Yerba Mate leaf powder (Ilex paraguayensis or Ilex paraguariensis) Yerba Mate leaf powder (Ilex paraguayensis or Ilex paraguariensis) Yerba Mate leaf powder (Ilex paraguayensis or Ilex paraguariensis) Yerba Mate Powder

Ilex paraguayensis

This product is no longer sold by Raintree Nutrition, Inc. See the main product page for more information why. Try doing a google search or see the rainforest products page to find other companies selling rainforest herbal supplements or rainforest plants if you want to make this rainforest formula yourself.

Yerba mate was has been used as a beverage since the time of the ancient Indians of Brazil and Paraguay. In addition to its standing as a popular beverage, yerba mate is used as a tonic, diuretic, and as a stimulant to reduce fatigue, suppress appetite, and aid gastric function in herbal medicine systems throughout South America.* For more information yerba mate(Ilex paraguayensis), please refer to the Database File for Yerba Mate in the Tropical Plant Database. To see photographs of yerba mate, click here.

Traditional Uses:* as a stimulant (for its caffeine content); as an overall tonic (tones, balances, strengthens the body) and digestive aid; for obesity and as part of weight loss regimens; as a general nervine (balances/calms nerves) for nerve pain, nervous fatigue, and depression; for allergies and sinusitis

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as an infusion (tea): Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Pour boiling water over herb in cup and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain tea (or allow settled powder to remain in the bottom of cup) and drink warm. It is traditionally taken in 1 cup amounts, 2-3 times daily. It is also suitable to stuff into capsules. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal infusions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

Contraindications:
  • Yerba mate contains caffeine and should not be used by those who are sensitive or allergic to caffeine. Excessive consumption of caffeine is contraindicated for persons with high blood pressure, diabetes, ulcers, and other diseases.
  • Yerba mate should not be consumed excessively and chronically (as it has been documented to increase the risk of oral and esophageal cancers).
Drug Interactions: None documented.





Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on yerba mate can be found at PubMed. A partial listing of the published research on yerba mate is shown below:

Anti-fatigue, Stimulant * Memory Enhancement Actions:
Prediger, R., eta al. "Effects of acute administration of the hydroalcoholic extract of mate tea leaves (Ilex paraguariensis) in animal models of learning and memory." J Ethnopharmacol. 2008 Dec 8;120(3):465-73.
Lieberman, H. R., et al. “Effects of caffeine, sleep loss, and stress on cognitive performance and mood during U.S. Navy SEAL training." Psychopharmacology. 2002; 164(3): 250–61.
Alikaridis, F. “Natural constituents of Ilex species.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1987; 20(2): 121–44.
Fossati, C. “On the virtue and therapeutic properties of ‘yerba-maté’ (Ilex paraguayensis or paraguariensis St. Hilaire 1838)." Clin. Ter. 1976; 78(3): 265–72.
Vasquez, A., et al. “Studies on maté drinking.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1986; 18: 267–72.

