What once was a traditional South American tribal drink, is now sweeping the world as a new, healthy energy drink, and a refreshing alternative to tea and coffee.
A gently-caffeinated drink, yerba mate is prized amongst its fan for giving that reviving kick, without any of the jitters.
And now, as its popularity grows and grows, we too can get our hands on this natural beverage that’s been a jungle secret for centuries. The question is, when are you going to try yerba mate?
What is Yerba Mate?
The yerba mate (pronounced yerba mah-tay) plant grows in the forests of South America, and for centuries, the indigenous people have ground up the leaves and stems to make a beverage that is revered for its energy-boosting, and strengthening properties.
Traditional folklore tells the story of a mysterious Shamen, who rewarded a young woman with the recipe for the yerba mate beverage, after she loyally remained with her aging father whilst her tribe moved on.
In the last few years, Yerba Mate has moved out of the forests, and into modern South America, where it is now hugely popular, and is manufactured either as a cold drink, or in dried tea form for a refreshing hot version. The drink itself is naturally caffeinated, which explains it’s energy-boosting ability. In fact, although it isn’t strictly a tea, it has many similarities to one, and even has a grassy taste not unlike green tea.
What the Papers Say:
Los Angeles Times: (Click article for full size)
Yerba Mate: A Great Alternative to Tea and Coffee:
If you’re looking for something to kick start your day, or even for something that will get you through the afternoon without keeping you up all night, then yerba mate may just be the drink for you. Gently-caffeinated, packed full of healthy antioxidants, and a favourite for centuries with the indigenous tribes of South America for being an all-round immune system booster, it’s only a matter of time before Yerba Mate has a permanent home in everybody’s kitchens!
Are There Health Benefits to Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate doesn’t just offer a caffeine kick- it also has many substantial health benefits, that make it a really healthy alternative to everyday tea and coffee. Traditionally, yerba mate was used to boost the immune system, for stomach upsets, as well as depression and weight-loss. Today, we have the scientific knowledge to know that these are still relevant uses for the beverage.
The key is that yerba mate is absolutely full of antioxidants, which have a wide-range of health benefits, from slowing the aging process, to maintaining a healthy heart and preventing cancer. In fact, yerba mate is believed to have 90% more antioxidants than green tea- in other words, a super concentrated dose!
Like green tea, yerba mate is also said to help in weight loss by suppressing the appetite and boosting energy levels. In addition, the drink has an effect on the metabolism, and is said to create a consistent, steady breakdown of sugars, instead of the peaks and troughs of blood-sugar levels that can cause cravings and sluggishness.
As well as providing the energy-boost you might need to get you going, yerba mate can also help you keep exercising longer; it does this by helping to breakdown and remove the lactic acid that builds up in the muscles during exertion, and causes muscles to ache and become tired.
What’s really special about Yerba Mate is that it seems able to lower cholesterol levels. Research that was carried out in Brazil in 2009, showed that participants who drank 300ml of yerba mate, three times a day for 40 days, lowered their bad cholesterol levels by up to 8.7% by the end of the trial!
What People on the Web Say:
The Perfect Pick-Me-Up!
I really like the flavor of this tea. It actually makes me feel better. During the afternoon, this provides the perfect pick me up. It gives me energy. You can actually feel the medicinal properties in it. Enough said.â€“ David Edmonton
It Makes Me Feel Good!
I started drinking Yerba Mate about 4 years ago. I used to only drink it tererÃ© (cold) but I was shown a couple of hot preparations with milk and sugar that I really like so now I do it both ways; Hot in the winter and cold the rest of the time. Yerba Mate is a wonderful substitute for coffee or soda. It makes me feel good and gives me energy but doesnâ€™t spike me up and down like regular caffeine. My soda intake has gone to almost zero since I discovered this stuff.â€“ Bryan Campbell
Iâ€™m no Morning Person, but this Works!
I am one those people who lacks complete cognitive thought process until I have had my first cup of coffee. Since, Iâ€™ve transitioned over to brewing yerba mate in my coffee maker I definitely feel a difference. I am energized mentally and physically. By itself, it has kind of an earthy flavor. I canâ€™t even relay how much energy and focus this gives me. Not only am I alert, but I feel like I process information better. Iâ€™m not a morning person, but this gives me something to look forward to.â€“ L. Dâ€™orlaque
How is Yerba Mate Not More Popular?
This stuff is reaaally neat. I am a tea drinker, no coffee for me. Not too long ago Iâ€™d never even heard of yerba mate, then one day I came across it online. As much caffeine as a cup of coffee, more antioxidants than green tea, and tastes like chocolate? But, itâ€™s true with this stuff! Iâ€™m not quite sure why this stuff isnâ€™t as popular in the US as it should be!â€“ Logan Smith