Butterfly Pea

Last Updated: November 17 2022

A subtle brain boosting herb from Ayurveda known as Shanka Pushpi that has mechanisms and traditional usage similar to Bacopa Monnieri but, unlike Bacopa, does not currently have any human interventions to test its efficacy.

Butterfly Pea is most often used for


Clitoria ternatea is one of four herbs traditionally used as Shanka Pushpi, an Ayurvedic medicine used to promote neurological health. It shows promise in animal models for its memory enhancing effects, and has a wide spectrum of neurological benefits (anti-depression, anxiolytic, anti-pyretic) yet for these latter claims preliminary evidence suggests it isn't overly potent.

Some other preliminary evidence suggests that it might be healthy for the liver and circulating lipoproteins, as well as a possible benefit diabetics by inhibiting glucose uptake from the diet. However, these claims are much too early to guess their practical relevance on.

Toxicological studies on rodents and historical usage (partially confounded with the three other herbs) suggest that Clitoria ternatea is safe, but limited evidence exists currently.

What else is Butterfly Pea known as?
Note that Butterfly Pea is also known as:
  • Shankapushi
  • Shankapushpi
  • Butterfly Pea
  • Clitoria Ternatea
Dosage information

Due to lack of human interventions, an accurate or best human dose is hard to estimate.

Currently, usage of a blend called Perment uses Clitoria Ternatea at 125mg but in conjunction with other herbals. If using Clitoria, doses may fluctuate around this dosage range and perhaps up to 250mg in isolation.

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1.^Jain NN, Ohal CC, Shroff SK, Bhutada RH, Somani RS, Kasture VS, Kasture SBClitoria ternatea and the CNSPharmacol Biochem Behav.(2003 Jun)
2.^Rai KS, Murthy KD, Karanth KS, Nalini K, Rao MS, Srinivasan KKClitoria ternatea root extract enhances acetylcholine content in rat hippocampusFitoterapia.(2002 Dec)
4.^Sethiya NK, Nahata A, Mishra SH, Dixit VKAn update on Shankhpushpi, a cognition-boosting Ayurvedic medicineZhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao.(2009 Nov)
5.^Aulakh GS, Narayanan S, Mahadevan GPhyto - chemistry and pharmacology of shankapushpi - four varietiesAnc Sci Life.(1988 Jan)
7.^Kumar V, Mukherjee K, Kumar S, Mal M, Mukherjee PKValidation of HPTLC method for the analysis of taraxerol in Clitoria ternateaPhytochem Anal.(2008 May)
8.^Terahara N, Toki K, Saito N, Honda T, Matsui T, Osajima YEight new anthocyanins, ternatins C1-C5 and D3 and preternatins A3 and C4 from young clitoria ternatea flowersJ Nat Prod.(1998 Nov)
9.^Terahara N, Oda M, Matsui T, Osajima Y, Saito N, Toki K, Honda TFive new anthocyanins, ternatins A3, B4, B3, B2, and D2, from Clitoria ternatea flowersJ Nat Prod.(1996 Feb)
10.^Taur DJ, Patil RYEvaluation of antiasthmatic activity of Clitoria ternatea L. rootsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2011 Jun 22)
12.^Kazuma K, Noda N, Suzuki MMalonylated flavonol glycosides from the petals of Clitoria ternateaPhytochemistry.(2003 Jan)
13.^Revilleza MJ, Mendoza EM, Raymundo LCOligosaccharides in several Philippine indigenous food legumes: determination, localization and removalPlant Foods Hum Nutr.(1990 Jan)
15.^Rai KS, Murthy KD, Karanth KS, Rao MSClitoria ternatea (Linn) root extract treatment during growth spurt period enhances learning and memory in ratsIndian J Physiol Pharmacol.(2001 Jul)
18.^Adisakwattana S, Ruengsamran T, Kampa P, Sompong WIn vitro inhibitory effects of plant-based foods and their combinations on intestinal ¿-glucosidase and pancreatic ¿-amylaseBMC Complement Altern Med.(2012 Jul 31)
20.^PIALA JJ, MADISSOO H, RUBIN BDiuretic activity of roots of Clitoria ternatea L. in dogsExperientia.(1962 Feb 15)
21.^El-Halawany AM, El Dine RS, Chung MH, Nishihara T, Hattori MScreening for estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of plants growing in Egypt and ThailandPharmacognosy Res.(2011 Apr)