- Apr 23, 2018
What's so great about Yerba Mate?
AUTHOR - DR. DAVID JACK
Benefits of Yerba Mate
- A balanced energy boost
- Better mental function
- A nutritional powerhouse
- Traditional medicinal uses
- Immune system booster
- Builds strong bones
- Keeps a healthy heart
Made from the leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree, local tribes have sipped Yerba Mate for its rejuvenating effects for hundreds of years.
Dubbed “the drink of the gods” by many indigenous South Americans and later “the green gold of the Indios” by European settlers, Yerba Mate assumes similar cultural importance to Japanese tea ceremonies. Drinking Yerba Mate tea is often a social event, and sharing this drink is a sign of friendship and bonding.
Wildly popular in Uruguay and considered the national drink of Argentina, it’s not unusual to see people walking down the street in this part of the world, sipping ‘mate’ while carrying a thermos of hot water to refresh their drink.
Here are just some of the benefits of this herb, which is considered an adaptogen.
1. A balanced energy boost
A state of alert wakefulness comes from Yerba Mate - similar to coffee, but without the side effects. So there’s no sleep interference or caffeine jitters. It does contain 85mg of caffeine per 8oz cup – so more than tea but less than coffee. Athletes use it to enhance physical performance.
2. Better mental function
Enhancing memory, mood, and alertness, Yerba Mate brings more motivation and stimulates the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
It contains two compounds, theobromine and theophylline which are alkaloids working together with caffeine to provide a mild stimulant effect.
Yerba Mate has found a niche following among brain hackers seeking to optimise mental performance with anything that gives them an edge.
3. A nutritional powerhouse
This herb contains practically all the micronutrients needed to sustain life.
Each serving contains:
Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, C and E. Calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulfur and zinc. It also contains other beneficial phytonutrients such as tannins, trace minerals, chlorophyll, flavonoids, and 15 amino acids. Yerba mate contains 11 polyphenols and exhibits more antioxidant power than any other tea-based drink.
4. Traditional medicinal uses
Herbalist and naturopaths swear by Yerba Mate as an overall tonic and digestive aid, for weight loss, as a tonic for pain, fatigue and depression, and for allergies and sinusitis.
There are close to 100 scientific studies which support the health claims of traditional Yerba Mate.
5. Immune system booster
Yerba Mate is high in compounds called saponins.
These natural emulsifiers boost the immune system and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It also contains potent antioxidants known as polyphenols – plant-based compounds which modulate the overactive immune response contributing to seasonal allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
6. Builds strong bones
Yerba Mate increases bone density, even in people who don’t exercise.
A study of postmenopausal women, who were at risk for osteoporosis, found that those who regularly drank mate had almost 10% greater bone density in their spines than women who didn’t drink it. Neither group of women exercised.
7. Keeps a healthy heart
Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties mean Yerba Mate protects the heart and cardiovascular system. The theobromine in mate relaxes blood vessels allowing for better blood flow.