda, the plant, its roots, flowers and even leaves are mentioned for the preparation of peculiar ayurvedic medicines.

Shankupushpam or Bluepea flowers are mentioned in a variety of synonyms in the books of Ayurveda. Butterfly pea flowers and plants are mentioned in most of the old Ayurvedic scriptures for its herbal medicinal value.

Different Names of Blue Peas (Ayurvedic Synonyms)


  • supuspi
  • sveta
  • girikarnika
  • gokarnika
  • mohanasi
  • ardrakarni
  • mahasveta
  • sephanda
  • vishnukrantha

Also, the flower is known as Aral, malayamukki, Kakkanam etc in local Indian languages.
macro photo snap of shankupushapam herbal flower bud in bright sunlight,green bluepea flower bud closeup

Clitoria Ternatea, Blue pea or Butterfly peas- Flower Bud

Basking in the morning sun, just after a rain bath! The fresh green flower bud of Shankupushpam, the Ayurvedic medicinal cure from nature itself.

Region wise common Names of Blue Peas

Regionally the name of this herbal plant and flowers vary like Shanku puspam, Shanku pushpi, aparajita, gokarnika, aral, malayamukki, kakkanam etc in India. Shankupushpams are named gokarnika in some parts of India for its oval appearance resembling the ears of a Cow.

This herbal vines name varies like, Butterfly-Pea in Australia, Honte in French,Blaue Clitorie in German, Clitoria Azul in Portuguese, Bejuco de Conchitas in Spanish, Cunha in Brazil etc. Also known as cordofan-pea, campanilla, conchita azul, azulejo, papito, zapotillo, choroque, bandera etc.

Benefits and uses of Blue peas

Shankupushpams or Bluepea creeper plants are used for a various purpose, ranging from ornamental garden plants to even in food recipe and also in drinks. Anyway, the most discussed benefit of this plant is its uses as a medicinal herb for various ailments. Some details on the uses of bluepeas are tried to cover below.

Clitoria Ternatea Viny Ornamental Plants

Apart from being a herbal plant, it is also used as an ornamental garden plant. Clitoria ternatea and Clitoria purpurea are seen grown for their attractively colored flowers. Clitoria ternatea has creamy white flowers, whereas clitoria purpurea has dark blue flowers. Hybrid plants between these two yields intermediate light blue flowers bigger in sizes than the parent flowers. Clitoria flowers vary in colors like deep violet, velvety blue, light pink, white etc.

Butterfly Pea Plants Significance in Agriculture

In some places, Butterfly Pea is seen cultivated for various purposes. Most often shankupushpam plants are seen cultivated as cover crops. In some places in the world, it's cultivated to increase the soil fertility to enhance yields of other food crops like wheat, maize etc. The plant is having soil nitrogen fixing capability. Clitoria plants are also used for green manure and in some places its cut and dried for being used as hay for cattles.

Shankupushpam plant is considered vigorous growing persistent herbaceous legume which is perennial in nature. 

Light Violet Clitoria or Shankupushpam- Rain wet flower snaps

clitoria ternatea violet flower closeup photograph,herbal medicinal flowers kerala india.synonyms of fower, aparajita kakkatan shankupoovu aral bluepea butterflypea,rainwet purple flower macro photos
Blue Butterfly Pea-Flower used in Cocktails, Gins, as a Food Dye, Tea etc

Wet in the rain, A macro snap of light violet flower, Shankupushpam or Butterfly peas. A well known medicinal herb, but seen growing abandoned allover in the backyards.

Why cultivate Butterfly pea Vines?

Clitoria herbal plants are seen much adaptive to a various range of temperatures and humidity. The plant is tolerant to frost and dry conditions and can withstand heavy grazing activities. These properties of this medicinal nontoxic herbal plant make it ideal for the development of wasteland and also for the making of hay as mentioned before.

Blue Pea Vines, Benefits as Cattle Feed

Clitoria plants are seen dominating the weeds. Cultivating it with other grasses like tall elephant grasses used as hay increases overall nutritional value and yield of the cattle feed. The seeds of Blue Pea are high in protein and thus helps to increase the nitrogen content of the soil. It helps in yielding high protein content grass from nitrogen fixed fertile soil. Crude fibre and crude protein levels in the leaves of clitoria are also seen high. Quality Cattle yields can be increased considerably using quality blue pea vine hay.

Butterfly Pea creeper Plant Benefits as Cover Crops

Butterfly Peas or Bluepeas can also be used as cover crops for coconut and rubber plantations. The nitrogen enriching property of the plant is found much beneficial for the plantation crops.

The Vine or creeper plant will flower within 8 to 11 weeks after sowing. Flowering may continue throughout the year if moisture is sufficient and conditions are frost free. BluePea flowers can be both bee pollinated or self-pollinated. Butterfly pea flowers have commercial value in some parts due to its multiple uses.

