Yerba mate ( Ilex paraguariensis ) is a tree that grows wild in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, belonging to the Aquifoliaceae family. Its name derives from the Spanish word mate which means “hollow gourd” . In fact, historically, an infusion or tea of yerba mate is prepared with the leaves of Yerba mate.
Today the most common use of yerba mate is as a replacement for coffee, thanks to the presence of a healthier and more caffeinated form. Let’s find out the characteristics and side effects of Yerba mate.
Yerba mate: characteristics and properties
Yerba mate is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20m in height. The flowers are white and united in small groups; the leaves are shiny and serrated; the fruits are small red berries.
Yerba mate is consumed in the form of tea or infusion and has numerous properties:
- accelerates the body metabolism,
- has a diuretic effect,
- performs an antioxidant action,
- stimulates the nervous system,
- promotes digestion ,
- reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood,
- stimulates blood circulation,
- performs an energizing action,
- reduces anxiety .
The side effects of Yerba mate
Yerba mate can have several side effects :
- respiratory difficulties,
- gastrointestinal problems.
These side effects are mostly due to the body’s need to get used to this new substance, however it is good to consult a doctor if any of the symptoms occur and, in general, it is better to avoid prolonged or excessive use of yerba mate.
Yerba mate contains caffeine and other stimulating substances, so it is to be avoided in case of heart disease or hypertension problems.