Spontaneous tree or bush in northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and South of Brazil, being much cultivated.
It belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family and the parts used are the leaves.
It contains xanthines (caffeine, theobromine and traces of theophylline).Tannins, phenolic acids, flavonoids, triterpene saponins and lactonic (bitter) compounds. It stimulates the central nervous system, is diuretic and has lipolysis effects.
Mate herb is traditionally used in physical and psychic fatigue and as a coadjutant in obesity treatments.
Cunha AP, Silva AP, Roque OR (2012). Plantas e Produtos Vegetais em Fitoterapia, 4ª Edição, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Serviço de Educação e Bolsas, 468-469.
Physicians Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines (2000), 2nd Edition, Thomson Medical Economics, 508-509.