All about Yerba Mate.



Yerba Maté is a small tree native to the subtropical highlands of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. This evergreen member of the Holly family was introduced to colonizing and modern civilizations by the Guarani Indians of these regions. The drink is brewed from the dried leaves and stemlets of this perennial tree. Yerba Maté is known as the national drink of these countries, and is consumed by millions of South Americans as a healthful alternative to coffee. This stimulating herbal beverage has the unique ability to wake up the mind without the nervousness and jitters associated with coffee. Deemed “The Drink of the Gods” by many indigenous groups in South America, and known as “the green gold of the Indios” by folks in Europe, yerba maté possesses a multitude of health benefits that have begun to attract the attention of American scientists and consumers.

What is the nutritional value associated with Yerba Maté?

The beneficial and therapeutic aspects of yerba maté, portrayed from centuries of
observation and use, have recently been verified by a number of scientific studies. The chemical components of yerba maté are similar to those found in green tea; however, as we’ll see, yerba maté is much more nutritious.
People worldwide refer to this herbal infusion as a “whole body tonic”. Tonics are
substances provided by nature for the repair and maintenance of normal physiology.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, tonics “invigorate, restore, refresh, or stimulate [some aspect of one’s physical well-being].” Here at Aviva we don’t like to use the term “tonic” because it reminds us of those con-artists of the 1800’s who would ride from town to town, selling colored water as “tonics” or “potions” that would cure all your ills. In truth, however, yerba maté may be the closest natural beverage to a whole body tonic that is on the market today. A combination of observations and research from the scientific community gives strength to that claim….
There are 196 volatile (or active) chemical compounds found in the yerba maté plant. Of those, 144 are also found in green tea. Yerba Maté contains 11 polyphenols. Polyphenols are a group of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals (phyto- meaning plant) contain recentlydiscovered compounds that act as powerful antioxidants and are considered to exhibit anticancer effects in mammals by strengthening an organism’s natural defenses and protecting it against cellular destruction (i.e. lycopene in tomatoes, flavonoids in blueberries, and isoflavones in soy). In addition to polyphenols, yerba maté leaves contain saponins (In fact, one study yielded 3 new saponins in the Yerba Maté leaf!) Saponins are phytochemicals that have been found to specifically stimulate the immune system and aid the body in protecting against disease.

Как получают разный МАТЭ?

Молодые листья и веточки йерба матэ собирают в период с марта по октябрь. Если плантация эксплуатируется «в щадящем режиме», сбор проводят раз в три года, а если в «интенсивном» — то раз в два года. Поскольку для производства матэ используются не только листья, но и ветки, после очередного сбора деревья выглядят практически «голыми». Собранный йерба матэ пакуют в холщовые мешки и увозят на обработку, где с помощью специального оборудования отделяют листья от веточек. Следующий этап производства — это сушка, во время которой йерба матэ теряет до 20-25 % своего веса. Сушку можно назвать самым важным и ответственным моментом — листья растения содержат в себе очень много воды, от которой необходимо избавиться (но не сжечь при этом листья). Йерба матэ сушится при высокой температуре в специальных сушилках, называемых «секадеро». Если веточки и листья йерба матэ высушены правильно, они должны иметь равномерный светло-зеленый оттенок. После сушки начинается этап грубого измельчения, за которым следует «досушивание» в специальных духовках и «доизмельчение». Сухой и измельченный до размеров среднелистового чая йерба матэ упаковывают в полотняные мешки и отправляют на «дозревание», которое длится от 8 месяцев до года.