If someone has ever been in need to a wake-up boost but doesn’t like coffee, Yerba Mate is the way to go. Yerba mate has all the essential power boosting qualities of coffee but in a tea. Imagine drinking a tasty cup of tea that makes you feel happy and euphoric. Yerba mate is defined as a shrub and not an herb or flower. This shrub slowly begins to grow into a tree. The confusion sometimes lies in the name because yerba mate herb in Spanish. The yerba mate is a tree that sprouts flowers and leaves. This type of tree is found in the continent of South America, more specifically, in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. This caffeinated drink was originally discovered in South America and eventually made its way to Europe during the 16th century. One of the oldest yerba mate trees can be found at the Mate Historic Park in Campo Largo, Brazil.
Drinking yerba mate is definitely an acquired taste because it has a slightly mild and bitter taste to it. However, once you get back the bitterness you are sure to find yerba mate a healthy alternative to soda or coffee. Listed below are the health benefits of yerba mate.
- Full of vitamins: There are so many amino acids, minerals and vitamins packed into yerba mate. Some of the most common vitamins and like properties found in yerba mate include: vitamins A, B1, C, sodium, zinc, calcium, potassium and magnesium. These are only a handful of properties associated with yerba mate. Other nutrients that are found in yerba mate include: theobromine, xanthine and caffeoyl derivatives.
- Decreases risk of cancer: The high level of antioxidants in yerba mate can help fight against cancer and other disorders. The properties of polyphenols are what makes the success of the yerba mate effective.
- Has natural anti-inflammatory properties: Saponins are the main ingredient in yerba mate that give it a kicker in the taste department. The bitterness comes from the saponin but it contains “special powers”. The “power” to decrease inflammation is an important way to help heal the body.
- Helps with weight loss: Avoiding caffeine during bikini season is one way to help shed some pounds. However, the yerba mate contains caffeine and it still helps reduce excess body fat. The reason being is that the ingredients found in yerba mate help burn more fat.
- Increases energy: Caffeine is known to be an energy booster. Exercising on a daily basis helps increase the bone health but yerba mate can help do that without exercising.
- Lowers cholesterol: With just a couple of cups of yerba mate a day, one can kick cholesterol goodbye. Yerba mate can also assist in boosting the immune system.
- Enormous amount of nutritional value: One of the main diseases that engulfs the lives of many people is diabetes. Diabetes is a crippling disease for many people but yerba mate can help. Yerba mate has the properties that can lower glucose as well as increase fiber intake. It is best not to add any additional sugar or honey to a cup of yerba mate tea. The use of yerba mate has also clinically shown to reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The only downside to ingesting too much yerba mate is it can cause sleepiness or jitteriness in some people. Not everyone reacts the same way to too much yerba mate, but be cautious. Too much of anything is not a good idea.
Not To Mix With
Just like many medications and drinks, yerba mate should not be mixed with certain products. For example, this a list of things that should not be taken with yerba mate.
- Do not mix with alcohol
- Do not use prescription drugs
- Avoid smoking heavily
- Limit your intake of other caffeine products
- Not recommended if you are expecting or breast-feeding
- Do not take with anti-depressants or anxiety medication such as Xanax or Luvox
- Do not mix with diabetes medication
- Do not compensate yerba mate for asthma medication
It is important to talk to your primary care physician before starting a new medication or yerba mate. Certain side effects of using yerba mate with other drugs can include: heart palpitations, anxiety and insomnia.