5 Reasons Why Yerba Mate Should Be Your Go-To Drink

In recent years, yerba mate (YER-bah MAH-tay) tea has become all the rage. This classic South American drink is packed with benefits! It’s become popular in the United States and Europe, earning it a spot in many health stores.

Yerba mate is made from a plant called Ilex paraguariensis. Argentina is the leading producer, followed by Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. To make yerba mate, the leaves are processed several times, followed by a slow drying stage with wood smoke. Sometimes, the leaves are aged in cedar chambers to boost flavor. It’s much different than green tea, which is quickly dried with extremely hot air.

From tea bags to bottled drinks, yerba mate can be enjoyed in many ways. You can also find supplements with or without other plant extracts. Regardless, the benefit of yerba mate won’t disappoint. Here’s what it can do for you.

5 Health Benefits Of Yerba Mate

1. Yerba Mate Reduces Cancer Risk

Yerba Mate Reduces Cancer Risk


Oxidative stress plays a huge role in cancer. But, like most plants, yerba mate is a powerful antioxidant, thanks to a polyphenol called chlorogenic acid. Yerba mate prevents the growth of cancer cells, even at low doses. It also protects DNA and cells from damage. Together, yerba mate makes it hard for cancer to thrive in your body.1

Beyond antioxidant activity, this tea shows promise for hormone-related cancers. A 2017 study found that yerba mate has an inverse association with breast cancer. The higher the intake, the lower the risk. Researchers think this is caused by yerba mate’s ability to regulate hormones.2


2. Yerba Mate Improves Heart Health

Yerba mate reduces cholesterol and improves heart health

As the leading cause of death, heart disease kills more Americans than any other disease. About 610,000 die from it each year. That’s 1 in every 4 deaths!3 To reduce your risk, drink yerba mate.


Yerba mate contains cholesterol-lowering compounds called saponins. Once your cholesterol levels reach a healthy range, you’ll cut your heart disease risk in half.4 Plus, as a diuretic, yerba mate decreases blood pressure by promoting sodium excretion through the urine.5 While nothing can replace exercise, short-term intake of yerba mate may offer similar benefits.6

3. Yerba Mate Boosts Brain Function

Yerba mate improves memory, learning, focus, and concentration


Can’t focus? Drink yerba mate. As a central nervous system stimulant, it can perk you right up. Additionally, yerba mate’s caffeine content rivals that of coffee. One cup of yerba mate has 78 milligrams, while one cup of coffee has 85 milligrams. 7

In a 2008 animal study, researchers found that yerba mate increases short- and long-term memory. Learning, focus, and concentration also improved.8 And according to another 2016 animal study, yerba mate’s compounds have anti-depressant effects. These benefits suggest a neuroprotective potential in humans.9


4. Yerba Mate Controls Weight

Yerba mate makes you feel full sooner and restricts your appetite

Being overweight or obese increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other complications. About 33.1 percent of Americans are overweight, while 35.7 percent are obese. With these numbers quickly rising, managing weight has never been so important.10 Yerba mate can lend a hand here.


It’s been shown to slow down gastric emptying, resulting in greater feelings of satiety. This is big news for appetite control. Additionally, the caffeine burns fat, while saponins stop cholesterol metabolism.11 In obese men and women, yerba mate has even been found to boost thermogenesis, a process that burns fat.12 Amazingly, it can also normalize the expression of obesity-related genes, making yerba mate a smart choice for weight control.13

5. Yerba Mate Protects The Liver

Yerba mate helps the liver to digest food, process nutrients, and remove toxins

The liver is your largest organ. It works hard to digest food, process nutrients, and remove toxins.14 With yerba mate, you can keep it in excellent shape with its antioxidant activity. According to the Journal of Food Science, it safeguards the liver from free radicals and oxidative stress. Yerba mate also does a better job at killing human liver cancer cells than green tea.15

Yerba mate has a grassy taste. If you love unsweetened green or black tea, it’ll be right up your alley. You can add lemon juice, milk, or sugar for extra flavor.