Home Medicinal Plants Mate tea: stimulating & diuretic

Mate tea: stimulating & diuretic

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 238 views

Mate tea is a popular national drink in South America . We use it therapeutically for short-term stimulation in states of exhaustion and as a diuretic. Read more about the effects of mate tea, how best to use it and what side effects it has.

What is the effect of mate tea?

Mate tea has many health benefits. Mate leaves contain mainly caffeine (0.4 to 1.7 percent) as an active ingredient. The caffeine content of mate tea is around 35 milligrams per 100 milliliters.

Mate leaves also contain theobrombine, theophylline, tannins and other components. Like caffeine, they have a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, increase the heart’s power and beat rate and are diuretic.

Mate is therefore used for short-term relief of physical and mental fatigue and for flushing therapy for mild urinary tract problems. The effectiveness of the plant has been proven in studies for these areas of application.

In South American folk medicine, mate is also attributed other healing powers, but these have not been scientifically proven. Internally, the medicinal plant is used, for example, to strengthen the stomach, against rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, depression and to prevent fever and infections. Mate tea is also said to have healing powers for high blood pressure.

For inflammation and ulcers of the skin, a poultice is made and applied externally. In addition, the mate tree is considered a natural slimming aid because it is said to quench hunger and thirst. So it should help with weight loss.

What is Mate?

Mate (Ilex paraguarensis) is an evergreen tree that can grow 6 to 14 meters tall in the wild. In cultivation, however, it is kept lower to make it easier to harvest the leaves. It is native to Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The first two countries and Argentina are considered the main growing areas.

The Mate tree was used by South American natives before European colonization. Even today, mate tea is a popular national drink in large parts of South America, while it does not find broader appeal in Europe and North America.

In recent years, mate has also been used for soft drinks.

How is mate tea used?

To prepare the tea, pour 150 milliliters of boiling water over one or two teaspoons of mate leaves and leave the infusion covered. Depending on your taste, strain the leaves after three to ten minutes. The following applies: the shorter you steep the tea, the stronger the stimulating effect.

You can drink a cup of mate tea one to three times a day. However, it is better not in the evening, as this can lead to sleep disturbances.

Mate is also found in tea blends, soft drinks and energy drinks.

What side effects can mate tea cause?

There are no known side effects after taking the recommended amount. If you drink a lot of mate tea, restlessness and stomach pain are possible.

In connection with mate tea, an increased risk of cancer in the oral cavity and esophagus is discussed. It is unclear whether the usual high drinking temperature or the content of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) should be carcinogenic.

As a precaution, you should not drink Mate tea permanently, too frequently and/or in too high a concentration.

What you should consider when using Mate

Mate tea should not be drunk in the following cases:

  • Stomach or duodenal ulcer
  • high blood pressure
  • cardiac arrhythmias
  • Overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism)
  • obstructed urinary drainage
  • pregnancy
  • lactation
  • Children and young people under the age of 18

Caution is advised when taking MAO inhibitors (medicines against depression) or sympathomimetics, for example various circulatory stimulants, asthma medicines, medicines against cardiac arrhythmias, but also amphetamine and cocaine.

Mate leaves contain a lot of caffeine – more than other caffeinated drinks like coffee or cola. Therefore, do not drink the tea before going to bed or during treatment with sedatives.

Because of the potentially increased risk of cancer, consume mate tea in moderation and not for long periods of time.

How to get Mate and its products

You can obtain the dried leaves or corresponding preparations from your pharmacy. For correct use, please read the respective leaflet or ask your doctor or pharmacist.

The soft drinks are available in the supermarket.

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