yerba mate in gourd matero. south american traditional drink

35 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

Similar to how evolution works in terms of the occurrence of form and function, there can be unique developments leading to the utilization and cultivation of a plant for a use. The Tupi communities and the Guarani people of and around Brazil were the first to utilize and cultivate Illex paraguarinesis (Yerba Mate), a type of Holly, and it is apparently an acquired taste [R].

Yerba Mate is known for burning fat, promoting energy and improving cholesterol as well as lowering inflammation and cancer risk (if you drink it cold) [R, R, R, R].


Yerba Mate contains chlorogenic acid (crypto and neo), theophylline, theobromine, caffeine, Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, caffeic acid, 3,4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 4,5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, quercetin-3, rutinoside and a variety of saponins although it is dependent on the type of Yerba mate, the harvest time and the drying and infusion processes [R, R, R]. Yerba mate also contains minerals: aluminum, chromium, copper, iron, manganese, nickel, potassium and zinc [R].

Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

1-5) Yerba Mate Improves High Cholesterol

Yerba Mate significantly reduced blood cholesterol, glutathione reductase, hardening of arteries (cholesterol-related damage) in rabbits [R, R]. Also, Yerba Mate increases HDL (good cholesterol) with statin therapy better than statins alone [R].

6) Yerba Mate Prevents Cancer

Mouth cancer is completely prevented by Yerba Mate with enough extract, it inhibits topoisomerase II and helps kill cancer cells, according to test-tube experiments [R].

7) Yerba Mate Heals Heart Damage

Recovery from heart damage was significantly increased by Yerba Mate, a heart-protective, in rats [R].

yerba mate in gourd matero. south american traditional drink

8) Yerba Mate Relaxes Arteries

Suggesting that Yerba Mate is capable of also preventing heart disease, Yerba Mate relaxes artery beds, improving blood flow, in rats [R].

9-10) Yerba Mate Treats Diabetes

AGEs (advanced glycation end products) are a component that causes diabetes complications like poor blood flow, bad vision, kidney damage and inflammation. AGEs can be created from high blood sugar, so if you want to reduce them with Yerba Mate, best to not add sugar [R].

Yerba Mate causes a significant dose-dependant reduction of AGEs, in a test-tube, mainly through stopping the second phase of AGE production, a result of Yerba Mate’s antioxidant status [R]. Also, Yerba Mate lowers blood-glucose, another way of preventing AGE production [R]. Another way Yerba Mate treats Diabetes is by improving insulin signaling [R].

11) Yerba Mate Relieves Pain

Working on the noradrenaline pathway, the effect of Yerba Mate is analgesic (pain relieving) in mice [R].

12) Yerba Mate Combats Depression

Acting as an antidepressant through the NMDA receptor, Yerba Mate treats depression like ketamine in mice [R].

13) Yerba Mate Is Better Than Red Wine Or Green Tea

Yerba Mate prevents free radical damage better than Red Wine and Green Tea [R].

14) Yerba Mate Improves Energy

Yerba Mate prevents ATP (cellular energy), ADP, and AMP from breaking down, helping to balance circulation and improve energy in rat blood [R].

15) Yerba Mate Helps Smokers

Smoking in the short term causes lung inflammation and oxidative damage, but for cigarette users, Yerba Mate decreases smoking-related lung inflammation and oxidative damage in mice [R].

16-17) Yerba Mate Prevents DNA Mutation

Also, Yerba Mate is an anti-mutagen, preventing DNA damage and improving repair of DNA after oxidation damage in cells [R].

18) Yerba Mate Quenches Free Radicals

Further, Yerba Mate is a rich source of polyphenols with antioxidant properties significantly stronger than green tea [R]. Thus Yerba Mate prevents heart and blood flow disease, cancer, aging, and autoimmune disorders [R].

19-20) Yerba Mate Prevents Neurodegenerative Disorders

Yerba Mate contains methylxanthines that combat Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease, disorders of nerve cells, so Yerba Mate is neuroprotective [R].

