Added/Modified on January 30, 2014
Also Known As: Yerba Mate Extract, Maté, yerba-mate, maté, erva mate, congonha, erveira, Paraguay cayi, Paraguay tea, South American holly, matéteestrauch, erva-verdadeira, St. Bartholomew’s tea, Jesuit’s tea, hervea, caminú, kkiro, and kali chaye.
The Yerba Mate plant is a species of holly that is found in subtropical South America. It is native to northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil, but because of the demand for the leaves of this plant, the tree is now cultivated in several tropical countries.
This medium-sized evergreen tree can grow to over sixty-five feet high in the wild. When cultivated it is pruned to between thirteen and twenty-six feet to make it easier to harvest.
The leaf of the Yerba Mate is stiff and leathery. The Yerba Mate plant has white flowers and small red, black, or yellow berries.
Yerba Mate tea is often used as an alternative to coffee. It is slightly less stimulating and has more nutritional value than coffee. It is generally easier on the stomach than coffee.
The brewed Yerba Mate tea has a taste similar to green tea. The same tea leaves can be used for several infusions.
What is Yerba Mate Tea? Yerba Mate Tea is made from the dried leaves and twigs of the plant. The tea comes in loose form, tea bags, and tea concentrations known as Mate Concentrate.
Important note, Yerba Mate Leaf Extract contains natural caffeine and should not be used if you are allergic to caffeine or zanthines.
Yerba Mate Tea Preparation:
A very popular herbal tea there are literally dozens of Yerba Mate Tea recipes including those for traditional gourd preparation, loose tea, tea bag, latte, cold tea or milkshakes and Mate tea made with different juices added.
Here is some information on the basics. Whether tea bag or loose, gourd, cup, or tea pot: ◦The first step is to soak the tea bag or loose tea in a small amount of cold water. This sets the oils, and protects the flavor and healing properties. Let the Yerba Mate herb soak up the cold water, it may take a few minutes. ◦Once the Yerba Mate tea bag or loose tea has soaked up the cold water you can add hot water over the tea bag or loose tea. Never use boiling water. The water used in Yerba Mate tea preparation should never be more than 150 degrees.
◦At this point, cover and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Sweeten to taste, add warm milk if desired. The traditional way to drink Yerba Mate tea is from a silver straw in a mate gourd.
Home Remedies Using Yerba Mate Tea:
The ancient Indians of Brazil and Paraguay use Yerba mate to produce a feeling of exhilaration and relieve fatigue. When the Spanish discovered this herb in the early 16th century, the demand for the tea caused the Jesuits to develop plantations of Yerba Mate in Paraguay and the tea from the plant became known as “Jesuits’ tea” or “Paraguay tea.” Yerba Mata tea was traditionally used as a blood cleanser, to boost immunity, and combat aging. It was believed to restore youthful hair color.
Today Yerba Mate tea is recommended as an appetite suppressant, fat burner, stress reducer, and conversely…a mild stimulant. It is thought to be a viable treatment for depression, nervous fatigue, and nerve pain. Yerba Mate Tea can enhance mental function, is used to treat allergies, and works as a digestive stimulant. It can be used to clean the bowels and blood, increase sports performance, and will tone, balance, and strengthen overall bodily function.
Yerba Mate Tea is also recommended as a way to increase your energy, relieve pain, and promote perspiration which is helpful in combating fevers. Yerba Mate Tea will increase bile production, enhance immunity, stimulate the heart, and fight free radicals. It works as a mild laxative.
Researchers have discovered that, “Clinical studies indicate yerba mate leaf inhibits lipoxygenase, an enzyme involved in inflammation and inflammatory diseases. Yerba mate extracts also have been shown to relax smooth muscle, to increase bile flow, and inhibit vasoconstriction.”
Side Effects of Yerba Mate Tea:
Yerba Mate is a stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy or if you have been recommended to avoid caffeine. Do not drink Yerba Mate tea if you are taking MAO (monoamine oxidase) inhibitor drugs.
The side effects generally have to do with Yerba Mate caffeine content and include heartburn, gastritis, insomnia, anxiety, and heart arrhythmias.
The safety of this extract has not been established for pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney disease.
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