Yerba Mate: Information
Yerba mate (ER-ba MOTT-tay) is known botanically as Ilex paraguariensis and is close relative to the familiar holly plant. Yerba mate is usually consumed as an energizing herbal tea in many parts of South America, much like coffee is used in North America and Europe.
Yerba mate's Health Benefits
Yerba maté has traditionally been used to promote energy, improve mood and has recently been demonstrated to improve fatty acid oxidation. These effects are thought to be due to the fact that Yerba Mate contains methylxanthine compounds, a category that also includes caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are stimulants also found in coffee and chocolate. Yerba mate also contains high concentrations of free-radical quenching antioxidant flavonoids. Raw Yerba mate is also a source of some vitamins and minerals, although these are present in low concentrations.
Using Yerba mate
Most people use Yerba mate as an herbal energizer and alertness-enhancer. Use Yerba mate products as directed. Most people find Yerba mate to be considerably less stimulating that coffee or other highly-caffeinated beverages.
Side-effects and Cautions
Those sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants should begin with small doses of Yerba mate to assess their tolerance before using higher doses.