Maté (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire) is a plant originary from the subtropical region of South America, and present in the South of Brazil, North of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Maté beverages have been widely consumed for hundreds of years as infusions popularly known as chimarrão, tererê (both from green dried mate leaves) and maté tea (roasted mate leaves). The popular medicine and the herbalists recommend it for arthritis, migraines, constipation, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, obesity, fatigue, retention of liquid, hypertension, and for stomach and liver diseases. Recently published research has proved scientifically the actions of maté which may explain many of the cited pharmacologic effects such as its chemopreventive activity, cholerectic effect and intestinal propulsion, vasodilatation effect, inhibition of the glication and as a free radical scavenger. Maté beverages are rich in many bioactive compounds such as caffeine, phenolic compounds (mainly phenolic acids) and saponins.
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