… and American Way of Life
Yerba maté (pronounced [máh-te]) is one of the most nutritious plants on Earth. Scientists have identified at least 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and an abundance of antioxidants contained in the raw leaves of this small tree native to the subtropical Atlantic forests of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Of the six commonly used natural stimulants – yerba mate, coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa, and guarana – yerba mate comes first in potency and availability of nutrients.
The indigenous Guarani people of South America revered yerba mate for millenniums as the “drink from gods”, crucial for optimum health, sustained energy and mental clarity.
European invaders discovered the “green gold of the Indios” and adopted it as an alternative to tea and coffee. Mate drinking has never reached the popularity of tea, which has been finessed by the Chinese and simplified by the English for the rest of the Western world. In the last 10-15 years yerba mate has been recognized by many consumers outside of South America and attracted the attention of many studies, which have helped understand what this mate stuff is all about.
Yerba mate is commonly used in nutritional supplements and energy drinks. Manufacturers add yerba matte to improve formulations and stretch their claims.
Drinking mate tea has a rich history and there are many blends and ways to prepare yerba mate leaves and mate beverages. The Internet offers an abundance of information about health benefits of the plant and the tradition of sipping pulp filled bitter liquid through bombilla from a gourd. Some of the better links are provided on our site.
This site is NOT about bombillas and mate gourds
It’s nice to experience the tradition every now and then but our hectic life does not offer enough opportunities to do it often enough to enjoy the benefits of mate drinking. Who has the time to stick a fancy bombilla in yerba filled gourd, brew mate and sip it for half hour? Imagine the looks you’ll get at work.
Yerba mate is very potent but it’s not Prozac or Viagra. You need to drink a lot of it to feel the difference. 99.99% of Americans will not drink mate daily in a traditional Guarani way. It does not fit our life styles and has a very bitter herbal taste. If we can’t put it in a disposable cup and take it in the car we just won’t drink it. Period.
I drink mate almost daily, sometimes a few times a day. There are a few quick and easy ways to brew it and drink it on the run. You do not have to explain anything at work either.