The Unique Ingredient of Organic Yerba Maté
Save Your World through its brands Save Your Skin™, Save Your Hair®, Save Your Body® and Save Your Lips® features the unique ingredient of organic Yerba Maté infused in all our natural personal care products. We are the first company in the United States to offer a full line of personal care products that include this nutrient-rich plant. Maté, as it is commonly called, is traditionally grown and put to widespread use in the South American countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Yerba Maté has a rich history of medicinal usage and herbal remedies and is widely accepted in crushed leaf form as a stimulant drink or tonic prepared much like tea and as a substitute for coffee in South America. Maté is presently growing in popularity in the United States. Unlike coffee, this plant, often referred to as an herb, contains 196 active compounds.
Scientists from the Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society performed a study on the plant in 1964 and the results were astounding. "It is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Maté in nutritional value." Maté contains, according to these scientists "practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life." These are vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, and B complex, carotene, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin and vitamin C complex. In addition, it possesses 15 different amino acids, plus significant amounts of magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, zinc, niacin, sulfur, and chlorophyll, choline, and inositol.
"In 1964 one group of investigators from The Pasteur Institute and The Paris Scientific Society concluded that maté increases the supply of oxygen to the heart, especially during periods of stress or exercise...its whole body tonic property acts as a catalyst and enhances the healing powers of other herbs...in South American literature, maté is consistently noted for its ability to increase the body's immune system response and stimulate the body's natural resistance to diseases...it increases mental alertness and acuity without nervousness and jitters. Reports of maté reducing blood pressure are not uncommon [and maté provides] more energy, vitality, better ability to concentrate, less nervousness, agitation, and anxiety."
- Dr. Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D. 1993. Herbal Tonic Therapies, Keats Publishing, Inc.
The overall health benefits derived from Yerba Maté touch all aspects of the body and are seemingly endless. Many South Americans drink Maté to help boost immunity, cleanse and detoxify the blood, tone the nervous system, control the appetite, restore youthful hair color, retard aging, combat fatigue, stimulate the mind, cure insomnia, and reduce the effects of debilitating disease. In their hearts and minds, Maté is a vital component to their health and to their society.
Antioxidant Rich Yerba Maté
As an antioxidant, yerba maté supplies an abundance of the group of nutrients that include Vitamin A, C, E and the minerals Zinc and Selenium. Antioxidants are so important because of free radicals which are highly toxic oxygen molecules in a reactive, unstable form that roam freely through the body. These highly toxic molecules seek out tissues to combine with and destroy cells. As we age, we are ever more susceptible to free radical damage due to our continued exposure to environmental pollutants.In order to combat free radicals eating or applying antioxidant rich products is our best line of defense. Antioxidant nutrients work synergistically to prevent further cell damage, while also repairing damaged cells.
Yerba mate has significant antioxidant properties. A study published in 1995 by Biochemical and Molecular Biology International, researchers concluded that water extracts of yerba mate “were more potent antioxidants than either ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or butylated hydroxytoluene.” A few years later, another study was published in March of 2000 in the journal Biochemical and Biophysica Research Communications. Their results suggest “that ingestion of extracts of Yerba Maté could contribute to increase the antioxidant defense of an organism against free radicals attack.” And then again in the November 2001 issue of Fitoterapia, researchers took a look at seven different plant species in South America. They found that yerba mate “contained a higher content of flavonoids and caffeoyl derivatives than any other assayed species.”
Yerba Maté is the next “green tea” nutrient-rich ingredient for the body care industry, having more antioxidants than the famed green tea. Studies show that yerba mate has 52 more active compounds than green tea. So go ahead and indulge your skin - the largest organ of the human body, with our nutrient laden ingredient – Yerba Maté.
The History of Yerba Maté
There is little known through documentation about the origin of Yerba Maté except for the legends that have survived and been passed down through the generations. It is speculated that Yerba Maté has been harvested and used as a beverage since the ancient Guarani tribe of Paraguay brewed a leaf tea that “produced exhilaration and relief from fatigue.” The Guarani were a semi-nomadic people that inhabited what is now southern Brazil, reaching all the way through Paraguay, northern Argentina up to the lower hills of the Andes. These first peoples also created the figure 8 shaped gourd from which it was customary to drink Yerba Maté then and is still today.
