What Will Give You Wings?
I have been using a natural "ashtray" flavoured herb for about two years now 😬 . Yes, the flavour is uninteresting for beginners, but I'll describe later how it can be enhanced / varied.... What is this magical herb that I use to make an infusion and gives me POWER! It is the PARAGUAYAN HOLLY or YERBAMATE.
The Paraguayan holly, whose leaves and twigs are used to make dried yerba mate, is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 20-30 metres high in the wild.
Yerba mate, the "sacred herb" of South American Indians, is healthier than coffee and tea, gives a lot of energy and is not addictive. Yerba Mate was highly valued by Native Americans. It helped them fight fatigue, hunger, increased resistance, reduced stress and provided basic mineral elements. Yerba Mate came to Europe in the 17th century, when the Jesuits arrived in South America. Staying among the Guarani Indians, they wanted to learn their customs and become more like the inhabitants. This is how they got hold of the dried brew.
The name YERBA MATE comes from the word "hierba" (Old Spanish - yerba) meaning "herb" and the word "mati" which describes the vessel the Guarani Indians used to drink the brew. Legends say that the brew was given to an old man as a gift by the goddess Aria who repaid him for saving her life.
Why drink Yerba Mate? There are many reasons.
The most important reason why people reach for YERBA MATE is the stimulating effect. It is considerable and works differently than in the case of coffee or energy drinks. The energy is released gradually - there is no sudden or strong feeling of stimulation, and at the same time there is no sudden feeling of tiredness when the infusion stops working. In Yerba Mate there is mateine, which is responsible for the stimulating effect of this drink. Mateine, is the colloquial term for "another type" of caffeine, which also consists of theobromine and theophylline. It is these ingredients (and many other accompanying ingredients), that are responsible for the extra energy after drinking this dried brew, which is why it is so unique.
The inhabitants of South America have known and appreciated the positive effects of dried tea for centuries. It is impossible to list all its properties and the list of benefits of drinking yerba is constantly growing with more and more studies being published. If you start looking around on the web, you will see which well-known personalities have been drinking this brew for a long time.
The yerba mate plant, and the infusion obtained from it, have become the object of a wider scientific interest only in the last two decades, especially after 1995, when the first scientific article proving the antioxidant properties of this brew was published. Yerba mate products were granted 29 international patents between 1963 and 2007, most of them after 2000.
Properties and effects of Yerba Mate
- stimulates the body while relieving symptoms of fatigue
- aids concentration,
- eliminates symptoms of fatigue and thus improves well-being
- relieves hunger,
- cleanses the body of toxins
- improves metabolism,
- nourishes the body, provides vitamins and minerals (including magnesium, which coffee depletes us of!)
- supports the treatment of asthma thanks to xanthine content
YerbaMate has great antioxidant properties. It supports cancer prevention. The antioxidants contained in the holly leaves are present in high concentrations, higher than in green tea or red wine. The antioxidants naturally present in dried Yerba Mate include polyphenols, saponins and chlorogenic acid.
All these antioxidants are present in such large quantities that there is a strong inhibitory effect on the development of cancer cells, as well as stimulating the immune system. This makes it very helpful in the prevention of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation and liver disease. However, only regular drinking of Yerba helps to maintain its antioxidant effects in our body. It has a positive effect on the work of the circulatory system, regulates blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is also important in the prevention of atherosclerosis.
Additionally, it has been proven that Yerba Mate has a protective effect on the heart - it alleviates its dysfunctions and rebuilds damage. It improves metabolism, regulates digestion, relieves hunger, therefore it is good for weight loss. It helps to manage diabetes, in addition, the ingredients contained in Yerba Mate protect against the complications of diabetes.
Chlorogenic acid, a component of Yerba, is involved in regulating the release of glucose from the liver, which is important in insulin-dependent diabetes.
Yerba Mate has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. This allows it to have a supportive effect on both internal and external diseases. Natural immune support. Yerba Mate's list of bioactive ingredients also includes beneficial flavonoids such as quercetin, rutin, kemferol and anthocyanins. These have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as removing toxins and improving blood circulation, so they naturally support the immune system. They are included in many immune-boosting medications! Additionally, some of them, in combination with calcium compounds, are an ingredient of medicines reducing the intensity of allergy symptoms.
WHO SHOULD TRY YERBA MATE?
A healthy boost:
Yerba Mate is an excellent choice for tedious studies and work, where monotonous activities make you fall asleep, e.g. it is ideal for drivers on long journeys. While caffeine dilates blood vessels and increases blood pressure, yerba also contains theobromine which balances these effects. As a result, yerba does not cause a sudden surge in blood pressure and the so-called caffeine-induced heart palpitation. The yerba stimulation is milder, more constant and long-lasting (even up to 6 hours).
