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Maté

Pagès has chosen Maté for the composition of several of its herbal infusions. Its strong traditional symbol and its beneficial properties make it an ideal component in our herbal teas.

Maté, a shrub with many virtues and traditions.

 

ORIGINS OF THE MATE

Maté is a shrub that originates in South America: Paraguay, northern Argentina and southern Brazil. It is said that the "Guarani" people are the first to have used the Maté. The Guarani members used it to drive away fatigue, to foster good mood but also as a basis for medicine. These people were the only ones to cultivate Maté for many years.

When the Jesuits arrived in South America, the culture of Maté changed somewhat. The area where the plant is grown has been partially relocated. The culture of Maté quickly made the fortune of the Jesuit people who settled it along the Rio Parana Alto river, which was quite frequented by travellers. Unfortunately, this epic did not last long for the Jesuits. The government of the time, irritated to see this people getting richer thanks to Maté and enjoying the riches offered by the land of South America, drove out the Jesuits. It is said that it was from this moment that the government took over the management of Maté's crops and became richer as well.

In South America, Maté has always been a traditional tonic drink, already appreciated by the Indians and favoured by the Jesuit missionaries. It is ritually drunk through a straw, the bombilla, immersed in the liquid contained in a calabash, which is called "mathi" in Quechua, hence the name of the plant.

In Europe, Maté only appeared in the 16th century. It was the stories of Spanish travellers and explorers that made the shrub known. In their texts, they mentioned the success of Maté in South America and the daily use made of it by the Indian people. Intrigued by the plant's almost miraculous virtues, the Spanish people gradually adopted the plant.

 

Today, the literature refers to "matéine" rather than caffeine. However, this does not prevent the two molecules from being distinguished. The difference in the effects observed between the consumption of Maté and Coffee would be due to the fact that their other components are dissimilar. We would expect this since in one case it is a seed, in the other a leaf, and plants from different families. The same is true for Coffee and Tea, for example.

Nowadays, Maté is synonymous with rest, it is a companion for moments of conviviality and relaxation. Although it has been adopted by many civilizations around the world, Maté is clearly rooted in its South American history. Indeed, in Paraguay, northern Argentina and southern Brazil, each guest is offered a Maté. It represents hospitality, friendship, sharing and good mood.

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MATE

Name: Ilex paraguariensis
Family: Aquifoliaceae
Species: Shrub

Maté is a shrub native to Paraguay, northern Argentina and southern Brazil. It is a plant with many vernacular names: "Yerba maté", "Paraguay tea", " Jesuits' tea ", etc.

Its many branches have large, tough and persistent leaves. The small white flowers produce spherical red fruits similar to those of its cousin, the holly.

Green Maté consists of heat-dried and broken leaves. It contains chlorogenic acids, flavonoids and purine bases (mainly caffeine). Maté leaves are often roasted, which causes the appearance of various compounds that enhance the flavour of the Maté.

There are other plant species that contain caffeine. This is the case with some American holly species such as the "yaupon" ( its botanical name "Ilex vomitoria") found in the southeast of the United States. It was once used by Indians as an stimulant and vomiting agent during purifying ceremonies.

 

USES OF THE MATE

Maté is a shrub that is mainly used to make beneficial drinks. It can be consumed cold or hot, depending on preferences. It is traditionally drunk in a calabash, using a metal tube which also serves as a filter, it is commonly called the "bombilla".

If we follow tradition, this drink must be prepared at times when we are looking for well-being and friendliness. Maté is not consumed alone. It is passed from hand to hand, and drunk from the same calabash as the person next to you.

The most common method of preparing this drink is to place the Maté herb in the calabash, the container and pour very hot but not boiling water over it. It is necessary to have half Maté herb and half water to be sure to prepare this drink correctly. The contents of the calabash are then usually mixed and the herb is placed on the same side of the calabash. The filter straw is then placed in the container, taking care not to direct it towards the Maté herbs, which would block the straw pipe. The tasting can then begin.

 

BENEFITS OF MATE

Maté has a well-known stimulating effect. It is similar to that of Tea or Coffee. Maté infusion is also known to be diuretic.

The plant is said to be capable of treating headaches, physical or mental fatigue and neuralgia. Maté is, like Green Tea, renowned for its tonic and slimming properties. Medicines prepared from Maté are used in some diets. This plant is found in "Figure" or "Detox" type products. However, Maté is only a slimming ally, it does not replace a diet or a regular sporting activity to stay in shape and avoid overweight.

 

You will find our Maté products in several Pagès organic products. Pagès' "Detox" organic herbal infusion combines Green Tea, Maté and Strawberry pieces. It gives an incredible fruity flavour that is very pleasant to taste. Pagès' "Figure" organic herbal infusion is a blend of Green Tea, Maté, Pineapple and Cranberry flavours. It reveals a sweet aroma of plants and fruits that blend perfectly. Pagès organic " Slimming " herbal infusion is a delicious and beneficial drink. This savoury blend of Maté, Green coffee and Green apple is ideal to complement a diet.