Additional Health Information
Research on Yerba Mate presents important evidence for health improvement. We would like to clarify some indications for health concerns in studies, specifically how the leaves are prepared and consumed to the standards of the native culture.
In cultures in South America, Yerba Mate tea is prepared and consumed at a very hot temperature. Evidence has shown that over time drinking liquids at a very hot temperature, including yerba mate, is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer and possibly others. Combined with smoking, the risk increases4. If you want to try Erva at a warm temperature, take precautions as you would with other hot coffees or teas, to enjoy it. Your health is important to us!
Yerba Mate tea leaves are traditionally smoked over a fire, which increases polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. This is one of the reasons that yerba mate is sometimes given a negative name. These compounds are present in cigarette smoke, car fumes and wood smoke1. In fact, PAHs are even present in coffee and tea2. Again, most research on yerba mate examines traditional methods of aging over an open flame. PAH levels vary in different brands of Yerba Mate tea leaves, indicating that the content may not be a sole product of the yerba mate itself3. When examining your health, it is important to know that “some PAHs may reasonably be expected to be carcinogens”1. However, most of us are exposed to PAHs in our daily lives, especially if you eat barbecue or grilled meat.
The yerba mate tea leaves used in Erva teas are prepared in a way to avoid creating PAHs! They are air dried and aged, thus not exposed to open flame. At this time, many people in the United States are still not aware of the many benefits of yerba mate tea, as research primarily focuses on specific types of preparation native to South America. We encourage you to take steps to inform yourself on how you are nourishing your body, with all food and drinks that you value.
As with all caffeinated beverages, take precautions if you are extra sensitive to the effects of caffeine or pregnant. If you are new to yerba mate and are not sure how it will affect you, start with a taste of Erva and savor the experience!
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. ToxFAQs™ for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). (updated 2014, August 28). Retrieved April 20, 2016, from http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=121&tid=25
- Heck, C.I. and De Mejia, E.G. (2007), Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations. Journal of Food Science, 72: R138–R151.
- Golozar, A., Fagundes, R. B., Etemadi, A., Schantz, M. M., Kamangar, F., Abnet, C. C., & Dawsey, S. M. (2012). Significant variation in the concentration of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in yerba maté samples by brand, batch and processing method. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(24), 13488–13493. http://doi.org/10.1021/es303494s
- Heck, C.I. and De Mejia, E.G. (2007), Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex Paraguariensis): A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations. Journal of Food Science, 72: R138–R151.