How to Cleanse Your Body with Yerba Mate
Mate is an infusion, typical of Argentina and Uruguay, whose tradition has spread to other parts of the world for its wonderful health benefits. It’s prepared with ground-up yerba mate leaves that are put into a recipient (originally a squash bowl) and hot water is poured in.
You can drink it bitter, with sugar, or with a lemon or orange peel. Discovery why this herb is so good for your body below!
Yerba Mate Properties
Yerba mate boasts invigorating and cleansing properties. As a tea, it has a great diuretic ability, in addition to the amount of water that you drink in this infusion.
At the same time, it has antioxidant qualities, helps reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and promotes an increase in “good” cholesterol (HDL).
Research shows that yerba mate encourages enzymes to work more and protect your body from cardiovascular attacks. It also provides high levels of xanthine, which is very good for your overall well-being.
In places where water isn’t drinkable, mate serves as a purifier of bacteria and parasites, for example.
This traditional infusion of many South American countries boosts attention span and intellectual activities.
It’s an anti-depressant, is non-addictive, and contains less caffeine than tea, cacao, and coffee. It speeds up urine production, eliminating toxins that build up in your body.
Keep in mind that yerba mate isn’t intended for people who suffer from anxiety, sleep disorders or acute kidney disorders. One study also showed that many patients who drank it suffered from esophagus problems due to the temperature of the water, not the mate itself.
There are also cases in which drinking yerba mate tea while fasting has a side effect of stomach acid.
What Are the Variants of Yerba Mate?
Although everyone agrees that “traditional mate” is bitter and that the water has to be boiling before you put it in, there are other ways of drinking this infusion:
- Bitter: as we already said, this is the most typical way of drinking mate and it’s how almost all of Argentina, Uruguay, southern Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay drink it. It’s known as “cimarrón” or “feral” because of the horses that accompanied the gaucho, the first drinkers of this infusion.
- Sweet: traditionalists says that this isn’t the real mate. They add sugar, stevia, or sweetener to the barley. Mostly women and children in Buenos Aires drink it this way. This variation has a lot to do with immigration because Spaniards and Italians wanted to give their own distinctive touch to the region’s drink.
- With milk: instead of adding water, they add milk with sugar. The milk should be lukewarm.
- With herbs: these are popularly called “yuyos” and are added on top of or in between the yerba mate to add a different flavor to the infusion and make use of their medicinal properties. Examples include chamomile, eucalyptus, mint, boldo, and linden blossom.
- As a tea: the yerba mate isn’t put in recipient but rather a tea bag. It’s popular among adolescents and children. You can use a cup as well.
- Tereré: it’s traditional from Paraguay and the Mesopotamia region of Argentina, where the Guarani live. Instead of water, they add juice (which can be orange or grapefruit), herbs (mostly peppermint or lemon verbena) and even lemon slices. It’s prepared in a pitcher and is poured over the mate.
- Boiled mate: it’s an infusion that comes in bags like tea or in thread as well. It’s prepared like normal tea, but it tastes like mate. It’s common in Argentina and Uruguay.
How Do I Cleanse My Body by Drinking Mate?
You should simply choose any of the “versions” that this infusion offers and drink it daily. Experts say that if you drink mate in the morning, it increases its qualities and benefits for the body.
Many people prefer to drink mate in the morning along with their breakfast. Others drink it a little later, in the middle of the morning for example.
If you don’t like its flavor, you can try sweetening it or drinking the tereré alternative with juice on hot summer days.
Pictures courtesy of Juan Pablo Olmo
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Sociedad Latinoamericana de Nutrición, C., & Atalah Samur, E. (2011). Archivos latinoamericanos de nutrición. Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición. https://doi.org/10.1002/ar.10171.
- Galarza, V., & Cabrera, G. (2008). Hábitos alimentarios saludables. Nutrición, Salud y Alimentos ….
- Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 882. Published online 2017 Aug 15. Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) Metabolic, Satiety, and Mood State Effects at Rest and during Prolonged Exercise. doi: 10.3390/nu9080882
- R: Concise Reviews in Food Science JFS R: Concise Reviews/Hypothesis in Food Science. Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2007.00535.x