Clitoria is a genus of flowering plants that are insect pollinated. These plants are native to tropical and temperate areas of the Old and New World including southeast Asia, where the flowers are often used as a food dye.

In animal tests the methanolic extract of Clitoria ternatea (Butterfly pea) roots demonstrated nootropic, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant and antistress activity. The active constituent(s) include Tannins, resins, Starch, Taraxerol & Taraxerone. Clitoria ternatea root extracts are capable of curing whooping cough if taken orally. The extract from the white-flowered plant can cure goiter. Its roots are used in the ayurveda system of Indian medicine.



  • The Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India, Part-I, Volume-II, First edition,Ministry of Health & family welfare,Government of India.
  • Neeti N. Jain, C. C. Ohal, S. K. Shroff, R. H. Bhutada, R. S. Somani, V. S. Kasture and S. B. Kasture. Clitoria ternatea and the CNS. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior Volume 75, Issue 3 , June 2003, Pages 529-536
  • Rai KS, Murthy KD, Karanth KS, Rao MS. Clitoria ternatea (Linn) root extract treatment during growth spurt period enhances learning and memory in rats. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2001 Jul;45(3):305-13

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