Yerba Mate Plant: Growth And Use – Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is a tree cultivated in Paraguay, Brazil and northern Argentina. Yerba Mate grows in sandy fine-grained soils with good drainage. For people who live in areas without these conditions, yerba mate is grown as an indoor plant. Yerba Mates thrive in shade as well as low light conditions, making them the perfect houseplant.
They are even a delight to watch as they produce fragrant white blossoms from October to December that turn into vibrant, red ornamental berries in the spring that pop against their attractive dark green leaves. The highest quality Yerba Mate is shade-grown under the rich rainforest canopy and away from direct sunlight. This shelter allows the leaves to retain more of their nutrients and flavor than plants that are exposed to the sun.
Seeds need to be stratified (put through a cool period) and may take between two months and a year to germinate. Cuttings need to be semi-woody, taken late in summer and treated with a rooting hormone like Rootone. Under warm temperatures, it grows throughout the year, even in the north as a potted plant with flowers arriving during the winter and spring months. The leaves can be harvested once the plant is established.
Yerba Mate is often referred to as the ‘drink of the Gods’– drinking Yerba mate is a common social bonding custom throughout many South American countries. It has a smoother taste than green tea, plus it’s loaded with antioxidants. It contains vitamins A, B, C as well as potassium, iron, manganese, and more. It has everything to naturally boost your immune system, improve skin and hair health and get you moving.
Yerba Mate plant contains caffeine (caffeine levels and other nutrients depending on whether it’s a male or female plant; female plants tend to be milder in flavor and lower in caffeine), theophylline and theobromine, the stimulants also found in coffee, tea and chocolate. Yerba mate is rich in a group of compounds called the chlorogenic acids. These agents help to suppress appetite, regulate metabolism and inhibit fat production. This makes Yerba Mate an ideal agent in the fight against unwanted body fat.