Ilex paraguariensis , commonly called yerba mate, is a flowering tree. Traditionally, its leaves are brewed into a stimulating tea, popular throughout the Middle East and South America.
Yerba mate is marketed for its supposed ability to suppress appetite and burn fat. Evidence suggests its appetite-suppression effect can only be achieved through high doses, if at all. Yerba mate’s fat burning effect is attributed to its caffeine content. It has not been shown to be a more effective fat burner than compounds like green tea catechins, though it can help reverse some of the adverse health effects associated with obesity.
Yerba mate has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It is able to reduce LDL cholesterol within 20 days of supplementation. Like many supplements derived from plants, it protects the heart and cardiovascular system.
Yerba mate is a healthy tea, but it is not necessarily healthier than other plant-based drinks, like coffee. It does, however, have a unique nutrient composition.