Simple Ways to Stay Healthy


By Valerie Lull, MH

Yerba Mate

Yerba mate tea (also called mate) comes from a South American plant called llex paraguariensis. It  has been used for centuries by the Guarani Indians as a beverage and as a treatment for a number of ailments. According to their tradition mate is drunk from a gourd with a silver straw.

Mate is made from the twigs and leaves of the plant and are usually dried over a fire. The dried leaves and twigs are steeped in hot water to make a tea. Some proponents consider mate better than coffee. It contains xanthines which are a class of chemicals that includes theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline. These same chemicals are found in coffee and chocolate. Many  people use mate as an alternative to coffee and tea.

The health benefits of Yerba mate include relieving fatigue, reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases, depression and mood problems, and cancer.It has been used for obesity, and hyperglycemia in diabetes. The tea is also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and contains antioxidants.

Yerba mate contains polyphenols, saponins, and xanthines. Mate contains phytonutrients like tannins chlorophyll, flavonoids and 15 amino acids.  It also contains traces of zinc, potassium, aluminum, manganese, copper, chromium and nickel. Mate has vitamins B1, B2, and C.

There is some concern about the consumption of Yerba Mate and increased risk of cancer of the oral cavity, the esophagus and the larynx. Some authorities think it is because the beverage is drunk when it is extremely hot. Others think it is contaminated by PAHs, which are chemicals that are also found in tobacco smoke and grilled meat. For this reason it is recommended that the beverage be consumed in moderation. Always consult your health care practitioner when trying a new herbal remedy.

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References  a  drink to help de-stress.

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Simple Ways to Stay Healthy

I am a master herbalist and I write a blog about general health and wellness. I discuss herbs, natural remedies and nutrition.

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