ERVA MATE POWDER TEA (Ilex paraguayensis) -  10 OZ / 280 gr


$ 6.00

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Ethnomedical Uses: Erva-mate / Yerba Mate was has been used as a beverage since the time of the ancient Indians of Brazil and Paraguay. In addition to its standing as a popular beverage, is used as a tonic, diuretic, and as a stimulant to reduce fatigue, suppress appetite, and aid gastric function in herbal medicine systems throughout South America. It also has been used as a depurative (to promote cleansing and excretion of waste). In Brazil, mate is said to stimulate the nervous and muscular systems and is used for digestive problems, renal colic, nerve pain, depression, fatigue, and obesity. A poultice of the leaves also is applied topically to anthrax skin ulcers (for which mate's tannin content - highly astringent - may be the reasoning behind this use).

Despite claims to the contrary, Erva mate does contain caffeine although the level is relatively low compared to coffee or tea. Erva mate also contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals and other chemicals of note such as theobromine and theophylline. Mate contains xanthines, which are alkaloids in the same family as caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in coffee and chocolate. Sellers of mate products often claim that the primary active xanthine in mate is "mateine", which they say is similar to caffeine but with fewer of its negative effects. The plant is classified vaguely, according to Western herbal medicine, as aromatic, stimulant, bitter, aperient (laxative), astringent, diuretic, purgative, sudorific (sweat inducing), and febrifuge (fever reducing).
Studies show that the Erva-mate has the following components: water, cellulose, gums, dextrin, mucilage, glucose, pentose, fat substances, aromatic resin, legumin, albumin, xanthine, theophylline, caffearin, folic acid, caffeic acid, viridic acid, chlorophyll, cholesterin and essence oil.
Mate contains numerous vitamins and minerals. There is the usual array of resins, fiber, volatile oil, and tannins that characterize many plant substances. And there is also carotene; vitamins A. C, E, B-1, B-2 and B-complex; riboflavin; nicotinic acid; pantothenic acid; biotin; magnesium; calcium; iron; sodium; potassium; manganese; silicon; phosphates; sulfur; hydrochloric acid; chlorophyll; choline; and inositol. In 1964 one group of investigators from the Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society concluded that Mate contains practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.

In addition to the regular nutrients, Mate contains a substance belonging to a specialized class of chemical compounds called xanthines. Though only small amounts of these substances occur in Mate, their presence has generated a huge amount of attention. The primary xanthine in Erva Mate is called Mateine. Mateine appears to possess the best combination of xanthine properties possible. For example, like other xanthines, it stimulates the central nervous system; but unlike most, it is not habituating or addicting. Likewise, unlike caffeine, it induces better, not worse, attributes of sleep. It is a mild, not a strong, diuretic, as are many xanthines. It relaxes peripheral blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure, without the strong effects on the medulla oblongata (end part of the brain connecting to the spine) and heart exhibited by some xanthines. We also know that it improves psychomotor performance without the typical xanthine-induced depressant after effects. Researchers at the Free Hygienic Institute of Hamburg, Germany, concluded that even if there were caffeine in Mate, the amount would be so tiny that it would take 100 tea bags of Mate in a 6-ounce cup of water to equal the caffeine in a 6-ounce serving of regular coffee. Consequently, the active principle in Erva Mate is not caffeine!

Properties/Actions Documented by Research: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, bile stimulant, stimulant, thermogenic (increases fat burning), vasodilator.

Cautions: Erva-mate contains caffeine and should not be used by those who are sensitive or allergic to caffeine. Excessive consumption of caffeine is contraindicated for persons with high blood pressure, diabetes, ulcers, and other diseases.  Erva-mate should not be consumed excessively and chronically (as it has been documented to increase the risk of certain such cancers as oral and esophageal cancer).  Erva-mate has been reported to have MAO-inhibitor activity in one in vitro study. Those persons taking MAO-inhibitor drugs should use erva-mate with caution to monitor these possible effects.

How to use/ Preparation:
A tea or infusion is the standard preparation, utilizing 2-4 g of powder in 150 ml of hot water. General dosages recommended are the equivalent of 2 g once or twice daily.

There are many ways to drink Erva Mate. You can drink it with hot water, which is called in Brazil, Chimarrão, with cold water, called Tereré or as an iced tea. Each one of these drinks require a different preparation of the plant.

For traditional preparation you will need:
* A Gourd / Cuia - Natural gourds are used (usually the hard shell from a local fruit), traditionally, though gourd-shaped vessels made of metal or ceramic are also common. Gourds are commonly decorated with silver, sporting decorative or heraldic designs with floral motifs.

* A Bomba - A metal pipe, which has a strainer at its lower end to prevent the minced leaves from reaching the mouth. The bomba acts as both a straw and sieve. The submerged end is flared with small holes or slots to allow the tea in, but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture.

To prepare the mate infusion, the dried minced leaves of the Erva mate are placed inside the gourd and hot water (approx. 70° C, 158° F) is added. The infusion is then sucked through the bomba.
After placing an abundant amount of mate in the gourd (1/2 of gourd or more), water is added.

Some people add sugar and/or other herbs (such as mint). Some replace the water with milk, especially for the children. You drink and replenish the mate with hot water many times until the liquid comes out with almost no taste.

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