Yerba Mate Plant- How To Grow it, Make it and Drink it.

The Yerba Mate tea is a beverage from South America, very popular in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

The “Gauchos” (Argentinean cowboys) adopted the Yerba Mate as part of their culture.

As well as riding and wearing leather clothing.

They took mate in a group, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and before bedtime.

Yerba Mate is cultivated in Argentina, Paraguay, and southern Brazil, where the conditions of the land, temperature, and humidity are ideal.

Like those gauchos of yesteryear, the mate is part of the daily life of an average Argentine.

It is consumed, not only for its properties as an infusion but for its role as a social bond.

Mate is an herbal infusion that is prepared with Yerba mate, made from a plant called Ilex Paraguariensis. It has a slightly bitter taste and although there are several ways to take it.

The most traditional is hot primed mate, which is prepared by adding hot water to the Yerba mate in a special container and taking the infusion through a thin tube called a bulb.

Related article: The 12 best teas for more energy.

How To Grow it.

The Ilex Paraguariensis or Yerba mate plant is grown mainly in the humid subtropical region of Argentina, in the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes.

Where rainfall reaches about 1800 millimeters per year and average temperatures of 21┬║ C.

The plant also needs the red soils typical of these regions that provide the acid level and minerals it needs.

Dry seeds are sown between March and April.

The plants are taken to a nursery when leaves begin to emerge and there they spend up to 1 year before being grown in the field.

Where they will be the next 3-5 years before the first harvest. The Yerba mate plant can have a productive life of up to 100 years.

How to make it.

Brewing and serving the drink is always left in the primer, who is usually the host. The tea is prepared in the pumpkin filling two-thirds with dried Yerba.

Then it is shaken so that the larger leaves and twigs go to the bottom and the smallest, the finest particles rise to the top so they can not plug the bulb.

Next, it is important to tilt the pumpkin so that the grass tilts. At this time, hot or cold water is put in the pumpkin to hydrate the yerba and the bulb is inserted.

And, now, everything is ready for the primer to make the mate with hot water

Another option is to prepare it with very cold water and ice.

It is very consumed in summer, on days when it is very hot as it is very refreshing.

This variant of the matte is known as tereré.

Finally, we find the infusion, and for its preparation, we will make the same as with the matte, we heat water, but this time we will add the Yerba mate before it comes to a boil, which is then strained and served in a cup.

How to drink it?

The most traditional way is to prepare it in a container in which hot water is poured and this is sucked by a kind of light bulb, this method is known as matte.

The container used to drink mate (the pumpkin of mate) is called mate, It is traditionally made of a pumpkin, which was emptied and left to dry in the sun, but can also be made of metal, wood, or horn.

In addition to the pumpkin, you need a light bulb. The bulb is a metal straw that ends with a filter.

Traditionally, it is made of silver and includes ornaments, although the most modern are made of stainless steel or nickel.

yerba mate plant

Photo by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels

Yerba Mate Tea Benefits.

Among the main benefits of consuming, mate can be noted that the Yerba Mate is energizing, a diuretic, and a stimulant of the nervous system.

This helps to lose weight because the mateine that contains produces a slight increase in fat burning and metabolism,

It is also Bronchodilator, a mild laxative, and a digestive.

In addition, Yerba Mate is a good contribution of vitamins and minerals important to the organism.

It has antioxidant properties that protect the body and vegetable proteins, so its consumption is recommended.

Laxative effect.

Very useful in chronic or punctual constipation. At high doses, purgative is shown.

It improves mental fatigue.

It does not contain caffeine but has a similar component, therefore it is stimulating.

For the same reason, many consumers use it to stay awake and avoid mental fatigue.


It contributes to protecting the cardiovascular system and preventing atherosclerosis, but in that case, a relatively high consumption should be made to notice its influence.

A natural energizer.

Thanks to its percentage of caffeine (also known as “Mateine”), it increases stimulation and concentration as well as coffee.

However, although both have relatively the same amount of caffeine, the stimulant effects are a little different.

Yerba mate is an antidepressant.

Finally, the consumption of Yerba mate also has a positive effect on emotional health.

Acting as a natural energizer is also a natural antidepressant, but, being a drink that is shared with friends and loved ones, encourages moments of well-being and joy.

Aesthetic benefits.

Yerba mate works as a tonic, that is, a substance that stimulates and fortifies teeth, and prevents tooth decay.

In a turn for its tannins, it is ideal to lighten skin spots and reduce wrinkles.

Related article: The best appetite suppressant teas that work.

Weight loss.

Yerba Mate is intended for adjuvant treatments to lose weight, in case of obesity or overweight.

