Clitoria ternatea

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Clitoria ternatea
Starr 980529-1406 Clitoria ternatea.jpg
Clitoria ternatea vine
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Clitoria
Species: C. ternatea
Binomial name
Clitoria ternatea
L.
Flower and pods in different states of ripeness
The shape of the flower has inspired some of its names.

Clitoria ternatea, common names including butterfly pea, blue pea, Aprajita, Cordofan pea and Asian pigeonwings, is a plant species belonging to the Fabaceae family. The flowers of this vine have the shape of human female genitals, hence the Latin name of the genus "Clitoria", from "clitoris". (Synonyms: Clitoris principissae.).[1]

Names in other languages include bunga telang (Malay), อัญชัน `anchan (Thai), đậu biếc (Vietnamese), अपराजिता Aparajita in Hindi and 蝶豆 dié dòu (Mandarin Chinese), 'Sankhu Poolu/Sankham Poolu' in Telugu, "Shankupushpam" in Malayalam language and অপরাজিতা (Aparajita) in Bengali.

Distribution[edit]

This plant is native to tropical equatorial Asia, but has been introduced to Africa, Australia and America.

Description[edit]

It is a perennial herbaceous plant, with elliptic, obtuse leaves. It grows as a vine or creeper, doing well in moist, neutral soil. The most striking feature about this plant is the color of its flowers, a vivid deep blue; solitary, with light yellow markings. They are about 4 cm (1.6 in) long by 3 cm (1.2 in) wide. Some varieties yield white flowers.

The fruits are 5–7 cm (2.0–2.8 in) long, flat pods with six to ten seeds in each pod. They are edible when tender.

It is grown as an ornamental plant and as a revegetation species (e.g., in coal mines in Australia), requiring little care when cultivated. As a legume, its roots form a symbiotic association with soil bacteria known as rhizobia, which transform atmospheric N2 into a plant-usable form, therefore, this plant is also used to improve soil quality through the decomposition of nitrogen rich plant material.

Uses[edit]

Food[edit]

In Southeast Asia the flower is used as a natural food colouring. In Malay cooking, an aqueous extract is used to colour glutinous rice for kuih ketan (also known as pulut tai tai or pulut tekan in Peranakan/Nyonya cooking) and in nyonya chang. In Kelantan, east part of Malaysia, by adding a few buds of this flower in a pot while cooking white rice will add bluish tint on the rice which is served with other side dishes and such meal is called nasi kerabu. In Thailand, a syrupy blue drink is made called nam dok anchan (น้ำดอกอัญชัน), it is sometimes consumed with a drop of sweet lime juice to increase acidity and turn the juice into pink-purple. In Burmese and Thai cuisines, the flowers are also dipped in batter and fried. Bluechai is made from the ternatea flowers and dried lemongrass and changes color depending on what is added to the liquid, with lemon juice turning it purple.[2]

Traditional medicine[edit]

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, it is ascribed various qualities including memory enhancing, nootropic, antistress, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, tranquilizing, and sedative properties.[3] In traditional Chinese medicine, due to its appearance similar to the female reproductive organ, and consistent with the Western concept of the doctrine of signatures,[4] the plant has been ascribed properties affecting this organ. It was used traditionally in an attempt to treat sexual ailments such as infertility and gonorrhea, to control menstrual discharge, and also as an aphrodisiac.[citation needed]

Chemical constituents[edit]

Chemical compounds isolated from C. ternatea include various triterpenoids, flavonol glycosides, anthocyanins and steroids.[3] Peptides known as cliotides have been isolated from the heat-stable fraction of C. ternatea extract.[5]

Gallery[edit]

Front and back sides
Clitoria ternatea in a Garden from Maracay - Venezuela
C. ternatea, Isla Margarita, Venezuela
Clitoria tea in a pot
Thai khao tom sweet colored blue with C. ternatea flowers
A less common "double-flowered" C. ternatea

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pharmacopia Indica Awl
  2. ^ Pantazi, Chloe (February 26, 2016). "Watch this tea dramatically change from deep blue to vibrant red with a squeeze of lemon". Business Insider Deutchland. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Mukherjee PK, Kumar V, Kumar NS, Heinrich M (2008). "The Ayurvedic medicine Clitoria ternatea-From traditional use to scientific assessment". J Ethnopharmacol 120 (3): 291–301. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.09.009. 
  4. ^ Fantz, Paul R. (1991). "Ethnobotany of Clitoria (Leguminosae)". Economic Botany (New York Botanical Garden Press) 45 (4): 511–20. doi:10.1007/BF02930715. JSTOR 4255394. 
  5. ^ Nguyen, GK; Zhang, S; Nguyen, NT; Nguyen, PQ; Chiu, MS; Hardjojo, A; Tam, JP. (Jul 2011). "Discovery and characterization of novel cyclotides originated from chimeric precursors consisting of albumin-1 chain a and cyclotide domains in the Fabaceae family". J Biol Chem. 286 (27): 24275–87. doi:10.1074/jbc.m111.229922. 

External links[edit]