Another favorite herb from South American culture, yerba mate grows throughout Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. The term yerba is actually the Spanish word for ‘herb,’ so this particular herb is often simply referred to as ‘mate.’ Its impressive composition of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids makes it one of the most nutritious plants in the world!
Nutritive Qualities of Mate
Yerba mate contains over 24 vitamins and minerals and 15 amino acids, as well as 11 polyphenols and antioxidants. Some of these include:
It is this combination of nutrients that gives mate the ability to promote health and wellness on many levels. A few of the benefits that have been reported from consuming mate are:
- Stimulating the immune system
- Helping to balance blood sugar levels
- Promoting digestion
- Restoring and stimulating the central nervous system
- Fighting the signs of aging
- Improving circulation
- Decreasing inflammation
One unique quality of mate is its effect on metabolic functions and hormone production. It is considered an adaptogen because of its ability to balance and soothe the adrenal gland, thus improving the body’s response to stress.
A Natural Energy-Booster
One of the most-valued properties of this therapeutic plant is its effect on energy levels. When consumed as a beverage, mate has been reported to increase energy levels, stamina, mental acuity, and alertness. Scientists attribute the phenomenon to a phytochemical called mateine – a xanthine alkaloid with a chemical composition that is very close to caffeine. While it can boost energy in much the same way as coffee or tea, mateine has a more balanced, long-lasting impact, without the drop or “crash” in energy that is often suffered by caffeine drinkers. This could be why individuals who cannot tolerate coffee can consume mate with no ill effects.
This, along with the plethora of nutrients within this herb, make it singularly effective as a natural energy-booster and stimulant. Yerba mate is often consumed in a tea or tonic, such as Maca Jahva Chai with Mate or Shakti Chai Powerboost. Browse all of our energizing chai teas in the Living Clean Store, or read more about adaptogens: