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What is Yerba Mate and How This Tea Promotes Weight Loss

This traditional South American drink helps boost energy and metabolism. Find out the proper way to use it.

Are you looking for a natural weight loss aide that not only helps your body rid unwanted fat but also gives you energy? You might want to try yerba mate tea.

For centuries, people in South America have been enjoying the health benefits of yerba mate. Related to the holly plant, yerba is the most popular drink in countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Traditionally, the yerba mate plant is picked, blanched, dried, aged and then cut into small pieces. The loose tea is placed in a gourd with hot water to steep and then drank through a filtered straw straight from the gourd.

Yerba Mate for Energy

People love the caffeine content of the plant because it gives them the energy they receive from drinking coffee without the jitters often felt from it. The energizing effects of yerba mate can also help you do more physically to increase the rate of calorie burn while you exercise. With extra energy, you will be able to work out harder without feeling fatigued.

Yerba Mate for Weight Loss

The caffeine in coffee speeds up your metabolism, helping you burn calories, which makes it a popular choice for dieters. What can offset those effects is the sugar and cream added to coffee drinks. Yerba mate is a great alternative for coffee drinkers because it provides the same effects, including the heightened metabolic rate, without the extra ingredients. Yerba mate also has 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and antioxidants.

Studies of Yerba Mate

If you’re skeptical of its weight loss effects, check out these results:

  • In a study conducted by Denmark’s Charlottenlund Medical Center, participants drank an herbal combination of yerba mate, guarana and damiana three times a day. They experienced slower digestion, which made them feel fuller longer. This full feeling helped them consume fewer calories throughout the day.
  • Participants in a 2001 study drank the same concoction and after 45 days, they experienced significant weight loss and reported they felt fuller quicker while eating.
  • Studies also find yerba mate significantly reduces cholesterol. Participants of one study with healthy cholesterol levels experienced a 8.7 percent reduction in "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, while those with high cholesterol levels experienced an 8.6 percent reduction in LDL and a 4.4 percent increase in "good" (HDL) cholesterol. Participants already on cholesterol medication experienced a 13.1 percent reduction in LDL levels and an increase in HDL levels by 6.2 percent.

Dr. Mehmet Oz supports these weight loss findings. On his March 20 episode of "Dr. Oz," he recommended yerba mate tea to anyone looking for a way to jumpstart their day and speed up their metabolism to promote weight loss.

Other Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

In addition to helping you lose weight, which can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and many other medical issues, drinking yerba mate can also help if you suffer from bad breath, headaches or other pains.


While occasional use of the herb has shown no serious health risks, studies have linked long-term use of yerba mate in large quantities to increased risk of oral cancer. Due to the caffeine content of the herb, people with anxiety and high blood pressure should avoid drinking yerba mate tea. Pregnant and nursing mothers should also refrain from drinking this highly caffeinated drink.

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  • Legal Disclaimer:
    eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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