It does not seem effective, however, to combat adiposity as cellulite, or at least, there is no consensus at this point.

Prevents diseases.

This infusion has potent bioactive compounds for the prevention and control of certain diseases.

Such as diabetes mellitus type 2 (by reducing glucose and lipids) cardiovascular and coronary diseases (by lowering the levels of cholesterol).

Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (by preventing so-called “oxidative stress”) and osteoporosis.

Diuretic effect.

It stimulates urine emission, has a purifying and diuretic effect, and helps to prevent fluid retention and edema.

It helps digestion.

Taking mate influences the stomach and digestive health by stimulating the production of bile and gastric acids, while favoring intestinal movement.

It promotes the correct assimilation of nutrients indigestion.

It is indicated in slow and heavy digestion, mild bile, and hepatic alterations.

The properties of Yerba Mate make it an excellent ally to relieve constipation, as long as it is combined with the consumption of 9 cups of liquid per day.

Appetite inhibitor.

It is attributed to a certain inhibitory effect of appetite, useful when we are going to follow treatments or diets to lose extra pounds.

Yerba mate is a great nutritional supplement.

In addition to its antioxidants and polyphenols, Yerba mate is rich in amino acids and essential vitamins (mainly group B, where 8 of the 13 vitamins the body needs are found).

It also contains minerals of significant importance, such as potassium and magnesium.

Related article: Pau d’ Arco tea benefits.

Yerba Mate Tea side effects.


As with coffee, certain people won’t have anything wrong if they consume it at night.

But others may not let them sleep. Being a central nervous system stimulant can lead to sleep disorders.

Increases blood pressure.

Some people are proven to have a heart rate and blood pressure increase.

Be careful if you have a headache when you take it.

Poor absorption of nutrients.

Mate consumption should not change the effect of contraceptives or antibiotics, but it could prevent certain nutrients in food from being absorbed.

If you suffer from any pathology, you should consult with a specialist

Yerba Mate Plant

Photo by MESSALA CIULLA from Pexels

What can I add to Yerba mate tea?

The matte is mainly consumed by preparing an infusion that is taken hot and you can sweeten it to your liking with stevia, agave, or panela.

Although for some people it would be a sacrilege to sweeten it because the essence of the matte is its bitter taste.

If you do not like that bitter taste or want to give a different touch to your drink, in addition to sweetening it with honey, sugar, stevia, etc.

You can incorporate lemon, orange, or other medicinal plants such as licorice (sweet stick), fennel, green anise, etc. That will give a slightly sweet taste.

Related article: The health benefits of green tea.


Is Yerba Mate Healthier than Green Tea?

One of the most attributed properties of tea, and especially green tea, is the decrease in aging that its antioxidants cause.

The truth is that these antioxidants are present in both matte and tea, and the effects have been proven through in vitro studies.

Flavonoids and catechin, which are present in green tea, “are substances that prevent one from aging”, as they alter the oxidation process of our cellular systems.

Those who drink mate often attribute to the drink an energizing effect that is real.

Mate has a stimulating effect and there are many populations in South America where it is high consumption.

These are substantial benefits of beverages, adding that they help achieve much-needed daily water consumption.

If a person does not have a high water intake they have to look for a way for fluid consumption to increase.

Especially in summer, when sweating increases by the heat.

Is Yerba Mate Good For Your Heart?

Some research has suggested that Yerba mate would have up to 90% more antioxidant effect than green tea.

Which is often recognized as the most potent herb in this regard — so it would play a protective role in myocardial tissue.

And would also prevent cell death associated with restricting the blood flow in diseases such as heart attack.

Polyphenols also reduce atherosclerosis, as they would influence the decline of cholesterol harmful to health.

Preventing fat and cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries.

Along with this, a recent study from the University of Illinois showed that consuming mate increases HDL cholesterol.

Known as good cholesterol, which protects against heart attacks.

Related article: Iced Tea, What is It, Benefits, Side Effects, How To Make It


According to the National Institute of Yerba Mate, in Argentina, 29 gallons of Yerba Mate is consumed annually per person and although it is the favorite infusion of Argentines, few know the benefits of this cultural icon.

This herb is consumed by millions of people worldwide as it is exported around the world, regardless of the social level of each individual.

Unlike Argentina’s Yerba mate, Paraguay’s is distinguished because it has a yellower color, it is also possible to differentiate it from that of Brazil since it is ground to the point of being converted almost into powder with a characteristic intense green color.

Yerba mate has several goodnesses linked to the food, stimulating, and medicinal properties: it is nutritious, stimulating, and helps cardiovascular health.


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Disclaimer: This content, including advice, provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. MYTEASHACK.COM does not claim responsibility for this information.


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