Properties of Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate is an herb that is a traditional tea infusion used originally by the natives of South America. This tea-like beverage is consumed mainly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil. It is brewed from the dried leaves and stems of the Yerba Mate tree (Ilex paraguarensis).
Mate contains xanthines, which are alkaloids in the same family as caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in coffee and chocolate.
Yerba Mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium and manganese. Caffeine content varies between 0.3% and 1.7% of dry weight (compare this to 2.5–4.5% for tea leaves, and 1.5–2.8% for ground coffee).
University studies suggest that Yerba Mate:
Among many of the benefits enjoyed by drinking this infusion are improved digestion, cleansing of your blood and it slows aging.
This social drink enjoys tremendous popularity in Argentina where the ritual of sharing a mate with friends is a part of the fabric that holds that society together.
The infusion is prepared from the leaves of the Mate tree, a native of the tropical rain forests of northeastern Argentina, eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil. The yerba mate is placed into the yerba mate gourd and hot water is added to create the infusion.
The infusion is consumed through a traditional bombilla or straw that strains the herb. This stimulating herbal drink is low on caffeine and carbohydrates and contains generous amounts of amino acids and antioxidants.