Antioxidant, Cellular Protective & Anti-ageing Actions:
Branco, C., et al. "Anticonvulsant, Neuroprotective and Behavioral Effects of Organic and Conventional Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil.) on Pentylenetetrazol-induced Seizures in Wistar Rats." Brain Res Bull. 2012 Dec 24. doi:pii: S0361-9230(12)00246-8.
Fernandes, E., et al. "Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) enhances the gene modulation and activity of paraoxonase-2: in vitro and in vivo studies." Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1157-64.
Gorjanovic, S., et al. "Antioxidant capacity of teas and herbal infusions: polarographic assessment." J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 26;60(38):9573-80.
Boaventura, B., et al. "Association of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) intake and dietary intervention and effects on oxidative stress biomarkers of dyslipidemic subjects." Nutrition. 2012 Jun;28(6):657-64.
Peralta, I., et al. "Prevention of Hydrogen Peroxide-Induced Red Blood Cells Lysis by Ilex paraguariensis Aqueous Extract: Participation of Phenolic and Xanthine Compounds." Phytother Res. 2012 Apr 18.
Conforti, A., et al. "Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) consumption is associated with higher bone mineral density in postmenopausal women." Bone. 2012 Jan;50(1):9-13.
Cunha, F., et al. "Reduction in oxidative stress levels in the colonic mucosa without fecal stream after the application of enemas containing aqueous Ilex paraguariensis extract." Acta Cir Bras. 2011 Aug;26(4):289-96.
Coentrao, A., et al. "Antioxidant activity of polyphenols from green and toasted mate tea." Nat Prod Commun. 2011 May;6(5):651-6.
Beal, P., et al. "Oxidative stability of fermented Italian-type sausages using mate leaves (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil) extract as natural antioxidant." Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Nov;62(7):703-10.
Berte, K., et al. "Chemical composition and antioxidant activity of yerba-mate (Ilex paraguariensis A.St.-Hil., Aquifoliaceae) extract as obtained by spray drying." J Agric Food Chem. 2011 May 25;59(10):5523-7.
Dudonne, S., et al. "DNA macroarray study of skin aging-related genes expression modulation by antioxidant plant extracts on a replicative senescence model of human dermal fibroblasts." Phytother Res. 2011 May;25(5):686-93.
Vieira, M., et al. "Phenolic acids and methylxanthines composition and antioxidant properties of mate (Ilex paraguariensis) residue." J Food Sci. 2010 Apr;75(3):C280-5.
Leonard, S., et al. "Analysis of free-radical scavenging of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguriensis) using electron spin resonance and radical-induced DNA damage." J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):C14-20
Xu, G., et al. "Chemical constituents from the leaves of Ilex paraguariensis inhibit human neutrophil elastase." Arch Pharm Res. 2009 Sep;32(9):1215-20.
Matsumoto, R., et al. "Effects of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) ingestion on mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes, lipid peroxidation, and total antioxidant status in healthy young women." J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Mar 11;57(5):1775-80.
Martins, F., et al. "Consumption of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) decreases the oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in mouse liver." Br J Nutr. 2009 Feb;101(4):527-32.
Filip, R., et al. "Effect of Ilex extracts and isolated compounds on peroxidase secretion of rat submandibulary glands." Food. Chem. Toxicol. 2006 Oct 27;
Bixby, M., et al. “Ilex paraguariensis extracts are potent inhibitors of nitrosative stress: a comparative study with green tea and wines using a protein nitration model and mammalian cell cytotoxicity.” Life Sci. 2005 Jun; 77(3): 345.
Arbiser, J. L., et al. “Naturally occurring proteasome inhibitors from mate tea (Ilex paraguayensis) serve as models for topical proteasome inhibitors.” J. Invest. Dermatol. 2005 Aug; 125(2): 207-12.
Chandra, S., et al. “Polyphenolic compounds, antioxidant capacity, and quinone reductase activity of an aqueous extract of Ardisia compressa in comparison to mate (Ilex paraguariensis) and green (Camellia sinensis) teas.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2004 Jun; 52(11): 3583-9.
Ramirez-Mares, M. V., et al. “In vitro chemopreventive activity of Camellia sinensis, Ilex paraguariensis and Ardisia compressa tea extracts and selected polyphenols.” Mutat. Res. 2004 Oct; 554(1-2): 53-65.
Bracesco, N., et al. “Antioxidant activity of a botanical extract preparation of Ilex paraguariensis: prevention of DNA double-strand breaks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and human low-density lipoprotein oxidation.” J. Altern. Complement. Med. 2003 Jun; 9(3): 379-87.
Actis-Goretta, L., et al. “Comparative study on the antioxidant capacity of wines and other plant-derived beverages.” Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 2002; 957: 279–83.
Filip, R., et al. “Antioxidant activity of Ilex paraguariensis and related species." Nutr. Res. 2000; 20(10): 1437–46.
Schinella, G. R., et al. “Antioxidant effects of an aqueous extract of Ilex paraguariensis." Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2000; 269(2): 357–60.
Gugliucci, A. “Antioxidant effects of Ilex paraguariensis: induction of decreased oxidability of human LDL in vivo." Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 1996; 224(2): 338–44.
Gugliucci, A. “Low-density lipoprotein oxidation is inhibited by extracts of Ilex paraguariensis.” Biochem. Mol. Biol. Int. 1995; 35(1): 47–56.

