Extraction methods of butterfly pea ( Clitoria ternatea) flower and biological activities of its phytochemicals

J Food Sci Technol. 2021 Jun;58(6):2054-2067. doi: 10.1007/s13197-020-04745-3. Epub 2020 Sep 1.


Clitoria ternatea or commonly known as 'Butterfly pea' has been used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine in which various parts of the plants are used to treat health issues such as indigestion, constipation, arthritis, skin diseases, liver and intestinal problems. The flowers of C. ternatea are used worldwide as ornamental flowers and traditionally used as a food colorant. This paper reviews the recent advances in the extraction and biological activities of phytochemicals from C. ternatea flowers. The application of maceration or ultrasound assisted extraction greatly increased the yield (16-247% of increase) of phytochemicals from C. ternatea flowers. Various phytochemicals such as kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin glycosides as well as anthocyanins have been isolated from C. ternatea flowers. Clitoria ternatea flower extracts were found to possess antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic and antidiabetic activities which are beneficial to human health. Clitoria ternatea flower is a promising candidate for functional food applications owing to its wide range of pharmacotherapeutic properties as well as its safety and effectiveness.

Keywords: Anthocyanin; Anti-inflammatory; Antibacterial; Anticancer; Antioxidant; Flavonol.

Publication types

  • Review