Have you ever heard of yerba mate? This plant, native to Latin America, is most often consumed as an infusion. With properties similar to those of tea or coffee, yerba mate has interesting benefits and virtues on health.
You can find a list of the best natural foods for weight loss here.
What is yerba mate?
Paraguayan tea, yerba maté or quite simply “maté”… This plant has many names and yet few know it in Europe. Yerba mate is a South American plant belonging to the ilex genus, just like holly. Its leaves are roasted before being pulverized and infused in water, to create a hot drink: mate. This drink is rich in caffeine and produces effects similar to those of tea or coffee.
Yerba mate is grown mainly in South America, and mainly in Argentina, southern Brazil and Paraguay. In the wild, Yerba mate is an almost endangered plant due to heavy deforestation in its region of origin. In recent decades, yerba mate has been gaining popularity, especially in the West. Its medicinal properties and virtues are not foreign.
The composition of yerba mate
The main components of yerba mate are flavonoids, triterpene saponins, vitamins, essential oil and tannins. This plant, and in particular its leaves, is also composed of catechins, purine bases and caffeoylquinic acid. Caffeine is linked to this last molecule. So if these few compound names don’t mean anything to you, it’s primarily because these are their scientific names. Yerba maté is essentially composed of naturally antioxidant molecules and toning active ingredients.
The benefits of yerba mate
What are the benefits of yerba mate? How can the infusions of its leaves be beneficial to us? Reply.
Lose weight with mate
Yerba mate is one of the herbs often found in weight loss programs and cures. Indeed, in France and the United Kingdom, this plant is considered as an adjunct to cures and slimming diets. And this, mainly because of its effects on hunger! Yerba mate acts as a very effective natural appetite suppressant. But not only.
Indeed, the studies carried out to date, and in particular a study carried out in Switzerland, have made it possible to demonstrate the favorable effects of yerba mate on weight loss (1). Losing weight with mate is therefore very possible and that is why this food is now one of the most popular natural food supplements for weight loss. For this, it is necessary to combine daily and regular infusions (in the form of cures) of mate with a healthy and balanced diet, and regular physical activity. Indeed, while mate is effective in weight loss, it does not replace the effects of sport and a good diet on the body!
Finally, because it contains natural antioxidants, the mate plant helps the body rid itself of toxins and free radicals. This allows the body’s functions to function optimally, including the metabolism!
Effects on cognition
Yerba mate has stimulating effects on the central nervous system. These effects are mainly related to the presence of caffeine in its composition. Clinical trials of the South American plant show that caffeine improves cognitive function in the short term (2) (3). These functions are mainly memory, learning, perception, attention, etc. And caffeine is one of the main active agents in mate.
On the other hand, the caffeine in yerba mate, which stimulates our central nervous system, also boosts attention. But it also helps fight falling asleep and drowsiness. The experiments carried out show that caffeine (and mate, by association) makes it possible to reinforce the vigilance and to fight against fatigue and its dangers (4).
Physical and mental fatigue
Since 1998, the E. Commission has recognized the use of yerba mate to combat physical fatigue, but also against fatigue and mental exhaustion. Studies carried out on this plant and its main active substances all agree on this essential point. In fact, mate has been used in this sense by the peoples of South America for thousands of years. Thanks to the import of this plant in Europe, we too can benefit from it through mate infusions.
A naturally antioxidant plant
As we have already mentioned, mate contains antioxidants. These are mainly polyphenols. In fact, scientists are very interested in plants rich in polyphenols and in yerba mate for their potential preventive effects against different types of cancer. This is because antioxidants have the effect of reducing the risk of developing this disease, but they also play a protective role on the blood vessels and on our heart (5).
Yerba mate and cholesterolemia
Regular consumption of yerba mate in the form of herbal teas helps lower cholesterol levels significantly. Especially in people with high or normal cholesterol levels. On the other hand, in this regard, yerba mate helps to strengthen the balance between good cholesterol (LDL) and bad cholesterol (HDL). This effect is typically seen in people taking statins, or prone to high cholesterol and dyslipidemia (6).
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that yerba mate is a plant naturally rich in antioxidants. As such, it helps the body prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, which is often accelerated by the harmful influence of free radicals on the body.
Traditional uses of yerba mate
Yerba mate, like many plants native to Latin America, has been used for thousands of years by indigenous peoples. It is known to act on the central nervous system, due to its caffeine content. But it also relieves headaches associated with poor peripheral blood circulation, since it stimulates blood pressure (Taylor L. Herbal Secrets of the Rainforest. Sage Press, Inc., United States, 2003). In addition, and for a long time, mate has been traditionally used against pain associated with rheumatism. However, in this regard, scientific studies have failed to determine a real effectiveness of the plant. Clinical trials are still needed.
Consumption of maté: what you need to know
Here is some essential information about consuming mate. Where to find mate, how to consume it, contraindications and side effects, etc.
Where to find Yerba mate?
Today, mate is mostly found as an infusion. It is easily found in organic stores, specialty stores and grocery stores and even in drugstores. Also note that you can buy mate on the Internet. For this, we recommend that you obtain it from a trusted seller. Ideally, choose a maté native to Latin America, and cultivated in conditions that respect the environment. In other words, drink organic mate! Finally, yerba mate has almost disappeared in the wild: we must therefore favor organic cultures of mate for our infusions.
Dosage of mate
The dosage of yerba mate is important not to overconsume this plant rich in caffeine. There are different ways to prepare it, especially with the traditional calabash. But for a classic infusion, we recommend that you consume between 1.5 and 2 grams of dried mate, infused in 150 milliliters of hot (not boiling) water for five to ten minutes. Do not exceed three cups of this preparation per day to avoid consuming too much caffeine! Of course, if you consume mate, it should not be done in addition to coffee and tea, but instead of these tonic drinks.
Contraindications to the consumption of mate
Like any other product or plant containing caffeine, yerba mate should be consumed in a reasonable and prudent manner. Likewise, you should avoid combining yerba mate with other plants containing caffeine or theine: kola nuts, guarana, tea … The stimulating effects of these plants add up! The same is true for bitter orange and ephedrine, which should be avoided in combination with mate.
People who are taking neuroleptics, pain relievers, bronchodilators, or antacids and antiulcer drugs should not consume yerba mate or herbs containing caffeine. Of course, since this substance is prohibited during pregnancy, yerba mate is not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children.
Adverse effects of mate
Consuming yerba mate can, in some cases, lead to side effects. Most of the time, these effects are headache, restlessness, nervousness and insomnia. But it is also possible to observe heart palpitations, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting. Of course, if these symptoms appear, stop your mate treatment or reduce the number of daily infusions. If they persist or worsen, see a doctor right away.
Be aware that prolonged consumption of a product containing caffeine can be addictive. It is therefore essential to respect the recommended cure times (approximately two to three weeks) and above all: to respect two week break times between two mate cures.
Originally posted 2020-08-04 17:47:18.