21) Yerba Mate Improves Memory

Plus, Yerba Mate specifically improved short-term memory as short as 1.5 hours after consumption in rats [R].

22) Yerba Mate Treats Pleurisy

Pleurisy, having too much lung fluid, is treated by Yerba Mate inhibiting inflammation and allowing the lung fluid to be carried away by blood, Yerba Mate does this in mice by lowering Th1 / Th17 while increasing IL-10 as well as decreasing NF-kB [R].

23-25) Yerba Mate Treats Metabolic Syndrome

By increasing satiety (feeling full from eating), Yerba Mate lowers food intake, body weight and blood fats in mice [R].

26) Yerba Mate Burns Fat

Yerba Mate increases energy use from fat stores, in exercising humans [R].

27-29) Yerba Mate Kills Microbes

Certain bacteria and fungus are killed by Yerba Mate in mice experiments, Yerba Mate prevents dandruff, tinea, and eczema by killing Malassezia furfur, Yerba Mate prevents food poisoning, Chron’s disease, meningitis, gastro, and cellulitis by killing E. coli and Staph. aureus [R, R, R].

30) Yerba Mate Reduces Anxiety

Continual use of Yerba Mate reduces anxiety in mice, potentially by the acetylcholine / cholinergic system [R].

31) Yerba Mate Helps High Fat Diets

High-fat diets are associated with an increase in TNF-alpha, IL-6, and iNOS, Yerba Mate returns these back to baseline in mice and lowers inflammation [R]. Also, Yerba Mate prevented cells from becoming the type that stores fat in mice [R].

32-34) Yerba Mate Protects The Liver

Listed as a hepatoprotective, Yerba Mate stimulates bile flow and treats gallstones and prevents enlargement of the spleen and prevents inflammation of the stomach [R]. Yerba Mate also prevents liver inflammation in mice [R].

35) Yerba Mate Inhibits NF-kB

Also, Yerba Mate might treat asthma, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, since it inhibits NF-kB in mice [R].

Yerba Mate Combinations

When Yerba Mate is combined with Guarana and damiana it slows gastric emptying and helps to feel full from less food [R]. Consequently, Yerba Mate decreases weight in overweight people.

Yerba Mate with green tea, asparagus, black tea, guarana and kidney bean extracts also reduces body fat [R].

With extra quercetin, Yerba Mate reduced prostaglandin 2, IL-6, IL-1 beta, and NF-kB making the combination effect anti-inflammatory [R].

Combined with Datura (scopolamine), Yerba Mate prevents the memory loss associated with smoking or drinking datura and Brugmansia [R].

Yerba Mate Controversy

Drinking Yerba Mate has been correlated to esophageal, mouth, lung, bladder, kidney and other cancers of the head and neck. However, the regions where this correlation was found is also correlated to high class=”aalmanual” target=”_blank” href=”″>alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Thus, Yerba Mate’s contribution is unknown. Although consuming hot drinks can cause these problems – perhaps this is where the correlation comes from [R].

A technique for measuring PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), a known cause of cancer in red meat and smoking was used to find that Yerba Mate is equivalent to smoking at increasing PAH, with males between the ages of 45 and 52 doing the most of both [R].

Although it is important to note that many users achieved the same minimum PAH achieved by non-users; if you smoke and/or take Yerba Mate it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at a higher risk of cancer.

There have been a number of scientific articles published to suggest Yerba Mate causes cancer, although often no new evidence is presented [R].

Wikipedia claims that Yerba Mate is a MAOI, although their reference says that Yerba Mate inhibits neither MAO-A nor MAO-B [R].

Yerba Mate Preparation

Often bought as a tea, Yerba Mate can be steeped in water like any other herbal tea, although only cold Yerba Mate tea is not associated with increased risk of cancer [R]. A new technique involves brewing a probiotic beverage suggesting Yerba Mate could be a perfect tea for Kombucha [R].


Pregnant women should not have more than 3 cups of Yerba Mate tea per day, as too much caffeine significantly lowers birth rate, a risk for infant mortality [R, R].

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