Yerba mate is a caffeinated beverage that has been popularized by celebrities such as Madonna, Beyonce, and George Clooney. It's also becoming increasingly popular in Europe due to its positive health benefits. Let’s take a closer look at this amazing beverage.
What is Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate has been consumed for centuries by the indigenous peoples of South America. It's typically served in gourds and drunk from a straw called a bombilla. The flavor can be described as earthy, grassy, or woodsy with hints of fruit like apple or citrus flavors. In addition to caffeine, yerba mate contains antioxidants that are thought to have anti-cancer properties. These antioxidants include polyphenols such as flavonoids and tannins
Yerba Mate origins
Yerba Mate is a stimulant beverage that became popular with gauchos or cowboys in South America. The drink was first consumed during periods of drought and famine when there wasn't enough food available to eat. Gauchos would sip on the tea while they were out tending their cattle drives or long harvest days. Yerba mate seeds had an interesting way of being germinated - by passing through native birds' digestive tracts!
For centuries the Yerba Mate plant was used for worship and often used in religious or important tribal ceremonies. As the Spanish colonized South America they took up the habit of drinking it and quickly spread their love of herbal plants with Europeans who were eager to try out new traditions
How does Yerba Mate work?
This plant produces a natural stimulant called Mateine, which is similar to caffeine but it has no side effects on your health, unlike coffee. Yerba mate provides you with long-lasting energy and also helps you relax at the same time. In addition, Yerba Mate is among only several rare plants that contain theobromine. Theobromine widens blood vessels which makes it a good diuretic for high blood pressure due to its vasodialator properties.
How Yerba Mate is prepared
Yerba mate is traditionally prepared in a dried container called “mate.” The modern-day version of the gourd may be made from ceramic, metal, or wood and has no solid walls but rather just one opening at the bottom to let water out when it's completely full with leaves and hot liquid that is steeped for 10 minutes before pouring into another cup. Hot water is then poured over the herbs producing a tea-like beverage.
How yerba mate grows
Yerba mate trees are usually grown in Argentina, Southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. They have also been introduced into Hawaii where they grow under the rich rainforest canopy away from direct sunlight which allows leaves to retain more nutrients and minerals for you to enjoy! Learn more about how Yerba Mate grows in our blog post: Yerba Mate Plant: Care and Growing Guide
What are the benefits of drinking Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate was used as a medicinal drink by the Incas and Aztecs who drank it to help with digestion, weight loss, and other ailments. Nowadays, we know about yerba mate's benefits too! Yerba Mate is high in antioxidants which can fight free radicals in the body that are linked to premature aging and cancer. It also contains natural stimulants like caffeine which may promote alertness or improve mental performance.
The health benefits of yerba mate depend largely on how much you consume and what your diet consists of already; however, drinking yerba mate regularly can have many positive effects on your body! Interested to learn more about Yerba Mate benefits? Check out our article Yerba Mate Health Benefits.
Is Yerba Mate a drug?
Similar to Coffee, Yerba Mate is considered a drug, in the sense that it contains caffeine, which can be addictive and may have side effects, but it does not cause hallucinations like other plant-based drugs. Yerba Mate has become more popular in the United States recently with its availability on mainstream grocery store shelves and its use as a health supplement in fitness communities such as Crossfit or Paleo dieters. There are some concerns about addiction to this stimulant beverage if consumed regularly but these risks are no worse than drinking tea or caffeine.
Where to buy Yerba Mate in stores and online