When I want something to start my morning or pick me up during the day, I brew a cup of Yerba Maté. It gives me a calm boost of energy without making me feel jittery or over-caffeinated.
Yerba Maté is not a true tea, but an herbal made from the cut leaves and twigs of the South American holly tree Ilex paraguariensis. The people of South America have used Yerba Maté as a social beverage for hundreds of years, usually served in a gourd and sipped with a metal straw or bombilla, which strains the tea from the herb.
Brewed Yerba Maté is smooth with a sweet grassy flavor, similar to some varieties of green tea. It’s especially tasty with a slice of lemon and makes a delicious iced beverage.
According to Brigette Mars, A.H.G., an herbalist and nutritional consultant, Yerba Maté has some remarkable health benefits. In her book, Healing Herbal Teas, A Complete Guide to Making Delicious, Healthful Beverages, she states that Yerba Maté:
- stimulates the mind, respiratory system, and the nervous system
- is often used to improve memory and concentration
- won’t interfere with sleep
- cleanses the blood
- decreases the appetite
- boosts energy, and more
As always, check with your doctor before using any herbal product.