The valued health effects of Yerba Mate have been well-recognized in South America for centuries. Now, consciousness about the Yerba Mate herb is slowly seeping into the mainstream.
Yerba Mate is a small tree that can be found in the Atlantic forests of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Yerba Mate Tea comes from the dried leaves and stems of the Yerba Mate plant. Yerba Mate Tea has been dubbed as “the drink of the gods” by many indigenous groups in South America due to its numerous health benefits. Today, many people in these three countries sip yerba mate tea using a gourd as container, and straw, called bombilla.
Yerba Mate has a characteristic flavor that is somewhat sweet, bitter, withered leaf like, and alfalfa-like, similar to that obtained from the camellia sinensis teas.
There is said to be 196 volatile chemical compounds found in Yerba Mate, thereby making it one of the most sought-after herbs for its health benefits. Like the highly-heralded green tea, white tea and black tea of the camellia sinensis plant, yerba mate also contains a lot of tannins, antioxidants, polyphenols, amino acids, saponins, vitamins and flavonoids. Observers have noted that yerba mate seems to possess all the necessary vitamins and nutrients to sustain life. In fact, Yerba Mate supporters have labeled it as the “new green tea”.
Indeed, Yerba Mate Tea is known to be a diuretic, inotropic (increasing the strength of each heartbeat), chronotropic (making the heart beat faster), glycogenolytic (breaking down stored glycogen in the liver, allowing it to store calories from the next meal), lipolytic (breaking down fats), and analeptic (stimulating the central nervous system).
Following are some health benefits seen from consuming Yerba Mate tea:
- Known to enhance energy levels and reduce fatigue
- Seems to help stimulate the central nervous system
- Could assist in boosting metabolism
- May be used to help induce mental clarity
- Said to help combat gastrointestinal disorders
- Claimed to be effective in fighting headaches
- Though more studies are needed, Yerba Mate tea has shown some promise as a complementary beverage in the overall treatment of such ailments as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.