What Is Yerba Mate?

Have you ever heard of yerba mate? If so, you probably love it. If not, we're here to enlighten you.

According to respected author and doctor Andrew Weil, yerba mate is a tea made from the dried leaves of llex paraguariensis. This may sound intimidating at first, but don't worry — it's just an evergreen shrub in the holly family, which grows in both Central and South America. In other words, just like other teas, yerba mate is a drink that comes from a plant. Doesn't sound so intense now, does it?

Whether you're a dedicated yerba-drinker or you've never tried it before, it's useful to know what it consists of and why you might want to try it.

In regards to health benefits, the leaves of the llex paraguariensis plant contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and a lengthy list of antioxidants. For those of you who are trying to kick your java addiction, it's also a suitable source of natural caffeine.

The upsides of yerba mate don't stop at nutrition. The taste is said to be similar to green tea, a tea flavor that's enjoyed by many.

In general, one of the most well-known brands that sells yerba mate, Guayaki, describes yerba mate to have the same strength as coffee, the same health benefits as tea, and the same euphoria as chocolate. What could be better?