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Botanical name: Ilex paraguariensis
Other names: chimarrao, green mate, hervea, Ilex, Jesuit’s Brazil tea, Jesuit’s tea, maté, maté folium, Paraguay tea, St. Bartholomew’s tea, thé de Saint Barthélémy, thé des Jésuites, thé du Brésil, thé du Paraguay, yerbamate
Uses: Stimulant, tonic, thermogenic, nervine, anti-allergy
Yerba mate has long been a part of South American culture very popular in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, where it is more heavily consumed than coffee or tea. Beyond being a popular beverage, yerba mate is used as an overall tonic, as it is rich in antioxidants and minerals, and as a stimulant to reduce tiredness and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Further, mate is used to remedy cardiac ailments such as congestive heart failure (CHF), irregular heartbeat, and low blood pressure; depression; headache; joint pains; urinary tract infections (UTI); and kidney and bladder stones. Often included in weight-loss formulas, it acts as a laxative and diuretic, suppresses the appetite, and increases metabolism. Yerba mate is reputed to boost energy and enhance memory as well.
Note: People who are sensitive to caffeine or who have hypertension (high blood pressure) should exercise caution when using yerba mate.
Yerba mate reportedly poses a cancer risk to those who consume it in large quantities over a long period of time. Using yerba mate and smoking tobacco multiplies the long-term risk of cancer by 300 to 700 percent.