This tea began to be referred to as the “Drink of the Gods” by the Guarani and it was used in many other herbal remedies including those for reduction of fatigue, appetite suppression, and aid in gastric function. Other known uses for this plant leaf are to stimulate the nervous and muscular systems, and to alleviate digestive problems, nerve pain, depression, fatigue, and obesity. A salve of the leaves is applied topically to skin ulcers for which Maté’s highly astringent tannin content is said to provide relief.
According to Juan de Solis, a Spanish explorer of South America’s famed La Plata River, the Spaniards tried the beverage and liked it and thus caused a huge demand for the tea. This demand led the Jesuits to develop plantations of the wild species in Paraguay, which is why Yerba Maté is also known as “Jesuits’ tea” or “Paraguay tea.”
For nearly a century the Jesuits cultivated the land and the wild Yerba Maté plant or Ilex paraguariensis, building a wealthy empire with the guarded secrets of harvesting and cultivating their spreading Yerba Maté plantations. In 1767 the Jesuits were expulsed from the land and so their plantations along with their many cattle, sheep and horses returned to unkempt lands teeming with wild animals. The plant and its cultivation became all but extinct until the Gauchos or Cowboys – a rugged race of people – sprang up and began to herd the animals and with this activity rediscovered the Yerba Maté plant.
The Gauchos supplemented their mostly meat, cheese, and bread diet with Yerba Maté due to the nutrient-rich properties of the drink that acted as a substitute for the lack of vegetables available. The Cowboys would carry this drink with them at all times and share the gourd with other Gauchos, sipping the liquid through a straw.
In the early 1900s, during the European depression, Italian, Spanish, French, Russian, Turk and Slavic settlers were lured to the faraway lands of Southern Brazil, Northern Argentina and Uruguay, as the New World governments gave away land for next to nothing. This was the beginning of the end of the carefree Gaucho way of life.
The European influence left a lasting impression on South American music, which resembles a combination of German folk music and the style of improvisation sung by the wandering minstrels who roamed the plains after the downfall of the Jesuit missions. The Gauchos’ baggy pants or “bombachas” developed for walking in high grasses were brought by the Turks and remain a Gaucho trademark today.
In South America today the drink remains a staple in the life of the country, with Yerba Maté being used in even a cola type drink in addition to its traditional infusion or tea like form.
Yerba Maté Harvested From the Rainforests of Brazil
Incorporating ancient herbal wisdom and modern technology, we are able to bring you a full line of personal care products infused with this next generation and more-potent-in-nutrient compound commonly referred to as Yerba Maté.
The Yerba Maté used in our products is grown and harvested in the shade of the Rainforest on protected lands. The tree canopy above protects the plants and, together with the mineral rich organic soil of the Rainforest floor, creates a growing soil paradise.
Weed control is by hand by the use of large machetes. Bugs love to eat the Maté leaves, but no pesticides are ever used to control this; instead the bugs are removed by hand as the indigenous people walk along the plants and remove them one by one.
Our Yerba Maté is hand picked from the Rainforests of Brazil by native people as they have done for centuries in a time honored manner that preserves the integrity of the plant for future harvests.
All these factors ensure that we are using the finest quality certified organic Yerba Maté, we are in support of the local indigenous people, and the crop is harvested in a sustainable manner.
Neglected Crops: 1492 from a Different Perspective. 1994. J.E. Hernándo Bermejo and J. León (eds.). Plant Production and Protection Series No. 26. FAO, Rome, Italy. p. 245-252. G.C. Giberti (Centre of Pharmacological and Botanical Studies, Buenos Aires, Argentina).
http://www.biznet1.com/herbs/yerba/nutrition.htm - Sandra Gardner - free-lance writer/nutrition researcher – Sedona, Arizona
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This ingredient is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.