Yerba Matte tea is called “The drink of the gods” by many of the indigenous people of South America who have brewed it for centuries. It was however, a people who believed in a different God that are responsible for the first commercial Yerba Matte plantations – Jesuit missionaries. Upon arriving in the new world, the Jesuits quickly adopted the native practice of drinking Yerba Matte as a tea. At the time, Yerba Matte leaves were only being harvested from wild stands of trees. Owing to its widespread popularity, the Jesuits realized the large economic potential of the plant and founded the first Yerba Matte plantations during the mid 1600’s.
Mate leaves are processed somewhat like tealeaves. The tips of the branches are cut just before the leaves reach full growth and the leaves are steamed and dried (in fired mate the leaves are dried over fires) The dried leaves are sifted and allowed to age in order to enhance the flavor of the mate. The caffeine content of mate is comparable to that of mild arabica coffee.
The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
There are many health benefits associated with Yerba Mate, gained from its nutritional and chemical compounds. Research suggests that the special way in which Yerba Mate is consumed makes it uniquely beneficial to the human body.
Some of these benefits derive from Yerba Mate’s similarity to Green Tea.
* a good detoxifier
* produces deeper sleep
* boosts the immune system
* relieves allergies
* increases energy
* possibly reduces the risk of diabetes and hypoglycemia
* relaxes muscles
* burns more calories
* increases mental focus
* improves mood
* possibly increases the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart during exercise
* decreases hunger cravings
* possible prevention of some cancers
* possible reduction of heart attack and stroke
* beneficial to the digestive tract