Yerba mate is a drink that is made from an all natural herb that grows in South America. Uruguay is one of the countries in which the plant grows. It is actually more of a shrub than a plant and can grow up to 15 meters tall.
The foliage is evergreen and it is often prepared as a tea or added to tea. It is made with the leaves and the youngest twigs. They are dried and shredded and sometimes the leaves are toasted beforehand. This provides a smoky flavor.
When visiting Uruguay you will find there are several bars where drinks made using Mate can be purchased. It will be available in numerous drinks similar to the coffee shops in the U.S. where many varieties of coffee drinks can be purchased. However, unlike coffee yerba mate has medicinal properties and has been used for many years for the benefits provided.
It is sold in health food stores and is added to several beverages that are bottled and exported from South America. The plant is quite plentiful here. In addition, it can be found in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.
This is a plant that has antioxidants as well as vitamins E, B5 and C, chlorophyll and minerals such as iron. Antioxidants are extremely important to reduce damage from free radicals.
The national drink of Uruguay, practically any village that you visit here will allow you to enjoy a cup of Mate. It is a traditional drink here and has been used for centuries. The Guaraní Indians used this drink to cool down on very hot days.
They called it the drink of the lords. It is enjoyed by everyone regardless of age. The use of hot water to make the 'tea' in Uruguay differs from Paraguay where cold water is used. The cold tea is often called Terere.
With the number of benefits provided by yerba mate, it is no wonder that the inhabitants of Uruguay drink this delicious beverage daily. It boost immunity, reduces stress and has been said to stimulate the mind. The energy levels are enhanced by drinking Mate.
Rather than a burst of energy, the drink provides a steady release of energy throughout the day and it does not make people nervous, which is one of the ways that many energy drinks work.
In addition, the tea helps to stop the growth of bacteria in the mouth that causes bad breath. Studies have shown that it can cure headaches, insomnia, neuralgia and migraines.
Probably one of the best benefits that is realized is the weight reducing qualities that the tea is known to provide. As a matter of fact, it is recommended by dieticians.
If you are visiting Uruguay, be sure to try this drink and see the benefits for yourself. The leaves of the yerba mate plant have even been used in the west after being taken there by Jesuit missionaries.
Benefits from chewing the leaves resulted in renewed energy. This is not received from caffeine because yerba mate does not have as much caffeine as green tea.