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The next time you reach for your morning cuppa, consider giving Yerba Maté a turn in your weekly rotation of breakfast beverages. Known to be coffee’s herbal substitute, Yerba Maté has it all, including an ancient history, traditions, and wonderful benefits.

Yerba Maté, which translates to “gourd herb” in modern day Portuguese/Spanish, is also known in Latin as Ilex paraguariensis. The plant is grown in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay and is native to these regions.

Yerba Maté has a rich history in indigenous communities. The Guarani and Tupi people of Paraguay have been consuming this drink for centuries and are credited with its original discovery and cultivation. The Guarani people use this herb not only for its stimulating effects but also to stay healthy. Yerba Maté is high in Vitamin C, which has helped these cultures avoid diseases such as scurvy.

Traditionally, the dry leaves are added to a gourd, which is the traditional cup used. Hot water is added and then it steeps for about 8 minutes. It is consumed with a tool called a bombilla, which is a tube with a filter at the end. Imagine a straw with a filtered end.

Even in our current world, drinking Yerba Maté is seen widely as a social activity, especially in Argentina where many people make the time to sit with family and friends for hours while consuming the drink. Some even pass one gourd around and enjoy communally.

The benefits of Yerba Maté are always being studied. It has been discovered as having more than twice as much caffeine as black tea, approximately equivalent to a cup of coffee. A six-ounce cup of Yerba Maté can have between fifty to one hundred milligrams of caffeine, making it a great substitute for coffee. Additionally, it is high in Vitamin C, as we’ve learned from ancient times.

Currently, studies are being conducted that examine the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of the plant, as well as its effects on heart and bone health. Scientists are also looking at potential digestive health and weight management benefits of this miraculous herb.

In conclusion, Yerba Maté, a beverage that has been around for centuries, is still gaining popularity even today. This plant has a lot to offer. At Upton Tea Imports, we are excited to offer two varieties of this herb — BH22: Roasted Yerba Maté and BH20: Green Yerba Maté. We encourage you to sample and enjoy them as part of your daily wellness routine.

Thanks, dear reader, and be well!