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Definition of Yerba mate

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Yerba mate: A stimulant beverage similar to tea, very popular in South America, brewed from the dried leaves and stemlets of a member of the holly family known botanically as Ilex paraguayensis.

Despite claims to the contrary, Yerba mate does contain caffeine although the level is relatively low compared to coffee or tea. Yerba mate also contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals and other chemicals of note such as theobromine and theophylline.

Yerba mate (pronounced yer ba ma tA) comes from the American Spanish, from yerba meaning herb + mate, the hollow gourd used as a bowl or container for brewing yerba mate.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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