Despite the advancement of many medications for specific illnesses, some individuals would still opt to go for herbal treatment. Recently, yerba mate broke through the super-beverages group. It joins matcha, moringa, and other health drinks in the market.
Yerba mate is one of the native trees found in South America. Argentina has the most abundant production of yerba mate with 256 million tons per year. It is equal to 775 million kilograms of green leaf yerba mate.
The Guaraní natives first used yerba mate for beverages, cult practices, and currency. They also consider the yerba tree as a gift from the gods. Because of the tea’s benefits, the community’s conquerors took an interest in it and made others know about its uses. The Jesuits later initiated a massive production of yerba mate which caused it to spread outside the Guaraní.
Like other herbal drinks, yerba mate has its health benefits. Studies previously conducted showed the gains of yerba mate specifically in fighting cancer.
In 2011, yerba mate proved to treat the illness because of caffeoylquinic acid (CQA). Researchers from the University of Illinois exposed cancer cells to one cup of yerba mate tea. For the study, they gradually increased the CQA concentration. As the CQA content went higher, the cancer cells died due to apoptosis or self-destruction.
Because of the positive results from the experiment, Elvira de Mejia, one of the university’s associate professors in the field of food chemistry and food toxicology, shared that there is enough evidence that yerba mate has the potential to mitigate colon cancer.
For first-timers, experts advise going gradually because yerba mate contains caffeine. Therefore, those who would like to try yerba mate should take it in moderation especially if one is sensitive to caffeine.