Yerba mate (yer-bah mah-te) is a naturally energizing and rejuvenating beverage made from the dried leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree, Ilex paraguariensis. It is traditionally consumed in central and southern regions of South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, southern and central-western Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Chile.
Yerba mate has been used as a base for herbal medicines in South America for centuries. The Guarani, a group of culturally related indigenous peoples of South America have a legend that says that the Goddesses of the Moon and the Cloud came to the Earth one day and came across a Yaguareté (jaguar) that was going to attack them. An old man saved them, and in compensation the Goddesses gave the old man a new of plant from which he could prepare a "drink of friendship".
To the native forest peoples who have survived periods of drought and famine by drinking it, yerba mate is known as the “Drink of the Gods”. These rainforest people find tremendous invigoration, focus, and nourishment in yerba mate.
Drinking yerba mate tea is often a social event.
Sharing this drink from a traditional gourd is a sign of friendship and bonding.
The components of yerba mate are similar to those found in green tea; however, yerba mate is more nutritious and higher in antioxidants than green tea.
Yerba Mate contains numerous vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, carotenes, proteins, amino-acids, polyphenols, flavonoids, saponins, fatty acids, chlorophyll and trace minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, most of the B complex, nicotinic and pantothenic acids, biotin, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, theophylline, theobromine, and caffeine.
The combination of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and the caffeine results in a steady boost in energy levels. It also contains the trace element chromium in a form that is suited for more efficient metabolic processes, and inositol. The primary function of inositol is to keep fats from collecting in the body, particularly in the liver.
The plant’s benefits and therapeutic properties have recently been verified by a number of scientific studies.
Yerba mate drinkers experience a state of alert wakefulness similar to that from coffee, but without coffee’s side effects. It provides a smooth increase in energy that’s been described as gentle, clean and calm. Compared to the other most commonly used stimulants in the world — coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa and guarana — yerba mate delivers the most balanced and healthyenergy boost.
Yerba Mate has the “strength of coffee,
greater health benefits than green tea,
and the euphoria of chocolate"
all in one beverage.