Botanical Name: Ilex paraguariensis
- English: Yerba Mate
- Also, known as: Mate Tea, Yerba Mate, Paraguay Tea, Jesuit’s Brazil Tea, Mate, Erva Mate, Congonha, Erveira, Paraguay Cayi, Paraguay Tea, Jesuits’ Tea, St. Bartholomew’s Tea, South American Holly, Matéteestrauch, Erva-Verdadeira, Hervea, Caminú, Kkiro, Kali Chaye, Ka’a
Habitat: Native to South America
Parts Used: Leaves
Yerba Mate is a national drink in some countries in South America, especially in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil. Less astringent and contains less tannin than ordinary tea.
Ilex paraguariensis, is a dioecious evergreen tree which grows up to 18 to 20 m tall. The leaves are 5-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, green, alternate, a leathery consistency, coriaceous and obovate with a serrate margin and obtuse apex. The inflorescences are in corymboid fascicles, the male ones in a dichasium with three to 11 flowers, the female ones with one or three flowers. The flowers are small, and simple, number four or five and have a whitish corolla. The fruits are small red berries about 4-6mm in diameter containing 4 seeds apiece.
It was Spanish explorers first reported that the Guarani people, and the Tupi people in Brazil, brewed a drink resulting in an experience of ‘exhilaration and relief form fatigue’. The Spanish Conquistadors were responsible for opening the significant trade routes for yerba mate, which eventually lead to the immense commercial supply today. Argentina, the main producer and consumer, grows around 130000 ha of mate in the northeast of the country; Misiones and Corrientes which produce about 140000 tons per year. Brazil is the world's second producer, followed by Paraguay.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.