Yerba Mate is a specific for gout helping to rid the body of uric acid. It is one of the more popular stimulants for the brain and nervous system.
Mate as older generation herbalists call this herb, is also a diuretic an anti-spasmodic, anti-rheumatic, immune system booster and is effective as a weight loss tea. It is the number one drink in Central America and encourages social interaction which is beneficial to overall health.
Body Mind and Soul – Psychological Benefits of Drinking Yerba Mate
In Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, Yerba Mate is more popular than coffee. The favoured way to drink Mate is in a group. Mate is generally drunk in a hollowed out gourd with a bombilla or metal straw with filters in the bottom. Several close friends or family members will get together and share the Mate forming a close bond. Sharing Mate is a sign of total acceptance and friendship.
A request to share mate is a high compliment and should be appreciated as such. The closeness of the mate sharing ritual adds meaning and belonging to the individuals psyche.
Herbal Weight Loss – Yerba Mate as a Weight Loss Supplement
Mate operates effectively as a general tonic increasing energy while not effecting sleep patterns. The increase in energy may also lead to an increase in activity which is beneficial in weight loss. The diuretic effects of mate also relieve water retention and allow a flushing of the system.
The main chemical components in mate which assist in weight loss are caffeine, theobromine and theophylline. The diuretic action of these chemicals assists in the reduction of water retention.
In 1999 in a Swiss study with humans it was found that mate had a thermogenic effect causing a rise in the amount of fat burned as energy. Another study combined mate with damiana and guarana which prolonged gastric emptying allowing the body to feel full longer. As a metabolism booster mate is safe and effective providing there is no pre-existing high blood pressure.
Yerba Mate and Your Heart
Numerous studies have shown mate to inhibit lipid peroxidation – particularly LDL
(low-density lipoprotein) oxidation. LDL or bad cholesterol oxidation is thought to be the initiator in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries through the build up of cholesterol.
Mate also has been shown to relax smooth muscle tissue, inhibit vasoconstriction and improve bile flow.
Yerba Mate Herb Health Considerations
While the FDA considers yerba mate generally safe there are side effects and contraindications.
- Mate should be consumed in small quantities by those suffering from diabetes, ulcers and high blood pressure. The caffeine in mate is contraindicated in those with caffeine sensitivities.
- Mate has been reported to have MAO inhibitor activity so those taking MAO inhibitor drugs should use mate with caution
Argentineans consume 11 pounds per capita annually while in Uruguay they consume 22 pounds. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that overconsumption of mate has lead to an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
As an overall tonic and healing herb as well as a pleasant alternative to coffee and tea yerba mate is safe. Yerba Mate is an acquired taste however there is something about it that once tasted causes many people to desire to try it again.
Originally published on Suite101.com