Yerba Mate has long been called the drink of the gods by the indigenous cultures in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay where it is consumed as a daily beverage and is often the center of social gatherings. Instead of having friends over for tea, modern day culture in much of South America still revolves around drinking mate.
The best way to drink mate is by using a calabash (gourd) and bombilla (metal straw with a filter on the end). You can prepare a gourd-full for yourself or to share with others. When you’re sharing your mate, everyone drinks from the same gourd and through the same straw as a show of friendship and solidarity.
Besides being a tasty brew, yerba mate also has a number of health benefits:
- a nutrient-dense food containing vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, so much so that it is called “liquid vegetables”
- contains theobromine for increased mental clarity and focus
- is a digestive tonic, great for treating constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion
- is a general nerve tonic for pain, fatigue, and depression
- good for the heart and vascular system
- can increase bone density in post-menopausal women
- is anti-inflammatory
- contains caffeine