Mate herb


Medicinal plant and drink used as a stimulant, diuretic and slimming, can be found in infusion or capsules.


Name in Portuguese: yerba mate, mate (drink), mate, mate tea, yerba mate, congonha
Binomial name: Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.
French name: Maté , yerba
mate English name: mate, mate, yerba mate
German name: Mate
Italian name: mate
Spanish name: Mate, Yerba mate




Alkaloids based on purines (caffeine), tannins, polyphenols (action against cell aging, according to a survey by the National University of Misiones, Argentina, July 2009), potassium, magnesium.

parts used



– Stimulant, diuretic, slimming: glycogenolytic (sugar burning), lipolytic or liporeductive (fat burning), antioxidant, anti-cellulite, against cell aging.


– Fatigue , excess weight (complementary in case of diet), cellulite , diabetes, reduction of bad cholesterol (LDL). Osteoporosis (prevention in postmenopausal women, see notes below).

Secundary effects

Excitement, nervousness.


Heart problems (due to the caffeine content).


We don’t know.

Yerba mate preparations

– * Yerba mate infusion

– Yerba mate capsules

* It is possible to buy sachets based on yerba mate already prepared in pharmacies or the dried leaves to consume in the gourd, in specialized stores.


– Use a special gourd (also known as mate, name used in South America) or a glass with a special spoon, add the mate to half of the container.
Leave for 10 minutes in hot water, so that the infusion occurs and then, after pouring the hot water.
Then it is possible to drink the mate hot, very hot, due to the special spoon, in Spanish this special spoon is called a bombilla. You can add sugar if you find the drink too bitter.
Add a little water each time to top up, when necessary, with new mate. Stir the spoon each time you add water to “recharge” the tea’s active ingredients. However, some people prefer not to stir the spoon (bombilla) to avoid too strong preparation.

Mate is for drinking with friends! For people visiting regions of South America, it is a unique experience.

Where does yerba mate grow?

Yerba mate grows mainly in South America (mainly in Uruguay, Brazil (south), Paraguay and Argentina).

Yerba mate is a tree native to South America, for example, it grows in the forest in the state of Santa Catarina (southern Brazil). It is a tree that can reach 20 m in height.


– This plant is widely used in South America, and is considered the national drink in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil. It is not as popular in Europe or the United States as coffee is by far the most popular. Its properties are similar to those of yerba mate, which has very interesting medicinal properties, in addition to a very important social aspect (it is appreciated by groups, in the same gourd).

– A study carried out with 146 women in Argentina in Mendonça in early 2012 showed that postmenopausal women who drank at least one liter of mate per day had a lower risk of developing osteoporosis.

– A study carried out in the south of Brazil showed that yerba mate reduces cholesterol and especially LDL (bad cholesterol) by approximately 10% among people who consume 1 liter per day in 3 doses and 10 minutes after meals (before or later). Yerba mate acts on cholesterol absorption, in general, classic anti-cholesterol drugs act on cholesterol synthesis. It is possible to consume yerba mate and take medication to lower cholesterol (there is no risk of interaction). Talk to your doctor.

– In Brazil (except in the south), yerba mate is consumed mainly in the form of cold tea with a little lemon.

– Scientists have found a rate of throat cancer, including the upper esophagus, higher than the rest of the world in some areas of Latin America where yerba mate is consumed. This increased incidence of esophageal cancer is not caused by the yerba mate itself, but by the fact that many consumers drink the herb very hot, almost boiling. According to an institution linked to the WHO, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there is physical evidence that hot drinks, in this case mate, can help to damage the cells of the esophagus and consequently contribute to the development of this disease. cancer. To limit the risk of esophageal cancer, you should not drink yerba mate at a temperature above 65°C. This study carried out by several universities around the world, includingUniversity of Southern California  (USC), was published on June 15, 2016 in The Lancet .

Weight loss and mate tea (cold mate tea)
Drinking mate tea can stimulate fat burning and help you lose weight. A research team from the University of Friborg in Switzerland found that cold tea is probably more effective for weight loss than hot tea.
Scientists at the Integrated Laboratory of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Physiology ( Laboratoire de physiologie cardiovasculaire et métabolique intégrative) from the University of Freiburg compared metabolism and circulation responses in 23 healthy young adults who drank two cups of unsweetened mate tea (yerba mate). One day the tea was cold (3 degrees) and the next it was hot (55 degrees). For 90 minutes, blood pressure, heart rate, amount of blood pumped from the heart, oxygen consumption and fat oxidation were measured. These data were compared with the values ​​measured half an hour before drinking the tea. It was found that energy consumption after cold tea increased twice (+8.3%) more than after hot tea (+3.7%). Cold tea also promotes fat oxidation and reduces the metabolic burden on the heart. However, more research is needed to confirm that cold tea is helpful for weight management.Frontiers in Physiology (DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00315).

Jeanne Kenney
 | Website

I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *