While yerba mate might look like tea, it is actually quite different. Yerba mate is unparalleled in health benefits when compared to regular tea.
Yerba Mate is mostly enjoyed in loose leaf form. You do not steep yerba as you would normal tea. The water is only supposed to "pass through." Hot water is poured into the leaves and then the water "passes" through the leaves. Regular tea is made the other way around, by taking leaves "out" of the water.
We think the most impressive distinction is how you drink yerba mate. The authentic way, using a "mate" and "bombilla," brings a ritualistic aspect to drinking yerba, raising the experience to another level and almost forcing one to connect to oneself or another.
The health benefits of yerba are quite impressive compared to regular teas. Usually, it has twice or three times the anti-oxidants and nutrient levels. It is a prebiotic, meaning that it helps boost gut health. Less acidic then tea, yerba is actually alkalizing, which leads to less cravings and a lowering of the appetite.
What are the health benefits of yerba mate?
Mate is a powerful adaptogen – that is, an herb that grows in extreme conditions but adapts and thrives in a harsh environment. As a result, adaptogens contain high levels of antioxidants and saponins that defend the plant against disease and make them resistant to insects. Scientists recently learned that these very same adaptive qualities are also uniquely good for the human body. Using an adaptogenic herb nourishes the adrenals and offers stress support. This means that the body can "adapt" better to stressors such as physiological, chemical, work, toxins, etc.
Consumption of yerba mate provides antioxidant benefits to the body. It has many phytochemicals such as polyphenols, chlorogenic acid, and caffeoyl derivatives that make it a beneficial antioxidant. Research suggests that mate extract may reduce oxidative stress that increases the risk of damage to liver and heart. It also reduces the nitrosative stress that may cause DNA damage, cell death, and lipid peroxidation. As compared to green tea, yerba mate is more effective in preventing cytotoxicity associated with blood flow restriction heart disorders such as stroke, etc.
Many people think of yerba mate as a brain booster and studies show that this is true. The tea’s active ingredients improve memory and attention, as well as focus. The antioxidants in the tea can prevent plaque deposition in the brain, potentially countering the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Increases Sex Drive
Yerba Mate is traditionally known as a mild aphrodisiac, used primarily by men to increase libido and sex drive. The rich mineral and vitamin content can also help improve fertility, hormonal balance, and reproductive health.
The unique compounds found in yerba mate, such as xanthines, are able to promote smooth muscle relaxation, which can be very good for digestion, particularly if you are struggling with constipation, bloating, cramping, and other digestive issues. It is also loaded with pre-biotics that support gut health.
Benefits Cardiovascular Health
Yerba mate contains compounds such as polyphenols that are beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. Findings of a research suggest that intake of yerba mate has a beneficial impact on lipid parameters and it helps reduce LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic people. Consumption of yerba mate protects myocardial tissue of the heart and is also beneficial in reducing oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) which may cause stroke, etc.
A study conducted to ascertain effects of yerba on E. coli suggests that it has antimicrobial properties that may help in preventing health risks caused by E. coli bacteria. Due to this, it has the potential to be used as antimicrobials in various beverages and foods against E. coli. The flavonoids found in yerba mate may be beneficial in reducing inflammation. Anti-inflammatory properties make yerba maté beneficial in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, therefore improving overall health.
Health benefits of yerba mate include prevention of cancer. Antioxidants like chlorogenic acid are the primary active ingredients in yerba maté tea, which have higher antioxidant level than green tea, meaning that this tea is very good for seeking out and neutralizing free radicals. This is why yerba maté tea is often considered an anti-cancer beverage. But, some studies have linked increased cancer risk in the upper intestinal tract to prolonged use of yerba maté.
Yerba mate may be beneficial in reducing complications from hyperglycemia in diabetes. Hyperglycemia results in dicarbonyls, which causes many diabetic complications. Yerba mate, as an antioxidant, plays a role in the process of glycation, which reduces the dicarbonyl action, resulting from oxidation and hyperglycemia.
Yerba mate is shown to be beneficial in reducing obesity. This weight loss effect of yerba maté is attributed to increased fat oxidation, slowing of gastric emptying, and an increased feeling of satiety. Like coffee, yerba maté can provide an energetic boost without contributing much in terms of calories. When combined with the other nutrients provided by yerba mate, your metabolism can begin to speed up, due to the natural stimulant qualities.
While yerba mate tea isn’t always thought of as a boost for bone strength, it does contain several minerals that are essential for bone mineral density in the body. Calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc are all part of the process that keeps osteoporosis at bay as we age.
High levels of iron found in yerba mate tea mean that it can significantly help in red blood cell production and will prevent anemia. With boosted red blood cell production, more oxygenated blood can flow to the organs and extremities that need those resources most.
Boosts Immune System
The Vitamin C levels in yerba mate tea are only the beginning in terms of immune system health. Aside from the white blood cell boost provided by ascorbic acid, there are also several saponins and antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress in the body and act as a primary line of defense for the immune system.