Yerba Mate, Gourd & Bombilla a Traditional Herbal Mate Tea with Health Benefits for You

What is yerba mate? Let’s begin for their different names can have: yerba maté, yerba matte, erva mate…the reasons are variants on the pronunciation in English language of Spanish/Portuguese names and/or incorrect misspelling of the words “yerba mate”.
The yerba mate are dry leaves/twigs chopped and ground to a powdery form, the “yerba”, of a plant called Ilex Paraguariensis that grow up in South America.

The mate gourd and the correspondent infusion yerba mate more hot water, is the national drink-beverage in my country Uruguay.
The mate is also extremely popular in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil (especially in the south).

Yerba Mate, Gourd & Bombilla a Traditional Herbal Mate Tea with Health Benefits for You

In Uruguay you can find mate at breakfast with bizcochos (croissants, sweets pastries) or galletas (cookies) and at the afternoon “tea time” called merienda in Spanish.
There’s no place where you can find someone with a mate, even in a bus and when you drive a car (not good idea, forbidden, but done anyway).
If I say Uruguay, you say dulce de leche, mate and a “sandwich” chivito, worthy representatives of my country.
There’re more than 20 brands and variants in yerba mate here and increasing….

The mate can be called a “green tea” brother but really, as they come from different plants, only resemble that is a liquid green and it flavor, perhaps, is similar depending a lot of the yerba mate used.
Certain acidity is often perceived hence, in conjunction with other herbs, the savors are multiple, as you will see later according to your choice.

Yerba Mate Health Benefits

Yerba Mate has many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, tannins and comparable properties like the caffeine. So it can be compared for its properties to the coffee, tea and the temping chocolate! I’m wondering when it’d come a mix with some of them.

Yerba Matte Health Benefits & Yerba Mate Bombilla
The yerba mate is used to combat fatigue, digestive problems, stimulating effects on physical and mental activity and as an aid in weight loss.
As you’re constantly sipping water, is excellent for hydration and as diuretic.

Yerba Mate Preparation and Supplements

Yerba Maté Gourd & Yerba Mate Bombilla

Yerba mate gourd
: Typically the mate is drunk in a mate gourd (a dried plant hollowed out). The exterior could be simple, worked leather or can be carved with different things, even the more sophisticated with applications of silver and gold – positively the last option is of collectors.

Yerba mate bombilla: As the drink isn’t strained, you’ll need a metal straw (bombilla) to filter or sieve the infusion. The bombilla can has multiple decorations like the mate.

A flask (termo) to have the hot water in hand. In order to remain the yerba mate flavor it’s important to use hot water but not boiling water!

Types of Mate

* Mate amargo (bitter mate) or without any type of sweetener.

* Mate dulce (sweet mate) with sugar, honey or artificial sweetener (a diet yerba mate?), very accepted in my country in conjunct with the bitter one.

* Yerba mate with herbal teas, very popular because is added other herbs to the yerba, giving different tastes and for medicinal purposes like sedation, digestive properties, etc.

* Mate de leche (milk mate or latte mate) change the water for milk and add sugar too.

* Mate cocido (cooked mate) the yerba mate in tea bags and you prepare the mate in the same way as a tea.

* Tereré a typical drink of Paraguay, where you use a mate but with cold water instaed of hot, a refreshing beverage. It can have remedial herbs and zests.

The traditions, history and names are endless around this social beverage, like the marshmallow in a picnic is the mate near a fire too!

If you want to know in detail all the process of the mate preparation, cure of the mate gourd, extra information in mate accessories, visit some of these sites in English language guayaki, nativayerbamate, mymateworld, yerbamate and yerba-mate.

Of course depending of the country you live, the different yerba supplies you can have, but it’s frequently found in several parts of the world including obviously South America; USA, Canada and Europe.

Do you have anecdotes about this marvelous natural drink? Have you tasted it? Like it with sugar, plain or not at all?

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Gera is a techie & foodie passionate about how to succeed in social media. He focuses also on successful blogging tips and food connections. You can connect with him on Google +. Subscribe to his Free WPulsar Newsletter about WordPress Plugin & Theme Reviews, Blogging and Social Media.


i love yerma mate with natural sweetner – Stevia 🙂 It keep me fresh for an entire day!


So informative! I've heard about it but never tried it. Thanks Gera! 🙂

Carolyn Jung

I have never tried yerba mate. But you have me curious now that you have compared it to matcha, which I totally adore.

Hazel Nut

I love yerba mate 🙂 I never knew the history & tradition of it though, great info, thanks for sharing!

Deeba PAB

M first ever exposure to Yerba Mate…& I fall in love with it. Love the BEE-YOO-TI-FUL gourd leather worked bowl & decorated filter too. Collector's pieces & gorgeous! What a great post Gera…I've yet to lay my hands on matcha, & now this intriguin ingredient comes along!! WOW!!


I've never tried yerba mate! But I want to! It sounds delicious and good for our health!


