What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate (ER-ba MOTT-tay) has the botanical name Ilex paraguariensis. It's a close relative to the well-known holly plant. With a history that dates to pre-Columbian Paraguay, it is typically used in South America as an energizing herbal tea, the same way that coffee is consumed in North America and in Europe.
Yerba Mate: Health Benefits
Traditionally, yerba mate has been used to boost energy and as a mood enhancer. Recently, it's been shown that yerba mate can improve the oxidation of fatty acids. The reason might be due to yerba mate's methylxanthine compounds, similar in chemical structure to caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, which are stimulants that can also be found in chocolate and coffee. Yerba mate also contains a large concentration of antioxidant flavonoids that interact with free radicals in the body, stopping potentially damaging chain reactions. Yerba mate, in its raw form, is a source of low concentrations of certain vitamins and minerals.
At All Star Health, we offer yerba mate in capsule form, as softgels and in single-serving tea bags.
How to Use Yerba Mate
The most common use of yerba mate is as an herbal energy booster and alertness enhancer. Follow instructions on yerba mate product packaging for correct usage. Most people find yerba mate to be significantly less of a stimulant than coffee, tea and other highly caffeinated drinks.
Yerba Mate Side Effects and Cautions
For those who are sensitive to caffeine and other forms of stimulants, it is recommended that they start with a small dose of yerba mate. After assessing one's tolerance to this stimulant, it will be safer to use a higher dosage.