Anti-obesity, Thermogenic (fat-burning), & Cholesterol-Lowering Actions:
Gao, H., et al. "Effects of Yerba Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) on vascular endothelial function and liver lipoprotein receptor gene expression in hyperlipidemic rats." Fitoterapia. 2012 Dec 21. doi:pii: S0367-326X(12)00351-6.
Resende, P., et al. "The activity of mate saponins (Ilex paraguariensis) in intra-abdominal and epididymal fat, and glucose oxidation in male Wistar rats." J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Dec 18;144(3):735-40.
Pimentel, G., et al. "Yerba mate extract (Ilex paraguariensis) attenuates both central and peripheral inflammatory effects of diet-induced obesity in rats." J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Jul 25.
Boaventura, B., et al. "Association of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) intake and dietary intervention and effects on oxidative stress biomarkers of dyslipidemic subjects." Nutrition. 2012 Jun;28(6):657-64.
Gosmann, G., et al. "Phenolic compounds from maté (Ilex paraguariensis) inhibit adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 preadipocytes." Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Jun;67(2):156-61.
Kang, Y., et al. "Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet." Lab Anim Res. 2012 Mar;28(1):23-9.
Hussein, G., et al. "Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) promotes satiety and body weight lowering in mice: involvement of glucagon-like peptide-1." Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(12):1849-55.
Klein, G., et al. "Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes individuals: a pilot study." J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Oct;30(5):320-32.
Huessein, G., et al. "Protective and ameliorative effects of maté (Ilex paraguariensis) on metabolic syndrome in TSOD mice." Phytomedicine. 2011 Dec 15;19(1):88-97.
Silva, R., et al. "The effect of aqueous extract of gross and commercial yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) on intra-abdominal and epididymal fat and glucose levels in male Wistar rats." Fitoterapia. 2011 Sep;82(6):818-26
Arcari, D., et al. "Anti-inflammatory effects of yerba maté extract (Ilex paraguariensis) ameliorate insulin resistance in mice with high fat diet-induced obesity." Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Mar 30;335(2):110-5.
Bracesco, N., et al. "Recent advances on Ilex paraguariensis research: minireview." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jul 14;136(3):378-84.
de Moralis, E., et al. "Consumption of yerba mate ( Ilex paraguariensis ) improves serum lipid parameters in healthy dyslipidemic subjects and provides an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in individuals on statin therapy." J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Sep 23;57(18):8316-24.
Martins, F., et al. "Maté tea inhibits in vitro pancreatic lipase activity and has hypolipidemic effect on high-fat diet-induced obese mice." Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Jan;18(1):42-7.
Arcari, D., et al. "Antiobesity effects of yerba maté extract (Ilex paraguariensis) in high-fat diet-induced obese mice." Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Dec;17(12):2127-33.
Pang, J., et al. "Ilex paraguariensis extract ameliorates obesity induced by high-fat diet: potential role of AMPK in the visceral adipose tissue." Arch Biochem Biophys. 2008 Aug 15;476(2):178-85.
Dickel, M. L., et al. "Plants popularly used for loosing weight purposes in Porto Alegre, South Brazil." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Jan; 109(1): 60-71.
Mosimann, A. L., et al. "Aqueous extract of Ilex paraguariensis attenuates the progression of atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits." Biofactors. 2006; 26(1): 59-70.
Pittler, M. H., “Adverse events of herbal food supplements for body weight reduction: systematic review.” Obes. Rev. 2005 May; 6(2): 93-111.
Paganini Stein, F. L., et al. “Vascular responses to extractable fractions of Ilex paraguariensis in rats fed standard and high-cholesterol diets.” Biol. Res. Nurs. 2005 Oct; 7(2): 146-56.
Collomp, K., et al. “Effects of salbutamol and caffeine ingestion on exercise metabolism and performance.” Int. J. Sports Med. 2002; 23(8): 549–54.
Anderson, T., et al. “Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients.” J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 2001; 14(3): 243–50.
Martinet, A., et al. “Thermogenic effects of commercially available plant preparations aimed at treating human obesity.” Phytomedicine. 1999; 6(4): 231–38.

