Yerba Mate

By | July 28, 2014

Yerba Mate
Ilex paraguariensis
(Holly Family)

Yerba MateIntroduced to modern civilizations by the primitive Guarani Indians of Paraguay and Argentina, this invigorationg tonic also contains trace minerals which assist electrolyte balance. Mate increases natural energy without causing sleeplessness. It also helps balance immune function and tone the nervous system. This herb contains the alkalod xanthine, which seems to assist in smooth muscle relaxation. This makes this herb useful in treating asthma and gastrointestinal disorders. It is a strong diuretic as well which can help relieve fluid retention.Contrary to popular belief, this herb does contain small amounts of caffeine, although far less than coffee. It is available as a tea.

Beneficial Antioxidants

“What are antioxidants? Antioxidant compounds in food play an important role as a health-protecting factor.

Scientific evidence suggests that antioxidants reduce risk for chronic diseases including cancer and heart disease. Primary sources of naturally occurring antioxidants are whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Plant sourced food antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenes, pholenic acids, phytate and phytoestrogens have been recognized as having the potential to reduce disease risk. Most of the antioxidant compounds in a typical diet are derived from plant sources and belong to various classes of compounds with a wide variety of physical and chemical properties.

The main characteristic of an antioxidant is its ability to trap free radicals. Highly reactive free radicals and oxygen species are present in biological systems from a wide variety of sources. These free radicals may oxidize nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, or DHA and can initiate degenerative disease. Antioxidant compounds like phenolic acids, polyphenols and flavonoids scavenge free radicals such as peroxide, hydroperoxide or lipid peroxyl and thus inhibit the oxidative mechanisms that lead to degenerative diseases.

There are a number of clinical studies suggesting that the antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, tea and red wine are the main factors for the observed efficacy of these foods in reducing the incidence of chronic diseases including heart disease and some cancers. The free radical scavenging activity of antioxidants in foods have been substantially investigated and reported in the literature.”

– Medallion Laboratories Analytical progress, Summer 2001, Vol. 19, No. 2

(1) Aruna Prakash, PhD, “Medallion Laboratories Analytical Progress Antioxidant Activity”, Takes you into the Heart of a Giant Resource, Volume 19, Number 2, pp 1-4(3) Medallion Laboratories Analysis of 2g Nativa Yerba Mate steeped 3 minutes in 150-degree water.

Cautions: Some suggest that mate is most beneficial when drunk once a day, although, in South America it is commonly sipped throughout the day.