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Yerba mate and dental health

When you think of yerba mate, you probably think of El Tony Mate, ChariTea or Club Mate. But did you know that this trendy drink can also be good for your teeth? Studies have shown that mate helps reduce plaque and improves gum health. Read more about it in this blog.

Andrea Seraina Author
Andrea Seraina
Dental Content Specialist
28.02.20236 min. reading time

What is yerba mate?

Yerba mate has been popular in South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay for centuries and is gaining popularity around the world. It is made from the dried leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, which are infused in hot water to create a strong, tea-like drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Not only does it have a unique taste, but it also has some fantastic health benefits. For example, it contains more antioxidants than most teas and coffees and provides an energy boost thanks to its natural caffeine content. That's why it's becoming more and more available in supermarkets, restaurants and bars. So if you're looking for something new to spice up your day or give you an extra energy boost, you should give mate tea a try.

Mate varieties

Depending on the region in South America, there is a wide variety of mate varieties. In Argentina, for example, one popular variety is "mate cocido", which is boiled in water and then strained and served. Another variety is "terere", a cold version of mate mixed with ice and served with fresh fruit. "Sin Palo" is mate without stems. It contains only mate leaves, which is why the taste is more intense than other varieties.

What is the difference between mate and green tea?

Mate tea is made from the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, which is native to South America. Yerbas has a distinctive smoky flavour and is often drunk from a mate cup with a metal straw. Yerba mate tea contains caffeine and is known for its stimulating effect.

Green tea, on the other hand, is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which is native to China and other parts of Asia. Green tea has a more subtle flavour than mate and is often described as slightly sweet or herbal. Green tea also contains caffeine, but in smaller quantities than mate tea.

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How is mate drunk?

Mate is traditionally drunk from a calabash or gourd together with a drinking straw called a bombilla. The calabash, which can be made of different materials such as wood or clay, is specifically designed for drinking yerba mate and is used by South American cultures to drink the tea.

Drinking mate tea from a calabash is an ancient tradition - one steeped in history and culture that many African communities still practise today. It is a way to get together with friends, celebrate the good times and comfort each other in bad times. Whether it is an informal gathering or a more formal event, the purpose of drinking from a calabash remains the same: to share stories, ideas and feelings to strengthen relationships and build community.

Mate is also increasingly drunk as a handy energy boost, whether it's while studying, at work or in the evening at the bar or club. It is also a popular drink before exercise as it gives the energy boost you need.

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Mate consumption and your health

Yerba Mate is gaining more and more appreciation among health-conscious people. The combination of caffeine, theophylline and theobromine not only provides an energised feeling of alertness but also brings a number of other benefits that appeal to many people.

One notable benefit is its ability to improve dental health; its astringent properties remove bacteria from the surface of the teeth and gums, preventing tooth decay and preventing bad breath. Its rich blend of minerals and vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E provides your teeth with the nutrients they need to stay strong. In addition, mate contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation in the gums and fight harmful bacteria.

Similar to vitamins, minerals are naturally occurring inorganic chemicals that assist critical bodily processes including bone growth and brain connections. Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Niacin, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Zinc are minerals crucial for a healthy body and present in yerba mate.

The high concentration of antioxidants in yerba mate makes it particularly effective at reducing inflammation in the body and fighting bacteria in the mouth. In addition, the addition of natural herbs such as peppermint and lemon balm has a significant effect on the antioxidant properties of the tea.

Many biologically active compounds, including antioxidants, polyphenols, xanthine alkaloids, flavonoids, amino acids, certain elements (P, Fe, Ca), and vitamins are known to contribute to its beneficial effects. They also promote your immune system.

Furthermore, yerba mate causes additional LDL-C lowering in hypercholesterolaemic individuals who have received stable statin therapy, which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.


Can the consumption of yerba mate help with weight loss?


Yes, mate is a natural weight loss supplement, thanks to the mateine it contains. It promotes fat burning and speeds up the metabolism. According to one study, drinking cold mate stimulates the metabolism almost twice as much as drinking warm tea. It also ensures a higher calorie consumption during physical activities, for which mate provides all the necessary energy.

Because using yerba mate may help prevent obesity by improving lipid profiles. Moreover, yerba mate modifies genes whose expression is altered in the obese condition and returns it to more typical levels. It targets a number of the aberrant and disease-causing variables connected to obesity by doing this. Furthermore noted were protective and ameliorative effects on insulin resistance. 

In addition, drinking the herbal tea prolongs the feeling of satiety by delaying the emptying of the stomach. As a result, mate tea naturally reduces the feeling of hunger.

Side effects of yerba mate

Large amounts of mate tea can have some negative side effects, but these are usually minor. Too much mate can cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, restlessness and sleep disturbances. In addition, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised not to drink mate tea because of its caffeine content. This does not mean that one should completely renounce the health benefits of yerba mate, but only that one should consume this powerful drink in masses.

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