Effects of yerba mate
Yerba mate, like tea or coffee, gives infusion with a very complex composition. Many substances contained in the plant have been found to be beneficial for human health and wellbeing: they protect, regulate cholesterol levels, normalize blood circulation, reduce the intensity of diabetes symptoms, gently calm and tone down. However, it is not these properties (which, moreover, do not close the list of potentially beneficial effects of drinking a brew) that have been the success of yerba for many years. The secret of the beverage is its unusual taste: it does not resemble tea in any way and you have to get used to it and mature.
Composition of yerba mate and practice
Although almost 200 biologically active substances have been identified in the leaves of the Paraguaya bush, most of them are present here in doses too small to have an actual effect on the body. However, some of them are abundant enough: matein, a variant of caffeine, tannins, manganese, selenium, phosphorus and zinc. Organic compounds, including vitamins, usually decompose during brewing, while the antioxidant effect of yerba is due to polyphenols, which also give a specific aftertaste.
Can yerba mate be treated as a dietary supplement?
Definitely yes – although it works quite delicately, it is a more effective and, above all, a much safer substitute for synthetic supplements, provided that we are talking about yerba mate from certified, clean plantations. If you read somewhere about the beneficial effects of yerba mate, remember that many of them are financed by beverage producers and some results are overgrowing.
However, practice shows that in maintaining emotional balance and weight control it is much more effective than loudly advertised synthetics harmful to the liver. It will be much better if you consider drinking yerba mate as a ritual, a way to calm down, relax and regain balance, and then they will come and without scientific evidence of chemical activity.
How to drink yerba mate?
This drink is very specific not only in terms of taste and action, but also in terms of the way it is prepared. It is completely different from what happens in our kitchens every day. First of all, it is recommended to use a special dish, preferably a calabasse, but now there are also other options available, while the act of drinking requires a bombilla – a special straw through which the whole brew is drunk immediately.
If the leaves are flooded with warm water (70-80°C), they can be brewed again later, repeating the process until they lose their taste, i.e. usually 5 or 6 times. This is the classic recipe, although they are also different – however, each time you have to follow the established order. The leaves of the holly are very sensitive to temperature, and improperly brewed do not give the right taste, they also lose their pro-healthy properties.
Drinking yerba mate is surrounded in South America by an extensive ceremony. You can of course simplify it to make this ritual more enjoyable. Remember, however, that of the dozens of yerba mate brands, not all contain exactly the same raw material. The conditions in which the shrubs grow, the way the leaves are processed and stored can also affect the taste, which means that sometimes you will meet with another recommended way of brewing.
Treat it as an adventure: enjoy discovering the flavours, tastes and meanings of yerba mate. Let it be a pleasure for you – do not feel bound by the old ritual, but create your own, thanks to which yerba mate will gain special meaning for you.
How to start your adventure with yerba mate?
You will need the right equipment: a yerba that has been flooded with warm water in a glass does not have the right taste. Don’t go too far from the recommended way of brewing, but buy a really good raw material beforehand. Make sure that the leaves come from verified plantations and clean regions, that the product is properly stored and shipped, and in a good store you will also get instructions on how to brew the first yerba mate, which may be the starting point for the most beautiful habit of your life.