Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate в Клубе Матэ

Yerba mate, or “mate” as it is most commonly called, is a widely consumed beverage in South America. It was introduced to Western civilisation by the Guaraní indians who used it as a medicinal herb to invigorate the mind and body, boost immunity, fight fatigue, slow down ageing, cleanse and detoxify the blood, reduce stress, and control the appetite among others. As a matter of fact, Jesuits noticed that the Guaraní could go for several days without eating whilst consuming mate.

In South America it is consumed as an infusion in different ways. The most common is the mate itself --pouring hot water into a gourd filled with yerba mate. It also replaces coffee or tea in its “cocido” form.

Yerba mate´s production is mainly consumed in South America, with the second consumer region being the Middle East (Syria and Lebanon). In all of these countries, yerba is most commonly used as mate (see photograph). To prepare this beverage, hot water is poured into a gourd that is ¾ filled with yerba mate.The infusion so prepared is sipped through a bombilla –a straw with filter.

Recently, the world seems to have rediscovered the great many beneficial properties yerba mate has of which the Guaraní were well aware. The emphasis in nutrition and wholesome diets has given place to a profitable market on medicinal herbs and yerba mate seems to have an important position in this area. Just as an illustration, a search of “yerba mate” in Google (the most used search engine in the web), offers 53,900 entries, most of which stress the medicinal properties of this herb.

Argentina is the main producer of yerba mate in the world and also the main exporter. While production of yerba has increased steadily since 1990 in this country, the yerba mate economy is not flourishing at present. With very low prices in the internal market where the greatest volume of its production is consumed, the industry faces a challenge. A growth in exports might be the only chance to improve the industrial benefits. The identification of yerba mate as a medicinal herb combined with the relative advantage brought by the devaluation of the Argentinian peso against the US dollar in 2002, could be the perfect condition for growth to take place.

Что такое чай матэ (Йерба матэ)?

Чай матэ, или вернее просто матэ - подобный чаю напиток... Матэ готовят из высушенных листьев и стебельков вечнозеленого тропического дерева Ilex paraquaviensis (Падуб paraquariensis). Первоначально матэ использовался в питательных, лечебных и сакрально-ритуальных целях коренными индейцами Южной Америки с незапамятных времен. Йерба матэ – национальный напиток Аргентины, Парагвая, Уругвая, Чили, Перу и южной Бразилии, и главным образом связан с гаучос (gauchos), легендарными ковбоями Пампы и индейцами гуарани.