I love mate… having lived in Argentina for several years I drink it often 🙂 thanks Gera!

Rosa's Yummy Yums

I love this delicious tasting tea! Once, a penpal from Brazil sent me some… Thanks for the great post!




I have heard of yerba mate, I love tea in general simply because of the amazing health benefits it provides!

5 Star Foodie

I knew nothing about Yerba Mate and have never tried it, so this was a good education for me. Is this something I can get in US? I would love to try it!


Thank you for posting this… I'm longing for the Yerba Mate set when I first tasted the tea/drink 😛

I wanted to ask my friend who's now living in Buenos Aires to get e 2 sets when he visited me but he said If I want that, I must migrate to Argentina!

One question.. will the mate gourd dries up in long run? Is there steel, brass, copper or stainless steel gourds?

I think for those who drives and yerba mate is banned to them, I suggest an invention of a long, flexible bombilla (maybe rubber tiub with metal end?) connected to the gourd 😀 If handphones/ cellular phones comes with Bluetooth and the device can be clip or hang on your ears, why not for yerba mate (not in/on ear, of course) where the bombilla can be at suspended at mouth level. Drivers can enjoy their drinks while driving hands free 😀 Just some thoughts though…

Hugging the Coast

I love yerbe mate! I don't have a mate gourd, but I use a travel mug and a travel bombilla which works well for the purpose.

I get my mate from the local health food store and prefer it unsweetened, unless I'm in a Stevia mood.


    Hugging the Coast, I like your travel mug approach. I’m new to mate buy I’m wondering what ratio of mate + water you use and if you refill?



And I thought I knew how to properly prepare yerba mate tea. This post is so informative. Thanks, Gera.


I don't think we even have this Yerba mate in our area. Sounds really intriguing!


I love mate…. My sister lived in Argentina, so I got the whole kit.
Gracias por la informacion.


I haven't tried this yerba mate but it sounds really good..


Exotic tea 🙂


wow!! how refreshing and healthy.. never tried it b4 but gonna try this out soon. great info though.. keep it up gera!

Ian and Sharon

I will have to give yerma mate a try. Thanks!!!!


Great information, I've heard of yerba mate but never had it before.


Stevia is a good choice as a sugar substitute for the mate 😀

@Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Someday you should try yerba mate in Australia 😉

@Carolyn Jung
The same color but different plants, I think if you taste yerba mate, you’ll like it 🙂

@Lisa Curcio
There’re more & more yerba mate histories and traditions depending of the country 😀

@Deeba @Passionate About Baking
Some mates – gourds really are sophisticated pieces of art! Deeba If you’ve matcha you can have a similar idea with this green tea, how is the savor of the yerba mate drink! 😀

If you try some day, just let me know …and will be good for your health also 🙂

If you like tea, you can try to begin with yerba maté tea bags! 😉

Jo you lived in, so you know the mate perfectly well 🙂

@5 Star Foodie
Happy you like! and yes you can get yerba maté in US without any problem 😉

@Rosa's Yummy Yums
Ohh Rosa you liked the Brazilian version with erva mate and surely a chimarrão 🙂

You can get from Argentina lot of different mates and yerbas …more from Buenos Aires!
To ensure a long life to the mate gourd always, after using it, rinse out and lets the gourd to be totally dry. Also as every lovely object try to no drop the gourd because if it drops and is soggy can be affected. With a correct use, it should last a longgg time.
Yes there’re many metal mates but you don’t have the tradition in hands and with hot water is an issue.
Excellent idea of a flexible bombilla with a “hands free mate”, the manufactures should listen your suggestion 😀

@Hugging the Coast
A travel mug and a travel bombilla sounds an interesting approach. So you’re of the mate amargo and sometimes with a Stevia. Great both 🙂

No doubt that you know about yerba mate tea after the twitter conversation 🙂

You’d try the yerba mate preparation getting it from Whole Foods! 😉

If you’ve some stores from South American people arguably you’d have yerba maté there! 🙂

Oh if your sister lived in Argentina you’ve the complete mate kit to enjoy 🙂

Yes an exotic “green tea” that worth to taste 🙂

If you’d try yerba mate to see if you like. Hope you’re feeling well now! 🙂

@Ian and Sharon
Thanks to you and if you try yerba mate, tell me if you like it or not 😉

@[email protected]
For your summer you’d try the iced yerba mate drinks 🙂

Happy you like it the article about yerba mate Sara! 🙂


Gorgeous gourd! I sometimes feel Yerba Mate is a bit too "earthy" tasting, but my friend in Costa Rica taught me this trick, and I like it this way, add a bit of apricot coffee flavoring, or apricot nectar, and it's much more palatable.


wow so much health benefits. yet I've not heard of it b4. gotta look out for it next time 🙂


I've seen yerba mate featured on TV before and am curious how it tastes. Thanks for a great article!


This was a very interesting read for me Gera! I have never had yerma mate.

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