Anti-Epileptic Actions
Branco, C., et al. "Anticonvulsant, Neuroprotective and Behavioral Effects of Organic and Conventional Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil.) on Pentylenetetrazol-induced Seizures in Wistar Rats." Brain Res Bull. 2012 Dec 24. doi:pii: S0361-9230(12)00246-8.

Anti-inflammatory Actions:
Pimentel, G., et al. "Yerba mate extract (Ilex paraguariensis) attenuates both central and peripheral inflammatory effects of diet-induced obesity in rats." J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Jul 25.
Matsunaga, K., et al. “Inhibitory action of Paraguayan medicinal plants on 5-lipoxygenase.” Natural Med. 2000; 54(3): 151–54.
Marr, K., et al. “Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of fenleuton, a 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor, in ponies.” Res. Vet. Sci. 1998; 64(2): 111–17.
Yasukawa, K., et al. “Inhibitory effect of edible plant extracts on 12-o-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-induced ear oedema in mice.” Phytother. Res. 1993; 7(2): 185–89.

Anti-hemorrhagic Actions:
Dahmer, T., et al. "Antithrombotic Effect of Chikusetsusaponin IVa Isolated from Ilex paraguariensis (Maté)." J Med Food. 2012 Dec;15(12):1073-80.

Anti-diabetic Actions:
Pereira, D., et al. "Influence of the traditional Brazilian drink Ilex paraguariensis tea on glucose homeostasis." Phytomedicine. 2012 Jul 15;19(10):868-77.
Kang, Y., et al. "Anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet." Lab Anim Res. 2012 Mar;28(1):23-9
Klein, G., et al. "Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes individuals: a pilot study." J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Oct;30(5):320-32.
Huessein, G., et al. "Protective and ameliorative effects of maté (Ilex paraguariensis) on metabolic syndrome in TSOD mice." Phytomedicine. 2011 Dec 15;19(1):88-97.
Arcari, D., et al. "Anti-inflammatory effects of yerba maté extract (Ilex paraguariensis) ameliorate insulin resistance in mice with high fat diet-induced obesity." Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Mar 30;335(2):110-5.
Lunceford, N., et al. “Ilex paraguariensis extracts inhibit AGE formation more efficiently than green tea.” Fitoterapia. 2005 Jul; 76(5): 419-27.
Gugliucci, A., et al. “The botanical extracts of Achyrocline satureoides and Ilex paraguariensis prevent methylglyoxal-induced inhibition of plasminogen and antithrombin III." Life Sci. 2002; 72(3): 279–92.
Kalousova, M., et al. “Advanced glycation end-products and advanced oxidation protein products in patients with diabetes mellitus.” Physiol. Res. 2002; 51(6): 597–604.

Bile Stimulant Actions:
Mosimann, A. L., et al. "Aqueous extract of Ilex paraguariensis attenuates the progression of atherosclerosis in cholesterol-fed rabbits." Biofactors. 2006; 26(1): 59-70.
Gorzalczany, S., et al. “Choleretic effect and intestinal propulsion of ‘maté’ (Ilex paraguariensis) and its substitutes of adulterants." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2001; 75(2–3): 291–94.

Heart Tonic Actions:
Paganini Stein, F. L., et al. “Vascular responses to extractable fractions of Ilex paraguariensis in rats fed standard and high-cholesterol diets.” Biol. Res. Nurs. 2005 Oct; 7(2): 146-56.
Schinella, G., et al. “Cardioprotective effects of Ilex paraguariensis extract: evidence for a nitric oxide-dependent mechanism.” Clin. Nutr. 2005 Jun; 24(3): 360-6.
Gorgen, M., et al. “Aqueous extract of Ilex paraguariensis decreases nucleotide hydrolysis in rat blood serum.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb; 97(1): 73-7.
Leborgne, L., et al. “Oxidative stress, atherogenesis and cardiovascular risk factors.” Arch. Mal. Coeur. Vaiss. 2002; 95(9): 805–14.
Muccillo Baisch, A. L., et al. “Endothelium-dependent vasorelaxing activity of aqueous extracts of Ilex paraguariensis on mesenteric arterial bed of rats." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1998; 60(2): 133–39.

