Want to try a herbal tea made from the most nutrition-dense herb on the planet?
Because that’s exactly what Yerba Mate is, the green gold of the Amazon.
The dried leaves and twigs of the Yerba Mate plant are steeped in hot water to make a sort of super tea, which is extremely popular in South America. It contains one of the most healthy and clean forms of caffeine, known as mateine. While almost unheard of elsewhere in the world, it is slowly starting to gain popularity due to the immense health benefits it offers. Start your day with the exotic taste of the super herb, Yerba Mate.
WHERE IS IT GROWN?
The Yerba Mate plant, Ilex Paraguariensis, is a member of the Holly family originally found in subtropical South America.
Native to Paraguay, its leaves have been brewed into a tea for many centuries. Today, it is also grown in Brazil and Argentina.
Mate is primarily consumed in 4 South American countries, namely, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. It is an extremely versatile drink and each country has its very own way to consume it. Argentinians prefer hot yerba mate while in Paraguay, they consume a cold form of yerba mate called Terere.
Traditionally, Mate is consumed in a gourd.
Traditionally, the gourd is a cup made from the calabash fruit, which is sort of like a small pumpkin. The gourd needs to be regularly seasoned, like you would a cast iron skillet, which is why people find wooden cups to be more convenient.
Additionally, ceramic and glass mugs are also used since they are easier to clean. However, according to Materos, or Yerba Mate enthusiasts, using the traditional gourd makes a world of a difference when it comes to taste and many Materos have had their gourds since childhood, often passed along as heirlooms.
HOW TO BREW YERBA MATE
The mate leaves are added to the gourd filling it about halfway.
After this, the Bombilla or straw is set in the leaves. The Bombilla is usually made of metal and can be found in a variety of shapes.
Once the Bombilla is set, hot water is added to the gourd to make a delicious tea.
Materos usually carry a thermos along with their mate cup. The thermos is used to keep replenishing the hot water in the gourd. In this manner, up to a litre of tea can be consumed throughout the day using a single cup of mate.
Considering how healthy it is, you can consume it guilt-free all day long. It’s the gourd that keeps on giving!
Besides the traditional method of brewing Yerba mate, there are a number of other ways of preparing it. If steeping it in a gourd seems too complicated, you could use one of the more conventional methods.
Preparing it using a french press is extremely simple and can be prepared using the same method as coffee. Many people also fill up tea bags with the leaves and steep them in hot water similar to tea. It is extremely versatile and you can just pick the method you prefer!
Benefits of Yerba Mate
It is packed full of antioxidants which are linked to reducing the risk of a number of diseases.
It possesses anti-inflammatory properties.
It is highly nutritious, containing seven out of nine amino acids in addition to nearly every vitamin and mineral your body requires.
It can boost energy and mental focus while keeping you entirely jitter-free due to its healthy caffeine or mateine.
It improves physical performance by improving muscle contractions and reducing fatigue.
It also boosts immunity and may protect you from infections.
It reduces blood sugar levels and can help keep your diabetes in check.
It boosts your metabolism and can help burn fat
Its antioxidants can help reduce the risk of both Alzheimer's disease and heart disease.