MENTAL WORK SUPPORT
YERBA MATE is a fantastic drink for concentration for people who study and work. It contains magnesium which is important for our heart. Magnesium is responsible for the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system, it also improves memory and has a positive effect on brain function.
SUPPORT FOR ACTIVE PEOPLE
YERBA MATE is good for active people. Each sip is a solid dose of vitamins and minerals. The human body strengthened with the caffeine, mineral and vitamins is ready for physical activity and advanced strength training. Yerba increases the general resistance and endurance of the body; it helps to regenerate faster after an illness or after physical effort.
What is in Yerba Mate? The leaves of the Paraguayan holly plant contain over 200 different components. However, not all of them are absorbed into the brew. For example, calcium and iron, which are present in the plant, do not make it into the brew and remain almost entirely in the dried tea. However, most of the precious substances are soluble in water which are delivered with every sip of mate. In 1964 the Pasteur Institute confirmed that a Yerba Mate infusion contains almost all the vitamins and minerals necessary to sustain human life. But of course we can't live on yerba alone, it can't replace a well-balanced diet!
To test yourself for levels of certain minerals, I invite you to check out our Elemental Hair Analysis, which you can find on my website https://gbb-store.co.uk/products/elemental-hair-analysis-1
Types of YERBA MATE can be divided according to the country of origin, which also implies a different production method. There are 4 basic types of YERBA MATE. Regardless of what type of Yerba you choose in the store, you buy the same plant. However, this does not mean that every variety of Yerba Mate is the same - quite the opposite! Some Yerba are milder, others are really strong. Some have herbal or fruit additives, some don't. A lot depends on the production process, as well as the type of plantation the plants are grown on before they end up in the Mate packet.
The type of dried product can be divided into Yerba Mate con palo, or with twigs, and Yerba Mate sin palo/despalada, or dried without twigs.
YERBA MATE can be divided according to the country of origin:
🧉 Yerba Mate ARGENTINE - milder in taste, coarser cut, with less dust. It has a slightly more bitter taste and has the most varieties and species. The drying process is shorter, so it is not as intense as Paraguayan, and therefore good for everyone, often recommended for beginners.
🧉 Paraguayan Yerba Mate - very strong and intense flavour. The leaves are usually dried over campfire smoke, which gives it a smoky aroma. You can also find small sticks among the leaves in the dry, it is more finely cut and has a higher dust content. It is stronger in effect.
🧉 BRAZILIAN Yerba Mate - is known as Erva Mate chimarrão. This type of Yerba usually has a mild flavour. It comes in both dustless coarse-cut leaf, fine-cut leaf and very finely ground dried, even to the point of resembling flour or dust that is lusciously green. Finely ground Erva Mate forms a fairly thick brew when brewed and it is necessary to use a special bombilla. It is air-dried and not aged, so it is distinguished by its fresh, grassy taste.
🧉 URUGUAY Yerba Mate - surprisingly, it doesn't come from Uruguay at all (yerba doesn't grow here!), but it is the fourth important type of yerba, different from the other three and specific to the country where it is drunk. Uruguayans like to drink finely ground, dusty dried, no sticks, long aged. Of course, the above described characteristics of a given type of yerba are a large generalisation - in each case we will find exceptions.
Yerba Mate can also be divided by its composition:
🧉 YERBA MATE CLASSIC - is 100% dried Paraguayan holly. The taste of each yerba is influenced by the soil, sunlight and environment of the plantation, the production method, harvest time and aging period.
🧉YERBA MATE WITH ADDITIVES - which means fruit yerba, herbal yerba, fruit-herbal yerba or yerba with spices. You will find natural dried herbs, roots, flowers and fruits, natural essential essences, nature-identical and artificial flavours.
Another dilemma when buying YERBA MATE is IN A TEABAG or LOOSE?
Before buying Yerba Mate in bags, it's worth considering what effect we expect. If you want to take advantage of the stimulating power of Yerba Mate and its health promoting properties, it's definitely worth choosing the traditional type of Yerba Mate. Comparing such amount with a standard tea bag, we have a ready conclusion - the amount of dried matter in case of a tea bag is much smaller. The same is true about its effect and taste. Yerba Mate in bags is much less intensive - unless we prepare the drink from a few or more bags. However, if you want a light, tasty drink that can replace tea and that you can sip both during the day and before going to bed, Yerba Mate in a bag will do just fine.
Mate - a traditional vessel for drinking Yerba Mate tea. It is made from the natural fruit of the calabash, also known as a calabash or vessel, decorated with metal. (This is the traditional way, but nothing prevents you from drinking from your favourite cup 😁 ).