Antimicrobial Actions:
Burris, K., et al. "Aqueous extracts of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) as a natural antimicrobial against Escherichia coli O157:H7 in a microbiological medium and pH 6.0 apple juice." J Food Prot. 2012 Apr;75(4):753-7
Burrins, K., et al. "Antimicrobial activity of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) aqueous extracts against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus." J Food Sci. 2011 Aug;76(6):M456-62.
Luckemeyer, D., et al. "Effects of Ilex paraguariensis A. St. Hil. (yerba mate) on herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 replication." Phytother Res. 2012 Apr;26(4):535-40.
Battagim, J., et al. "Comparative study of the effect of green and roasted water extracts of mate (Ilex paraguariensis) on glucosyltransferase activity of Streptococcus mutans." J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. 2012 Apr;27(2):232-40.
Filip, R., et al. "Antifungal activity of the aqueous extract of Ilex paraguariensis against Malassezia furfur." Phytother Res. 2010 May;24(5):715-9.

Anticancerous Actions:
Puangpraphant, S, et al. "Dicaffeoylquinic acids in Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire) inhibit NF-?B nucleus translocation in macrophages and induce apoptosis by activating caspases-8 and -3 in human colon cancer cells." Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Oct;55(10):1509-22.
Arbiser, J. L., et al. "Naturally occurring proteasome inhibitors from mate tea (Ilex paraguayensis) serve as models for topical proteasome inhibitors." J. Invest. Dermatol. 2005 Aug; 125(2): 207-12.
Gonzalez de Mejia, E., et al. “Effect of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) tea on topoisomerase inhibition and oral carcinoma cell proliferation.” J. Agric. Food Chem. 2005 Mar; 53(6): 1966-73.

Cancerous Actions:
Andrici, J., et al. "Maté consumption and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-analysis." Dis Esophagus. 2012 Aug 14.
Stefani, E., et al. "Maté consumption and risk of cancer: a multi-site case-control study in Uruguay." Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2011;12(4):1089-93.
Szyman'ska, K., et al. "Drinking of maté and the risk of cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract in Latin America: a case-control study." Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Nov;21(11):1799-806
Dasanayake, A., et al. "Maté drinking and oral and oro-pharyngeal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis." Oral Oncol. 2010 Feb;46(2):82-6.
Bates, M. N., et al. "Bladder cancer and mate consumption in Argentina: A case-control study." Cancer Lett. 2007 Feb; 246(1-2): 268-73.
Fagundes, R. B., et al. "Higher urine 1-hydroxy pyrene glucuronide (1-OHPG) is associated with tobacco smoke exposure and drinking mate in healthy subjects from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil." BMC Cancer. 2006 May; 6: 139.
Goldenberg, D., et al. “The beverage mate: a risk factor for cancer of the head and neck.” Head Neck. 2003; 25(7): 595-601.
Sewram, V., et al. “Mate consumption and the risk of squamous cell esophageal cancer in Uruguay.” Cancer Epidemiol. Biomarkers Prev. 2003; 12(6): 508-13.
Castellsague, X., et al. “Influence of maté drinking, hot beverages and diet on esophageal cancer risk in South America.” Int. J. Cancer. 2000; 88(4): 658–64.
Fonseca, C. A., et al. “Nontoxic, mutagenic, and clastogenic activities of Mate-Chimarrao (Ilex paraguariensis).” J. Environ. Pathol. Toxicol. Oncol. 2000; 19(4): 333-46.
De Stefani, E., et al. “Meat intake, ‘maté’ drinking and renal cell cancer in Uruguay: a case-control study.” Br. J. Cancer 1998; 78(9): 1239–43.
De Stefani, E., et al. “Black tobacco, maté and bladder cancer. A case-control study from Uruguay.” Cancer. 1991; 67(2): 536–40.
De Stefani, E., et al. “Black tobacco, wine and maté in oropharyngeal cancer.” Rev. Epidemiol. Sante. Publique. 1988; 36(6): 389–94.

Toxicity / Safety Studies:
de Andrade, F., et. al. Safety assessment of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) dried extract: results of acute and 90 days subchronic toxicity studies in rats and rabbits." Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Feb;50(2):328-34.



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Last updated 12-29-2012