Posted: 02/01/2013 at 12:16
Hello gardeners, I,m back from the north and I saw your thread about Blue Flower.
My wife say "yeah, I know the best!" And she goes outside and come back with the Blossom of our hedge. Thai people make a joke about this flower because of shape and also of the name. I'll going to make picture and she write to you:
What is that flower behind your ear? In a Thai village, the answer might be that it is a jasmine, hibiscus or butterfly pea flower. You often see women or men in Thai villages wearing flowers behind their ears on special occasions. For me personally, my answer would be that it is a blue butterfly pea flower. In addition to wearing a blue butterfly pea flower(dok anchan) or Clitoria ternatea – behind my ear while working in my garden, I would like to introduce you to its properties as a Thai culinary flower. Butterfly pea is an annual vine that is native to the land in southeast Asia near the equator. Thais love dok anchan for it beautiful unique looks and for its culinary uses as a food coloring and as an edible flower. I use dok anchan in my Thai cooking at home, shredding it into a fine ribbon and adding it to rice salad, or for making a tea, or adding blue color extract to steamed jasmine rice. But above and beyond all of these uses, our ancestors recognized it for its medicinal benefits, which include its anti-depression, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The blue concentrate added to hair products also promotes healthy hair growth.
In Thailand I grew butterfly pea plants on a bamboo trellis, but often enjoyed the harvest from friends’ gardens. In the Thai village lifestyle in the old days we shared or exchanged our surpluses with one another. The vines can produce many flowers a day, so often they went unused. This meant that at any moment there were always flowers waiting for you in someone’s garden and we helped ourselves when needed. The pigment in the flowers comes from anthocyanins, and has long been widely used in Thai cuisines for blue or purple food coloring for butterfly pea sticky rice. In Thailand, any foods prepared with shades of blue, purple or pink come from dok anchan. In addition, southeast Asia uses the flowers in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
Best greetings from Thailand, ThaiGer+Saipin