Maté is a tree that mainly grows in South America. The leaves and stems are often made into a caffeinated tea. Maté has been used to enhance athletic performance, alertness, and mental function. It has also been used to ease digestion. Maté can be made into a tea or taken as a pill, powder, or extract.


3 cups tea daily

What Research Shows

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It may be safe for most adults to take maté in small doses for a short time. It may not be safe to take large amounts or take for a long period. It may raise the risk of esophageal cancer.D1, D2 Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children should not take mate.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


A. Diabetes

A1. Klein GA, Stefanuto A, et al. Mate tea (Illex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes individuals: a pilot study. J Am Coll Nutr. 2011;30(5):320-332.

B. High Cholesterol

B1. de Morais EC, Stefanuto A, et al. Consumption of yerba mate ( Ilex paraguariensis ) improves serum lipid parameters in healthy dyslipidemic subjects and provides an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in individuals on statin therapy. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Sep 23;57(18):8316-8324.

C. Obesity

C1. Pittler MH, Ernst E. Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004;79(4):529-536.

C2. Kim SY, Oh MR, et al. Anti-obesity effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2015 Sep 25;15:338.

C3. Balsan G, Pellanda LC, et al. Effect of yerba mate and green tea on paraxonase and leptin levels in patients affected by overweight or obesity and dyslipidemia: a randomized clinical trial. Nutr J. 2019;18(1):5.

D. Safety

D1. Dasanayake AP, Silverman AJ, et al. Maté drinking and oral and oro-pharyngeal cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Oral Oncol. 2010 Feb;46(2):82-86.

D2. Andrici J, Eslick GD. Maté consumption and the risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma: a meta-analysis. Dis Esophagus. 2013 Nov-Dec;26(8):807-816.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/29/2020

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