Sunday, November 18, 2007
When we were at BC's Creative Expo last week we were drinking this tea the whole time! It's really good! It's called Yerba Mate and it comes from Southern Brazil at an elevation of 800 to 1500 meters above sea level. The subtropical forest consists of rolling hills with ravines, canyons and many creeks and rivers and that is where the tea is harvested from. The weather is cooler, the Mate trees thrive. Yerba Mate is a combination of cultivated trees (which grow up to about 12 feet tall) and wild shade grown trees (which reach up to 60 feet tall and are more difficult to harvest). Both are grown and maintained organically and responsibly. The fellows we met that had a booth opened up a store in Chilliwack with all their delicous teas available and some organic baked goods.
Long ago, in South America, there was unlocked a secret for maintaining good health. It was found in the healing qualities of one of their native plants. It was the Yerba Mate tree. The Mate beverage made from this tree was discovered to benefit health, vitality and longevity. It has been used for centuries to boost immunity, cleanse and detoxify the blood, tone the nervous system, restore youthful hair color, retard aging, combat fatigue, stimulate the mind, control the appetite, reduce the effects of debilitating disease, reduce stress, and eliminate in somnia, promoting overall good health.
In current practice in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, Mate tea is made from the leaves steeped in hot water. Properly brewed, Yerba Mate makes an excellent beverage that aside from all its nutritional properties, tastes good!
But Mate is much more than a very nourishing and refreshing beverage. It is a drink that has a long traditional use in South America. It is the focal point of a culture famous for their hospitality and brotherhood. Mate remains the center of their social lives. The gentle stimulant effect invigorates their warm interaction and conversation.
Yerba Mate is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including carotene, vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B-complex, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin C complex, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, sulfur, hydrochloric acid, chlorophyll, choline, and inositol.
In 1964 The Pasteur Institute did a study on the properties of Yerba Mate. Their conclusion was:
“it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Mate in nutritional value. It has most all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.”
The Pasteur Institute study indicated Yerba Mate to be a more potent antioxidant than ascorbic acid (vitamin C). Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals! Free radicals are chemical compounds produced in the body as a result of toxic exposure to pollution, radiation, heavy metals, and pesticides. Free radicals increase the probability that affected cells will become susceptible to a wide range of infections and degenerative diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart attacks, premature aging, and strokes. Antioxidants are nutrients that seek out free radicals and neutralize their damaging cellular effects.
The pleasantly stimulating effect of Yerba Mate comes primarily from a compound called mateine. While mateine is related to caffeine, and sometimes referred to as such, the way the body absorbs it differs significantly from caffeine. Yerba Mate affects your system by gradually bringing up your energy level more slowly and evenly. It has a more long lasting effect and most people find this much more enjoyable than coffee.
A GOOD NIGHT’S REST…
Mate seems to act like a tonic, invigorating a weakened and depressed nervous system and relaxing an overexcited one. We have found that Mate gives more energy and vitality; better ability to concentrate; less nervousness, and eliminates fatigue, stimulating mental and physical activity. Yet for the most part, Mate does not interfere with sleep cycles, but helps to balance them.
GOOD FOR YOUR STOMACH…
Perhaps the main area to benefit from Mate is the gastrointestinal tract. We have seen that it helps the digestion, and even seems to have the ability to repair damaged and diseased gastrointestinal tissues. Constipation, acute or chronic, can be relieved by drinking lots of Mate.
A GOOD HEART…
Heart ailments of all kinds seem to be helped by drinking Yerba Mate. Mate supplies many of the nutrients required by the heart for growth and repair. In addition, it increases the supply of oxygen to the heart, especially during periods of stress or exercise.
STRENGTHENING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM…
Mate increases the immune response of the body, stimulating natural resistance to disease
It is said to energize naturally without caffine,