Saturday 6 March 2010

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate

Yerba mate or yerba-mate or erva-mate, Ilex paraguariensis, is a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae) native to subtropical South America. It is a staple in South American culture. The infusion called mate or yerba mate tea is prepared by steeping dry leaves (and twigs) of yerba mate in hot water, rather than in boiling water like black tea. The leaves are left in during consumption and more water and leaves can be added again and again. Often mate is drunk from a hollow gourd called a guampa with a metal straw called a bombilla. Mate is consumed both in the native green format and also in a darker roasted format. Both have very unique tastes, somewhat earthy or grassy, and sometimes a little bitter. I personally enjoy both the plain green version and also combining it with other herbal and health blends of tea.

Yerba Mate is considered an excellent stimulant; it can be used as a substitute for caffeine or other energy drinks and does not have the crash associated with many other stimulants. Mateine is the compound that is the stimulant found in Yerba Mate; it is considered to be less disruptive to your metabolism and doesn't leave you with the side effects and toxicity of coffee. Yerba Mate contains 52 more active compounds and a higher antioxidant count than Green Tea. Yerba Mate fights free radicals, detoxifies the body and helps protect against diseases such as cancer and heart disease. These and other health benefits have been the subject of numerous recent studies. Yerba Mate has been studied for its health benefits and praised as the perfect alternative to coffee. The Pasteur institute and the Paris Scientific Society conducted a study on Yerba Mate, and one of their most significant conclusions was that Yerba Mate contains "practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life". Many indigenous South Americans refer to Yerba Mate as "The drink of the gods", because of its incredible health benefits. Yerba Mate has even been nicknamed the "liquid vegetable" because of its numerous active compounds, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. On top of the vitamins, antioxidants and polyphenois, Yerba Mate also contains saponins, which have been found to stimulate the immune system and help protect the body from disease.

Benefits of Yerba Mate
  • All-natural stimulant, which allows you to feel energized without the side effects and toxicity of coffee
  • 52 more active compounds than Green Tea, 196 compared to the 144 found in Green Tea
  • Contains 15 amino acids
  • Higher in antioxidants than White, Green, Oolong and Black Tea
  • Contains vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (33), 85 and 8 complex
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Increases mental alertness
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Weight Loss: helps break down fat, increases the body's metabolic rate and suppresses appetite.
  • Protects the body from disease
My Favourite Yerba Mate Teas:
1. Yerba Mate - Teaopia - 10
2. Mate Peach - Teaopia - 10
3. Mate Citrus Buzz - Teaopia - 9
4. Mate Sweet Energy - Teaopia - 9
5. Slim and Slender - Teaopia - 9
6. Green Yerba Mate - Stash Tea - 7
7. Mate Tropic - Tazo - 6
8. Lemon Mate - Tazo - 6

Articles in this Series:
0. Tea Tea Everywhere - Teaopia Mad Hatter Tea Party
1. Tea an Overview


yodasmith said...

It sounds wonderful...I have some Wisdom of the Ancients yerba mate mate sweetened with stevia (yerba mate royale) in my kitchen...anywhoo, thanks!

Nod said...

I finally found some Yerba Mate at the third store I tried. Interestingly, it says right on the package that it is "naturally caffeinated" and has as much caffeine as a third of a cup of coffee.

It has a pleasant, earthy taste, though.

yodasmith said...

Some say the stimulant in mate is mateine, some say it is natural caffeine (I think some manufacturers may just say it is naturally caffeinated so as to not add confusion) either way, it shouldn't effect you the way other caffeinated drinks do--no jiiters, no crash, no hypertension, etc. It shouldn't provide any of the adverse ractions normally associated with cafeine. It will make you mentally alert, though.