The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate- Why We Should Drink It

Maybe you’ve seen the gourds at the last festi you were at or lot you were on. Maybe one of your more eclectic friends has brought it up. Traditionally, you can find it in what I like to call a wizard shop- that is a place where you get crystals, spells, sage and hippie smells. What is it? Yerba Mate- a rain forest plant that has a lot of history, health benefits and some ‘splaining to do. The health benefits of yerba mate are pretty astonishing. But what is it all about? Is it safe to drink? I’m not sure drinking rando rain forest foliage is usually on my list- however, the health benefits and history are worth a closer look. Especially since maybe it’ll help all of us drink a little less coffee.

Yerba mate comes from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the holly tree, Ilex Paraguariensis, found deep in the South American rain forest. Usually found on the Atlantic or Eastern rain forest, yerba mate leaves are hand harvested by yerbateros (cultivators) from small farms and indigenous communities in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. After the leaves are dried and ground, a gourd is filled with mate leaves and hot water to make a tea. Then yerba mate is enjoyed socially with friends or family. You can find the health benefits of yerba mate, a brief history and like… some cool mystical stuff.

A Brief History

The history of yerba mate is dense with mysticism and folklore. It originates in the South American countries of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina. Considered a gift from the goddess of the moon Yari, yerba mate was originally thought of as both medicinal and sacred. Of course, as with any natural remedy that is effective and sustainable, during colonial times it was viewed as a threat to the newly established colonies and was therefore outlawed. In some instances, disobedience even meant excommunication! Nevertheless, the Guarini people who cultivated the plant knew the health benefits of yerba mate early on and continued to produce and use it for generations. Traditionally, yerba mate is brewed with hot water and then consumed from a gourd.


A Yerba Mate Gourd


What’s in it?

To understand the health benefits of yerba mate it’s best to understand what chemicals and compounds make it so unique. It is choc full of plant nutrients:

  • Xanthines: Better known as stimulants. They include the “-ines”… caffeine and theobromine, which are also found in tea, coffee, and chocolate.
  • Caffeoyl derivatives: or antioxidants in the tea.
  • Saponins: These bitter compounds have certain anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.
  • Polyphenols: This is a large group of antioxidants, linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

In fact, the health benefits of yerba mate may actually eclipse the health benefits of green tea. It contains 7 out of 10 necessary amino acids as well as almost every single vitamin and mineral our bodies need. However, important to note that it contains a small amount of those nutrients- perhaps why it was such a sustainable drink for the indigenous Guarini people.

At 85 mg of caffeine per cup it’s perhaps in a Goldilocks zone.

More than Tea less than Coffee.

Coffee > Yerba Mate > Tea

So switch out your coffee and give it a try. Most people report that it has all of the benefits of coffee without the jittery feel. It overall is most certainly more nutritous than coffee and tea.

What’s does it do for us?

Here are some claims for the heath benefits of yerba mate and how it effects our bodies and performance from the website healthline which is reviewed by medical practitioners:

  • Yerba mate increases your body’s reliance on fat for fuel during exercise. It may also improve muscle contractions and reduce fatigue, all of which may contribute to better physical performance.
  • Yerba mate may have some anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic, and anti-fungal properties.
  • Yerba mate may reduce appetite, boost metabolism, and increase the amount of fat burned for fuel. This could help you lose weight.
  • Yerba mate has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may boost your immune system.Yerba mate may improve insulin signaling and blood sugar control.
  • Yerba mate’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties may help protect against heart disease.

Green tea is seen is the ultimate tea for health, weight loss and fat burning by many fitness fanatics and dieters. This has happened for two simple reasons:

  1. Green tea has been proven to have a positive impact on weight loss due to its chemical composition.
  2. Many green tea drinkers are not aware of Yerba Mate and the greater potential of its own phytochemicals.

Many tea drinkers swear by the health benefits of Yerba Mate for weight loss because it contains the following:

  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Caffeine
  • Theobromine
  • Caffeic acid
  • 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid and 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid
  • Quercetin
  • Kaempferol
  • Rutin
  • Minerals such as phosphorous, iron, and calcium
  • Vitamins C, B1, and B2

Medical tests showed that yerba mate had a positive effect on the reduction of lipid accumulation and increased adipose tissue. In other words, fatty lipids are not absorbed at the same rate, reducing the build of fatty tissue.

Yerba Mate consumption has an effect on the intake of food and energy expenditure. This means a higher metabolic rate and a greater chance of burning existing fat.

You can find some more information from the actual sources:

  1. Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet (URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3315195/)
  2. Anti-obesity effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial (URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4583719/)

Your Yerba is showing

Although the health benefits of yerba mate are pretty awesome it’s also part of a culture. As mentioned before Yerba is drank out of gourds traditionally. They used to all be ceramic or clay but now since yerba mate has become a little more mainstream, many companies have created more durable metal varieties there are a couple examples

Yerba Mate Natural Gourd/Tea Cup Set
Davoa Yerba Mate Gourd - 12oz Yerba Mate Cup

#1 Best selling Yerba Mate in the world

You can drink yerba mate cold or hot- some studies suggest that the hot preparation releases some carcinogenic aromatic hydrocarbons that may lead or cause some forms of cancer. If that concerns you there is a ready made cold yerba mate that is delicious and readily available. Guayakiyerbamate.com is here to bring it to you!

