If you’re looking for the best yerba mate supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Yerba Mate Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Yerba Mate Supplements
|#1||Solaray Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#2||Source Naturals Yerba Maté||More Info|
|#3||Irwin Naturals Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#4||Swanson Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#5||PureControl Supplements Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#6||Rio Amazon Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#7||The Mate Factor Yerba Mate Energizing Liquid Extract||More Info|
|#8||HawaiiPharm Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#9||Mountain Song Rhodiola Rosea Extract and Yerba Mate||More Info|
|#10||Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate||More Info|
Yerba mate is an herbal tea or supplement made from an extract of the Ilex paraguariensis tree. The tea is a traditional non-alcoholic drink consumed in the southern countries in South America, including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. In the traditional South American style of preparing yerba mate tea, about 50 grams of dried leaves are placed inside a dried gourd and up to one liter of hot water is poured over them.
The fresh leaves must be prepared before they’re used in a tea. After being harvested, yerba mate leaves are flash-heated to 500 degrees Celsius to prevent oxidation and halt the processes of enzymes present in the fresh leaves. The blanched leaves are then taken to a drying room, where heat and smoke are used to remove excessive moisture. Once the leaves are dried, they may be aged in either cedar or cement aging chambers for up to a year, depending on the final flavor the producers are trying to achieve.
Yerba mate tea is used as a social beverage in South America, but also as a medicinal drink. Today, yerba mate supplement users may take the supplement in hopes that it will reduce the risk of cancer, degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and obesity, and/or for reducing “bad” cholesterol in the body. Yerba mate supplements can also be used to combat fatigue.
What is a Yerba Mate Supplement?
In the United States and other parts of the world, consumers can find yerba mate tea in individual, commercially-prepared tea bags, or in supplements that deliver the dried, ground leaves in the form of a capsule or tablet. These supplements can be found in drug and health food stores.
Benefits of Yerba Mate Supplements
Yerba mate leaves are rich in polyphenols, even more so than green tea. Polyphenols are substances that occur naturally in many plants that people and animals eat and drink. Some foods that contain large amounts of polyphenols include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and chocolate.
Polyphenols work inside the body as strong antioxidants and amplify the effects of other antioxidants in the diet. Studies have shown that people who eat diets rich in polyphenols have lowered risk for cardiovascular disease, cancers, chronic inflammation, and degenerative disorders.
Yerba mate supplements also contain a class of chemicals called xanthines. The three xanthines present in yerba mate leaves are caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Of these, caffeine is present in the greatest concentration, with up to 2% of the total dry weight of a yerba mate leaf consisting of pure caffeine. Regular consumption of caffeine has been linked in clinical studies to a reduction in the risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
One of the natural effects of theobromine is that it suppresses the urge to cough. This effect has been shown in clinical trials. Theobromine has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. It also decreases the risk for cardiovascular disease by increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) in the blood and reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol).
Theobromine’s benefits may also include strengthening tooth enamel, although scientists who have studied this effect believe the concentration in yerba mate supplements is too low to be effective for this purpose. However, used as a mouth rinse or in toothpaste, theobromine may be able to help contribute to cavity prevention.
A third class of substances found in yerba mate supplements is saponins. Saponins contribute to the bitter flavor present in yerba mate teas, and are also associated with anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties in the tea. The saponins in yerba mate are being investigated for their ability to fight trypanosomal parasites, such as the parasite that causes Chagas disease.
Yerba mate leaves are also rich in minerals. These minerals include potassium, iron, and zinc, all of which the human body needs in order to continue to function properly.
Research is ongoing into whether yerba mate supplements have an effect on obesity. Although yerba mate supplements have been demonstrated to lower “bad” cholesterol, they have been shown to increase oxidation (or “burning”) of fat in the body only when combined with extracts from other plants. Further study is needed.
Are There any Side Effects?
Yerba mate supplements contain caffeine. Caffeine has a very low level of toxicity in the human body; the amount consumed must be quite high before any toxic effects are observed. Still, some people have sensitivities to caffeine, and this must be taken into consideration when deciding whether or not to use yerba mate supplements. It should also be noted that according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caffeine is considered an unsafe additive when it is combined with beverages containing alcohol.
Theobromine is even less toxic in humans than caffeine. In other words, the dose of theobromine required to begin to see toxic effects is a higher dose than that of caffeine. Theobromine is not associated with disruption of the sleep cycle, unlike caffeine, which can have the effect of disturbing the sleep of some, although not all, caffeine users.
Some yerba mate leaves from Brazil have been shown to contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), substances also found in grilled meats and in tobacco smoke that are associated with an increased risk for cancer. It is unknown whether using yerba mate supplements increases the risk for certain cancers or whether this effect is “canceled out” by the high levels of polyphenols, which reduce cancer risk by removing free radicals in the body that can contribute to cell mutations that may become cancerous.
An additional concern to note is that along with beneficial minerals such as zinc and iron, yerba mate also contains lead. The amount of lead in standardized yerba mate supplements is below the level considered to be unsafe in drinking water in the U.S., so this lead does not pose a significant risk unless the supplements are taken in excessive quantities or the amount of lead is raised in a poorly or negligently manufactured product. Consumers will want to buy supplements from manufacturers they know and trust.
How to Take Yerba Mate Supplements
Many drug stores offer yerba mate supplements in individual tea bags, or in tablets or capsules. Brewed yerba mate tea can also be purchased as a bottled iced herbal tea beverage. Those who want the positive aspects of theobromine and caffeine but don’t want to drink coffee, green tea, or black tea may find yerba mate supplements to be a useful alternative.
In the traditional South American preparation process, the concentration of caffeine in yerba mate tea is much higher than in a typical cup of coffee. As yerba mate tea bags and supplements are prepared in the United States, one serving of yerba mate tea is approximately equivalent in amount of caffeine to a typical serving of coffee.
What to Look for in a Good Yerba Mate Supplement
Yerba mate supplements have very few potential side effects and are generally considered safe for most users. Users of yerba mate supplements should look for products that were made using standardized measures in production facilities that routinely test for quality.
Because lead may be present in yerba mate supplements, consumers should look for products with standardized quantities of yerba mate so they can be sure they’re not consuming a higher-than-allowed amount of lead.
Standardization also helps ensure that the amounts of caffeine, theobromine, and saponins are high enough to be clinically effective. Non-standardized supplements may contain inactive ingredients in high enough quantities to dilute the amounts of active ingredients.
Another consideration when choosing a yerba mate herbal supplement is its inactive ingredients. For example, those who want to avoid excessive sugar should check the amount of sugar in a yerba mate supplement before using it.