What is Yerba Mate Extract?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Yerba mate extract is a nutritional supplement that is made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant. This plant is found in many areas of South America, notably Bolivia, Uraguay and parts of Brazil and Argentina. Some formulas for the extract also include the use of the stems or twigs of the plant, as well as the flowers. Often served as a tea or an infusion with different fruit juices, yerba mate extract is said to aid in reducing cholesterol levels, aiding with weight loss, and relaxing stiff muscles.

A tea made with yerba mate and other ingredients can help with a sore throat.
A tea made with yerba mate and other ingredients can help with a sore throat.

In most cases, yerba mate extract is somewhat tart while retaining a flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of green tea. The concentrated extract is ideal for adding the nutrient content of the yerba mate plant to various types of liquids. In fact, the extract can be used to create a pleasant cup of hot tea that can be sweetened with honey or some other natural sweetener if desired. It is also possible to prepare yerba mate tea by adding herbs like peppermint or some type of citrus rind to the extract, creating a pleasant tea that is considered helpful with indigestion or a sore throat.

The yerba mate plant is native to many regions of South America, where it has been used for thousands of years.
The yerba mate plant is native to many regions of South America, where it has been used for thousands of years.

A number of different medicinal benefits are claimed for yerba mate extract. Traditionally, the dietary supplement has been thought to decrease the potential for obesity. Along with the use of yerba mate for weight loss, the antioxidants in the plant are believed to aid in lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream, effectively helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. Herbalists sometimes point to the high content of potassium, magnesium, and manganese as one of the reasons that yerba mate has a reputation for helping to soothe cramped muscles, as well as serve as a tonic for the nervous system.

Users claim that too much yerba mate is consumed it can cause insomnia.
Users claim that too much yerba mate is consumed it can cause insomnia.

While the yerba mate plant is native to South America, it has been cultivated in a number of other countries that enjoy a sub-tropical climate. Today, yerba mate extract is sold in many nations around the world as a nutritional supplement. In recent years, the weight loss properties of the product have led to increased interest among people who normally do not utilize herbal extracts for health reasons.

Yerba mate extract can help someone achieve weight loss.
Yerba mate extract can help someone achieve weight loss.

While there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence supporting the efficacy of yerba mate extract in treating a range of ailments, only limited research into the benefits of the plant have been conducted. Users also claim that a few yerba mate side effects, such as nervousness or insomnia, may occur if too much of the product is consumed in any given twenty-four hour period. As with any nutritional supplement, it is important to consult a physician before combining the use of yerba mate products with prescription medication.

Yerba mate extract may be used to make hot tea.
Yerba mate extract may be used to make hot tea.
Yerba mate extract has been used to decrease the potential for obesity.
Yerba mate extract has been used to decrease the potential for obesity.
Yerba mate has a reputation for being able to soothe stiff and cramped muscles.
Yerba mate has a reputation for being able to soothe stiff and cramped muscles.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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