Yerba maté — a magical plant

by Dorota Owczarski — 

Extensive use of yerba maté among the Indians was also due to its medicinal properties, which contributed to increased immunity and recovery of the nervous system.

Extensive use of yerba maté among the Indians was also due to its medicinal properties, which contributed to increased immunity and recovery of the nervous system.

Yerba maté, or Illex paraguariensis, is a tropical evergreen that grows in South America and can live up to 50 years in the wild. It begins as a shrub and matures into a tree. It is known as a source for a drink called maté. The plant was first used among the Guarani Indians, who took the dried leaves and cooked their own drinks.

Extensive use of yerba maté among the Indians was also due to its medicinal properties, which contributed to increased immunity and recovery of the nervous system. It also prevented exhaustion of the body caused by various diseases and, as a result, slowed aging. Drinking yerba maté allowed the Guarani Indians to go without food for long periods of time, as it easily satisfied hunger, thus supplementing such important foods as bread and vegetables.

According to the chronicles of South America colonization, the Spaniards soon began to use yerba maté because of another special property — it helped prevent scurvy, a disease that affected travelers who were unable to get fresh fruits and vegetables on their long journeys across the ocean to a new continent.

According to scientific research centers, such as the Institut Pasteur and the French National Center for Scientific Research, yerba maté contains almost all vitamins and substances necessary for the maintenance of normal human life, including fiber, volatile oil and tannin, which are found in many plant substances.

Yerba maté contains carotene, vitamins A, C, E, B-complex group (in a higher concentration than in bee pollen), riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, sulfur, hydrochloric acid, chlorophyll, choline and inositol.

It is important to note that a plant with so many essential and vital nutrients is extremely rare. It is difficult to find another plant with similar nutritional elements.

Note: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. Always consult your physician or health care provider before using any herbs, supplements or changing your diet and lifestyle.

Sources: Gregg, Susan. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Magical Plants. Fair Winds, 2008. Preedy, Victor R. Tea in Health and Disease Prevention. Academic Press, 2012.

 

Dorota Owczarski graduated from the Global College of Natural Medicine, has a holistic health practitioner degree, is a master herbalist and nutritional consultant, and an I-ACT national board-certified colon hydrotherapist. sale@dorotabotanicals.com and dorotabotanicals.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 6, December 2013/January 2014.

, , , , ,
Web Analytics