Drink of the Gods: 5 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is one of our favourite types of tea, and also happens to be the black sheep of the tea family. Unlike black or oolong for example, yerba mate does not come from the plant camellia sinensis. Yerba mate comes from dried leaves of an evergreen holly, Ilex paraguariensis, a native plant of South America. Many indigenous South Americans referred to the tea as the 'drink of the Gods'.

1. Rich in Nutrients and Antioxidants

Yerba mate is an antioxidant powerhouse that contains many beneficial plant nutrients. Derivatives of caffeoyl make up yerba mate and these compounds are the main health-promoting antioxidants in the tea. Yerba mate contains nearly every vitamin and mineral your body needs, although keep in mind the quantity is small and their contribution on their own will not greatly impact your diet.

2. Boost Energy and Improve Mental Focus

The level of caffeine is less than in a cup of coffee but more then in tea and offers a balanced, clean boost. Due to its caffeine content, yerba mate can help increase your energy levels and boost your mental focus. You can also say goodbye to the caffeine jitters associated with coffee.

3. May Boost Your Immune System

It contains saponins, which are natural compounds with anti inflammatory  properties. The level on antioxidants in yerba mate also helps to boost one's immune system and promote health.

4. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

While human studies are still needed, there has been proof of yerba mate improving insulin signaling and blood sugar control. It has also been linked to reducing the development of various diseases such as heart disease. 

5. Long History as a Digestive and Elimination Tonic

Traditionally it has been used to treat constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. It’s  composition functions against E. coli, which is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.