Bombilla - a metal tube ending in a strainer. It is very useful, there is no need to strain our brew through a sieve or other combinations. With this "straw" we can enjoy drinking the brew without getting particles with each sip into our mouth. One remark, wait until the brew cools down a bit so as not to burn your palate, it's then a very unpleasant feeling for a few days (I know I tested it 🤦).
Temperature is very important. Many people do not watch the temperature of the water used to brew Yerba Mate. The effect and taste of the drink is strongly dependent on the temperature of the water used to brew the drink! Yerba Mate can be poured in too hot water in a hurry, and often we simply don't know that this affects not only the taste, but also the effect. Yerba Mate poured in too hot water is too strong the first time it is brewed. In addition, the high temperature also reduces the vitamins and minerals present in the plant.
🧉 Pour the dried food into the dish: from1/3 to 3/4 of its volume.
🧉 Cover the dish with the palm of your hand, place it upside down and shake it so that the finest part of the dry is near the top of the dish.
🧉Place the dish at a slant and pour the water into the empty space.
🧉Place the bombilla where you poured the water. The first brew absorbs most of the water - dry yerba swells, so after a while you have to add new water.
🧉After 2-3 minutes the yerba is already brewed, ready to drink.
🧉 You can pour this kind of yerba several times, even using about a litre of hot water. I recommend that you prepare yourself a larger amount of water in a thermos, so that you can easily pour again, without having to constantly go to the kitchen and heat water in the kettle
There is also Terere (cold mate) - it quenches the thirst perfectly on hot days, it is very refreshing. It is prepared in a similar way, except that you pour iced water or juice, e.g. orange or apple juice. You can even add an ice cube to the pot. It is advisable to wait a little longer after the first pouring so that the leaves can release their juice. Yerba varieties with fruit or herbs are best for tereré. You can also make your own blends, using herbs or pieces of fruit, fresh or dried, for example.
At home, I have YERBA MATE PAJARITO.
Why did we choose this yerba? Because it is one of the strongest yerba.
Additionally, I found such information as: Yerba Mate Pajarito is considered one of the best, tastiest and most popular Paraguayan yerba in the world. It owes its exceptional taste and aroma to more than 50 years of experience of Lauro Raatz and the unique climate of Paraguay, which is the homeland of the holly plant.
This yerba mate is produced in the province of Itapúa, the south-eastern part of Paraguay. The company Lauro Raatz S.A., founded in 1950 by Lauro Raatz and his wife Sara, is responsible for its production. In this already modern facility, 20 tons of yerba mate are produced daily and exported to many countries all over the world and since 2007 even to Poland. Of course, there are no discussions about taste!
That's why I suggest to try different kinds. I tried yerba mate enriched with different flavours, and Ilex guayusa is a very interesting plant - it has both stimulating and calming effect. The plant comes from the Amazon and is called the sister of Yerba Mate. But I am still loyal to PAJARITO. You can buy this kind of YERBA MATE in our shop here:
When I get bored with its taste, I add e.g. fresh/dried mint leaves, if you have at home essential oils of good quality (which can be consumed) you can diversify the taste with e.g. lime or orange oil. I use it time and again for variety.
Yerba mate PAJARITO is for people who are looking for an "energy kick" for each day, it has a tobacco aftertaste, which is due to its traditional way of drying over the fire. What distinguishes Paraguayan yerba is the presence of a large amount of dust, sticks and a natural and not very complex taste, but it has "something" in it, which is difficult to describe, but makes us return to it with pleasure.
Let me end with my story. I first came across this brew when my husband tried to convince me to give up coffee (I used to drink a lot of it, it was my main drink of the day 😫, yes yes, I wasn't always super careful about my health). I tried it and said NO! It tastes and smells.... hm... as some say, like an ashtray. The next time the doctor tried to encourage me to swap my LOVED COFFEE for YERBA. I laughed out loud, gently saying that it was not my taste! As they say, three times is enough! The third time was sometime after the birth of my second son. This is my beloved long-awaited baby, he didn't want to sleep at all! Yes it's true, a second baby is always different, the first one slept through the nights from the beginning, the second one didn't need sleep. For the first year of his life I slept a maximum of 4 hours a night (combining 20min + 20min + 30min etc...), during the day I had no opportunity to sleep. This led to my brain not comprehending what was going on (good thing we don't have to think to breathe). I was able to make myself an egg for breakfast by making my tea with eggshells, it was a failure, another adventure ... I would come out of the shower, ready to sleep, dressed in my pajamas, with foam on my head because I hadn’t remembered it needed to be rinsed off.
There have been many such comical stories. But to the point... my husband has been using Yerba Mate for a long time. And so I somehow managed to take a sip. And so for two days I sneaked a sip at a time. It wasn't until the second day that I realized that even though I hadn't slept, I could function and think much better. It only got to the point that Yerba saved my "motherhood" 😉 .