Bluepea Flowers, Uses as Food

Blue flowers of shankupushpams / bluepeas are used in some of the Asian countries for coloring rice and other recipes. It's a natural food coloring agent.  The leaves are seen potted and consumed for its herbal value.
  • Used as a natural food dye, blue tinge is given to rice or rice cakes using blue pea plant.
  • Butterfly peas young Pods and leaves are used like vegetables.
  • Flowers are also used to make tea with added lemongrass. Dry flowers of blue peas are available commercially for making the tea. Blue Pea tea Recipe is very popular in many Asian countries.
  • Blue Pea Cocktails and Gins are available. In Gins, the flower extract is used for its coloring nature.
  • Clitoria Flower bud dipped in rice while cooking, for color.
  • Syrupy drinks are made from blue pea plants which are sometimes mixed with sweet lime.
  • Batter fried clitoria flowers are consumed in some Asian countries.
  • The drinks made of blue pea extracts changes color to purple or pink, on getting added with acidic contents like lemon juice.

Clitoria flower and Fruits, Ayurvedic Herbal flower close-ups

violet herbal flowers of Asia,aparajita shankupoovu bluepea-flower for ayurvedic medicines,food dye,clitoria flower named after human female vulva or flower petals resembling human female pudenda,ayurvedic medicinal flower kerala
Hiding among the green. Clitoria violet flower and fruit. A flower and plant with a wide range use as a medicinal herb, ornamental plants, nutritional cattle feed and fertilizer.

Blue Pea Herbal Uses - Shankupushpam plant and flowers as Medicine

Shankupushpam flowers and plant are used to prepare a variety of medicinal extracts especially as per old Ayurvedic scriptures. Roots seeds and leaves are used to make medicines which can be used both internally as well as externally. The white-flowered butterfly pea vine roots are used to make a medicinal paste for skin diseases. Extracts made from shangupushpam are well known as a brain tonic and for enhancing memory and intelligence.

The seeds are fried in ghee and powdered and consumed with hot water for skin diseases. The root extracts of bluepeas are used for eye, throat infections, ulcer and for urinary troubles. White flower clitoria leaves are made into a paste and mixed with salt before being applied for retroauricular adenitis. Shankupushpam plants are found to be having antifungal proteins. Bluepea Seeds are crushed with honey and applied topically for Tonsillitis. For treating migraine, the root juice extracts are poured through nostrils.

In some of the famous Ayurvedic scriptures, Clitoria plant and flower extracts are mentioned useful for nasal therapy while in some other books its mentioned as a herbal medicine to alleviate effects of toxins in the blood. Also, the books refer to shankupushpam herbal preparations to be used for treating eye-related diseases.

The hemostatic effects of clitoria ensure its presence in medicines for piles especially bleeding piles. Aparajita plant extracta are known to be alleviators of pain and swellings. A decoction of this herbal plant is used for cleaning wounds and it has the ability to prevent pus formation.

The herbal medicine from shankupushpam has tranquilizing effects and thus used for syncope, vertigo etc like the nervous system and brain-related ailments. Clitoria herbal extracts are also used for treating digestive system and for diseases like jaundice, dyspepsia, constipation, piles etc.

Clitoria herbal extracts are also used for treating the circulatory system as it has blood purifying and hemostatic properties. Also used for treating smallpox.

For ailments in the respiratory system like a cough and cold the herbal plant extracts can be used, as it has the ability to prevent irritation of respiratory organs and also have expectorant properties. The medicinal extracts from blue peas are also used for the treatment of Asthma.

Herbal extracts from bluepea viny plants are seen to possess spermatogenic properties and thus used in cases of sperm debility. Also used to treat urinary system ailments. Also, shangupushpam herbal preparations are known to have cooling effects which alleviate symptoms of vomiting, burning sensations and thirst which are common during fever.

 Leaves of Shankupushpam plants can be grounded and mixed with salt for applying over swellings. The roots of bluepeas can be grounded and given with ghee or butter two to three times daily for increasing memory and intelligence and also it can be effective for treating goiter. A gram of shankupushpam flower powder is given daily with honey for uterus bleeding problems. Powder of leaves is also used for treating brain disorders.


The blue pea flowers are photographed in super macro and close-ups using Fuji finepix S5700 S700. Photos are cropped to 800 relative resolutions and saved in a reduced quality before being posted here.
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11 comments:

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  3. Its good to see that Kerala have these beautiful ayurvedic flowers

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  4. Nice collections , as well as Kerala is rich in herbal medicines and plants the climate is favourable to a number of herbal plants and medicinal herbs, used for all kind of ayurvedic treatments, Stay in kerala hotels and enjoy the beauty of kerala

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