Yerba Mate Ilex paraguariensis

Ilex paraguariensis
  • Common Names
  • Yerba Mate , mate, matte, Paraguay tea
  • Botanical Name
  • Ilex paraguariensis
  • Family
  • Aquifoliaceae

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Yerba Mate

Side Effects | Plant & Garden|

How to Use: Yerba Mate

Yerba mate tea is made from the dried leaves of the Holly tree native to South America. The tea has been used for centuries as a health tonic and stimulant beverage by the South American native peoples, and is still used as such today. Yerba mate contains healthy antioxidants and has been a folklore favorite in South America used to reduce inflammation in arthritis and gout. Containing 196 active compounds, nutrients, and amino acids, Yerba maté is rich in phenolics and saponins with potential lipid-lowering properties and has shown favorable results in a studies showing drinking green and roasted yerba maté over time has cholesterol-lowering potential. 1

Mate contains an alkaloid called mateine, which acts much like smooth caffeine. Additionally, it is believed to act to assist dieters in reducing food cravings and by helping you feel fuller, longer. 77 78Drinking yerba mate herbal teas as part of a diet for weight loss is one of the best ways to reduce calorie intake while consuming a healthy beverage. Unlike diet soda, herbal diet tea contains no chemicals and artificial sweeteners.

Preparation Methods & Dosage :

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Yerba Mate Remedies

Yerba Mate Side Effects: Judicious use of this tea just may be one of the most effective, and healthiest diet aids available, only the over-stimulation by the alkaloid mateine limit it's use. Those who are not fazed by strong coffee should be fine.

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Plant Description

Yerba mate is the dried leaves and stems of a South American holly and like other members of the holly family, the mate tree has bright red berries and shiny green leaves. The term mate is a Guarani Indian word for gourd, referring to the hollowed out gourds once used as cups to drink the tea.

Regional Traditions :Central and South America *

History and Traditions & Folklore

Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd (also called a mate in Spanish, or cabaça or cuia in Portuguese) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba or canudo in Portuguese) is an extremely common social practice in Argentina,Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Chile, eastern Bolivia and Southern Region, Brazil and also Syria and Lebanon.
Holly leaves were once used in traditional herbal teas, but South American holly, Yerba mate is much better known and widely used. Like other members of the holly family, the mate tree has bright red berries and shiny green leaves that make a very Christmas-y looking plant. Try drinking a cup of yerba mate to help you gather some non-nervous energy to make it though the holidays.
books citedWorks Cited
  1. de Morais EC, Stefanuto A, Klein GA, et al. Consumption of yerba mat (Ilex paraguariensis) improves serum lipid parameters in healthy dyslipidemic subjects and provides an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in individuals on statin therapy. J Agric Food Chem. August 20, 2009: [epub ahead of print] Doi: 10.1021/jf901660g. American Botanical Council
  2. 77. Kyoto Pharmaceutical University. "Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis) Promotes Satiety and Body Weight Lowering in Mice: Involvement of Glucagon-Like Peptide-1. (2011)"
  3. 78. Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Misasagi, Yamashina-ku, Kyoto 607-8412, Japan; Tamura Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., Gose-shi, Nara 639-2295, Japan. "Protective and ameliorative effects of mat (Ilex paraguariensis) on metabolic syndrome in TSOD mice" (2011),