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  • Writer's pictureChloé Malaisé

Why we love Yerba Mate at Vida Wellness Center

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

If you've been to Vida Wellness Center in person - especially in the earlier hours of the day - you may have noticed a large thermos and a matching cup with some green leafy things inside.

This is Vida's mate set to drink yerba mate.

Vida was born and raised in Paraguay and has carried her love of mate throughout her life, from Paraguay, to Europe, and now the US.

She has passed this tradition along to her daughters and now, even her partner Sal.

So what exactly is yerba mate and why do we love it so much?

The strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the joy of chocolate.

What is Yerba Mate?

Yerba mate, often simply referred to as "mate," is a traditional South American beverage with a rich cultural history.

This herbal infusion is made by steeping the leaves of the yerba mate plant, scientifically known as Ilex paraguariensis.

Hailing from Vida's native home of Paraguay, as well as Uruguay, Argentina and even parts of Brazil, mate is not just a drink; it's a social ritual - and for us at Vida Wellness, a daily ritual - that brings people together.

What are the health benefits?

While yerba mate has been gaining tremendous popularity in recent years, indigenous people have used it for centuries not only as a social beverage, but also as a medicinal one.

Yerba mate is rich in antioxidants, including:

  • Caffeoyl derivatives: These compounds are part of a larger group called phenolic compounds, and are associated with several potential health benefits such anti-inflammatory properties and weight management through the regulation of appetite and metabolism.

  • Saponins: These compounds have certain anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.

  • Polyphenols: This is a large group of antioxidants, linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

Some micronutrients found in yerba mate include:

  • Vitamin C

  • Thiamine

  • Riboflavin

  • Vitamin B6

Yerba mate may also boost energy and mental focus, due to the caffeine found in the plant.

One cup of yerba mate includes about 80mg of caffeine, which is similar to the amount found in a cup of coffee.

How do you drink yerba mate?

A thermos or flask is filled with hot water (the cold water version of this drink is called Tereré).

Having a thermos comes in handy when you're on the move and want to take your mate with you.

Vida likes to add different elements to her thermos directly from her garden or pantry.

Some of her favorite options include:

  • Lemongrass

  • Mint

  • Leftover chunks of ginger that she boiled the night before for her bedtime tea

The leaves of the yerba mate plant are placed in a mate cup - often referred to as guampa or gourd - along with a special mate straw - also known as bombilla.

This special straw acts as both a straw and a sieve, filtering out the leaves and allowing you to enjoy a smooth, leaf-free drink.

Throughout the morning, pour some water into the mate cup and drink the brewed tea through the straw.

Some things to consider...

Like any food or drink, every body is different.

For some people suffering from hypertension, heart disease, or heart arrhythmias, caffeinated drinks may cause complications so check with your health care provider first.

Also, yerba mate has been popularized in energy drinks. However, many of these drinks can include as high as 28 grams of sugar. This level of sugar can be enough to create more harm than good.

If you would like to reap the health benefits from Yerba Mate and are grabbing a formulated drink, please check the nutritional label first.

Where can I get me some yerba mate?

If you want your very own yerba mate kit, we recommend our partners over at Guarani Boutique.

There you will find some beautiful sets that includes a thermos, matching mate cup, and the straw. Or if you're just getting started you can opt for just the mate cup and bombilla (straw).

For the yerba, the taste will differ from brand to brand so if it's too strong or bitter at first, don't hesitate to try a different type.

Our favorite brand is Pajarito, and we find it online at GoYerbaMate.

Ja'umina Mate! ("let's drink mate" in Guaraní) Cheers!



Lutomski P, Goździewska M, Florek-Łuszczki M. Health properties of Yerba Mate. Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020 Jun 19;27(2):310-313. doi: 10.26444/aaem/119994. Epub 2020 Apr 3. PMID: 32588612. Rząsa-Duran E, Kryczyk-Poprawa A, Drabicki D, Podkowa A, Sułkowska-Ziaja K, Szewczyk A, Kała K, Opoka W, Zięba P, Fidurski M, Muszyńska B. Yerba Mate as a Source of Elements and Bioactive Compounds with Antioxidant Activity. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Feb 12;11(2):371. doi: 10.3390/antiox11020371. PMID: 35204253; PMCID: PMC8868397. Gawron-Gzella A, Chanaj-Kaczmarek J, Cielecka-Piontek J. Yerba Mate-A Long but Current History. Nutrients. 2021 Oct 21;13(11):3706. doi: 10.3390/nu13113706. PMID: 34835962; PMCID: PMC8622869. McLellan TM, Caldwell JA, Lieberman HR. A review of caffeine's effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016 Dec;71:294-312. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.09.001. Epub 2016 Sep 6. PMID: 27612937.

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