Woman's World writer Barbara Tunick reports; "A drink from South America has hit U.S. shores-and experts say it's the ticket for those who love the boost of coffee but hate its side effects."
Yerba mate around the world
In addition to its standing as a popular beverage, yerba mate is used as a tonic, diuretic and as a stimulant to reduce fatigue, suppress appetite and aid gastric function in herbal medicine systems throughout South America. It also has been used as a depurative (to promote cleansing and excretion of waste). In Brazil, mate is said to stimulate the nervous and muscular systems and is used for digestive problems, renal colic, nerve pain, depression, fatigue, and obesity. It also has bitter qualities which help stimulate digestion.
In Europe it is used for weight loss, physical and mental fatigue, nervous depression, rheumatic pains and psychogenic and fatigue related headaches. In Germany it has become popular as a weight-loss aid. Yerba mate is the subject of a German monograph which lists its approved uses for mental and physical fatigue.
In France yerba mate is approved for the treatment of asthenia (weakness or lack of energy), as an aid in weight-loss programs and as a diuretic.
It also appears in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (1996) and indicated for the treatment of fatigue, weight loss and headaches. In the U.S., Dr. James Balch, M.D. recommends yerba mate for arthritis, headaches, hemorrhoids, fluid retention, obesity, fatigue, stress, constipation, allergies and hay fever, and states that it "cleanses the blood, tones the nervous system, retards aging, stimulates the mind, controls the appetite, stimulates the production of cortisone and is believed to enhance the healing powers of other herbs."
Millions of South Americans drink Mate on a daily basis where weight problems are uncommon. Researchers think that Yerba Mate may be an important factor. A couple of cups a day may just set you on the course to your goals.
Yerba Mate contains xanthines, chemicals that boost your metabolic rate by 10% and is rich in pantothenic acid, which prevents overstimulation of the nervous system. Yerba Mate has a host of antioxidants that boost immunity and protect against colds and flu.
Studies show it is as powerful a cell protector as vitamin C, reducing the effects of aging as well as protecting against cancer and other disease. Furthermore, researchers say that Yerba Mate is a rich source of magnesium that has been proven to ease anxiety and help muscles to relax, as well as boosting metabolism. This is a much healthier approach than using herbal formulas such as Metabolife that reduce appetite by overstimulating the central nervous system. Drinking 8 oz before a meal can be as effective as diet drugs in taking the edge off your appetite.
It is a great beverage to accompany meals as it helps to refresh the palette and it also helps aid nutrient absorption, whereas tea, coffee and fizzy pop can all inhibit nutrient absorption.