Chemical assays on mate have traditionally looked for caffeine. In such tests
mateine, would test positive. Until recently nobody has looked at the exact
structure of the molecule -- and, to my knowledge, nobody in the United States
has ever made the attempt. Researchers at the Free Hygienic Institute of
Hamburg, Germany, concluded that even if there were caffeine in mate, the
amount would be so tiny that it would take 100 tea bags of mate in a six ounce
cup of water to equal the caffeine in a six ounce serving of regular coffee. They
make the rather astute observation that it is obvious that the active principle in Yerba Mate
is not caffeine! But then, we know for sure it is not caffeine, for
caffeine is not present at all.
Mateine has a unique pharmacology and it is unfair to compare it to caffeine.
Mateine appears to possess the best combination of methylxanthine properties
possible. For examples:
1. Like other methylxanthines it stimulates the central nervous system; but
unlike most, it is not habituating or addicting.
2. Unlike caffeine, it is a very mild diuretic, as are many methylxanthines.
3. It relaxes peripheral blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure
without the strong presser effects on the medulla and heart exhibited by
4. We also know that it improves psychomotor performance without the
typical methylxanthine-induced depressant after effects.
5. Dr. Jose Martin, Director of the National Institute of Technology in
Paraguay, writes, 'New research and better technology have shown that
while mateine has a chemical constituency similar to caffeine, the
molecular binding is different.
6. Mateine has none of the ill effects of caffeine.' And Horacio Conesa,
professor at the University of Buenos Aires Medical School, states, 'There
is not a single medical contradiction' for ingesting mate.
7. Clinical studies show, in fact, that individuals with caffeine sensitivities can
ingest mate without adverse reactions says Daniel B. Mowrey, PhD
The Yerba Maté's methylxanthine rate averages 1.60%, whereas it is 1.10% in
Average Mineral Composition of Yerba Maté is 7% of its dry weight,
including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, etc. There is no need to
worry about mineral loss when drinking this herb.
Yerba Maté is basically a very gentle stimulant drink (alleviates fatigue),
stimulating metal and physical activity. It has a beneficial effect on nerves and
muscles; it also enhances intellectual work.
Due to the central stimulant effects of methylxanthine jointly with the activation of
reserve substances, the cardiovascular activity strengthens the organism.
methylxanthine has a well-known effect on the central nervous system, that
stimulates mental energy.
Thanks to its vitamin B complex, Yerba Maté collaborates with sugar intake in
man's muscles, nerves and cerebral activity; vitamins C and E act as organic
defense and on the organism's tissues; mineral salts, jointly with methylxanthine,
help the cardiovascular work and blood circulation by decreasing blood pressure,
since methylxanthine acts as a vasodilator. In such circumstances, hunger can
feel as satisfied.
Yerba Maté enhances diuresis (urination) and is very useful for bladder troubles.
Yerba Maté also acts on the digestive tube by activating peristaltic movements; it
facilitates digestion, attenuates gastric troubles and enhances evacuation and
urination. Yerba Maté's stimulant action is longer than that of coffee and does not
have side effects such as insomnia and irritability.
Researches at the Paris Pasteur Institute confer to Yerba Maté a very important
role in the cell regeneration process.