Yerba Mate is a healthy beverage that contains numerous beneficial nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, polyphenols, flavonoids and saponins which are ingredients known for their health benefits. Yerba Mate has been consumed for several hundred years in South America and is considered to be a powerfully energizing and rejuvenating beverage.
People often call yerba mate an "organic herbal tea", but "herbal" refers only to plants that are not caffeinated, and Yerba Mate contains caffeine. Mate is not a "green tea" either, as "green tea" is the Camellia sinensis plant, and yerba mate is Ilex Paraguariensis plant from South America. They do share some similar qualities in the way they are produced and the way they enhance health in the body.
In the wild, the Yerba Mate tree needs about 25 years to develop completely, reaching a height of up to 15 meters. When cultivated, the mate trees are pruned to a height of 3-5 meters to allow for harvesting. The harvesting (or careful pruning) of the leaves and tender stems begins after 3-4 years of age. Harvest takes place annually between May and July in most regions. At maturity, yerba mate has a unique bittersweet flavor. The tree can produce for about 40 years making it a perfect crop when sustainably harvested.
Yerba mate contains caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in tea, coffee and chocolate. The caffeine content varies between that of green tea and coffee. Unlike tea, yerba mate has low tannin content so it can be strong like coffee without becoming extremely bitter. Unlike coffee, yerba mate is not oily and acid forming, so it is less likely to cause stomach acid and jitters.
The leaves of the rainforest mate tree naturally contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants. In fact, The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific society in 1964 concluded "it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value" and that yerba mate contains "practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life."
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