Since before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, the consumption of yerba mate was already established, Mati means “container for a drink”, “infusion of a herb”. The Kaingangs and Guarani Indians were responsible for improving the process of harvesting and drying the herb for consumption with gourd and taquapy (bamboo container). The Guarani peoples already regarded Ilex Paraguariensis as a sacred plant, with restorative and invigorating powers. In southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile, mate is traditionally consumed in the form of mate or tereré when chilled. With Spanish colonization, mate was banned in southern Brazil during the 16th century, being considered “devil’s weed” by Jesuit priests. From the 17th century, by contrast, the Jesuits began to encourage the consumption of mate in order to reduce the consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Yerba Mate contains saponins and have been speculated to reduce bad cholesterol. Saponins are hydrogenated compounds that dissolve in water and have oil emulsifying properties. In some studies, the herb was able to deactivate a bacterium that causes poisoning, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Yerba mate contains antioxidants, such as caffeine derivatives and polyphenols, that can contribute to heath management.
Yerba Mate is rich in caffeine, commonly used to provide energy to the body. Caffeine is known to be use for exercise practitioners, improving muscle contractions, reducing fatigue and improving sports performance. Furthermore, Yerba Mate Caffeine has been shown to be superior to other caffeine sources, since the energy spike doesn’t generate jitters.