Guayaki Yerba Mate

22 Replies to “The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate- Why We Should Drink It”

  1. Thank you for a wonderful article. I am often skeptical about products like this. Articles spout out fancy names for ingredients the could mean anything. You go into detail and make things out so they can be understood. The only thing that put me off the site is the picture. It reminds me a a smokers pipe.

    1. Hey Castle! thank you for the feedback, which picture in particular bothered you- the black icon next to the title? I’m glad you enjoyed the information. Thanks!

  2. Hello there! This is an amazing article you have got here. I am sure this informations in your review will be of great help to any one who come across it as it is to me. I encouraged my family to take Yerba Mate because just like any other caffeinated food or beverage, it increases the energy levels and make you feel less tired.

    I recommend for others also.

    1. Thank you so much! I encourage it too- there are so many health benefits and the company Guayaki is all about sustainability. In today’s day in age that’s impressive to me. 

  3. I stopped drinking coffee because it was not doing anything good to my skin, I tried to eliminate various foods until I found out coffee was the culprit. Since then I’ve been looking at alternatives what to drink instead and I consume green tea and other teas as well as cocoa regularly. I know yerba mate but didn’t know it has even better composition than green tea. I’m definitely gonna add it to my drinking routine now. Thank you for the valuable information.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! Click the link on the site to buy through the Guayaki store on Amazon. Guayaki is a nice entryway because it’s pre-made delicious and supports the rainforest. Check out my About page for more info.

  4. This is a very informative article about a product that I have not heard about.  Now I am informed about Yerba Mate and will look for it as an option for a warm drink.  I still like my coffee, but am drinking less of it and added green tea to do so.  Maybe Yerba Mate should also be in my kitchen.  Where can I get the leaves themselves?  Should I try health food stores?  

    I don’t have those health concerns like weight loss or heart problems, but I do have chronic pain.  Although you don’t mention that it might help, I know that the antioxidant properties of Yerba Mate would have a positive affect.  I also am impressed that it has those 7 amino acids!  Those are so important to our nutrition.

    Your article is well written and thought out.  I find it has great value to inform about this topic.  

    Barbara

  5. From what I know, Yerba mate contains antioxidant, such as caffeoyl derivatives and polyphenols, which may protect against heart disease. Thanks a lot for sharing this awesome article I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me as it has help others as it has help me.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing with us an interesting and excellent article. The principal content of this article is The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate. It is really pretty that you have demonstrated this topic so well in your article. I have learned a lot by reading your article and gained a lot of cognition about it. Of the points mentioned in your article, I like What’s does it do for us? I have been drinking this drink for a long time which makes me want to boost my energy. Yerba Mate also acts as a source of antioxidants which is very beneficial for my mental health. Considering the overall aspect I would say those who are health conscious must have eaten it.
    Finally, I have read and enjoyed your article so would like to share about the article in my social media group if you allow me.

  7. It’s interesting to me when I see new sites talking about new stuff I never even heard off. But anything promoted to keep a person healthy is worth noting. First thing I would ask is this Yerba stuff safe for our bodies? Would a person rate this up there with the many other heath products I’ve read about. (I guess the worst thing that could happen, is that this Yerba stuff will ‘kill you deader than a doorknob.’ lol. But seriously, careful research would be done in order to see if it’s safe. Phone calls needed to be made. Our bodies and what we put in them should be taken with careful consideration.

    1. Yerba is safe in moderation- there are some claims that it has some negative effects but I don’t think any different than most beverages in the stimulant category. Thanks RJ!

  8. Thank you for this contribution, I really enjoyed it, why, because I totally forgot Yerba Mate, you opened my eyes again. We were drinking Mate in Brasile on our Circumnavigation, 2000-2010, we loved it. What I also love is that special feeling you get when you drink the Mate from those beautiful Yerba Mate nature thee cups. Brings me back to Brasile, thank you so much for this. 

    Of course, this drink is great, it is tasty and healthy. I have an intermittent fasting website myself and help people lose weight healthily. Yerba Mate is a perfect drink for the morning hours, it reduces the feeling of hunger and gives an energy boost, which is exactly what I would like to give my readers, a healthy drink with no side effects. Did I say thank you, I did, but ones again, Thank you so much.

  9. As someone who loves natural ingredients, I really appreciate this information. This plant seems to be a wonder-plant with all these benefits. It’s good that you have explained what it contains and what it can do to our bodies so that one knows exactly what they are taking in. Thank you so much for your article.

  10. Wow, a great article! These past few weeks, I have been experiencing difficulty to maintain my daily repetitions for exercise. I usually do weights like dumb bells and I easily get exhausted with just a few repetitions. It is actually good to know that Yerba mate can boost my muscle contraction during those times and decrease fatigue. I can’t wait to get myself a few bottles of it!

  11. I actually don’t drink coffee or tea, just wasn’t really for me. But it’s nice learning about the benefits that a simple drink can provide people aside from being something tasty. If I ever see it around stores, I might try it out sometime. Or at the very least recommend Yerba Mate to my parents, as they’ve been drinking tea fairly recently.

    1. Thank you for the comment. Give it a try- it’s not like regular tea. I find it tastier and I have a CBD infused one that is awesome. 

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