The mate

Common name: Yerba Mate
Scientific Name: Ilex Paraguariensis St.Hill
Family: Aquifoliaceae Origin: Native Species of South America
Popular Synonym: Mate – Paraguay tea
Parts used: Leaves
Active Ingredient: Purine alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline and theobromine), tannins and chlorogenic acid.
Therapeutic properties:  Stimulant, diuretic, digestive, energetic, laxative, sudorific and tonic.
Therapeutic indications:  Cancer (Colon), diabetes, fatigue, depression, ulcers, pancreas, heart diseases, among others.

The History of mate

The Yerba Mate (yur-bah mah-tay) belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family, which is originally from the subtropical regions of South America, but is also present in the southern region of Brazil, and in the northern area of Argentina and Paraguay. It was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and Quechua people who made a habit of drinking the infusion of its leaves.

The Yerba Mate trees can reach up to 12 meters in height, and these trees have a grayish stem as well as evergreen leaves that can be used in many different ways. The Mate word comes from the Quechua “Mati” which is the name of the Cuia (Gourd) container where the tea is sipped through a bombilla (tea sipper). This tradition is still very popular in the southern area of South America, and in Brazil they called it Chimarrão.

Currently, Yerba Mate has been exported to several countries in the world, and is commonly consumed as blends that are packaged in tea bags usually combined with other herbs and flavorings.

The mate has a particular taste and many beneficial health properties. Liquid and dry (Spry Drier method) extracts can be seen through their leaves.  These leaves have many different purposes, such as the preparation of food and beverages and the in the pharmaceutical industry.