Latin Name: Ilex paraguariensis syn. Ilex paraguensis.
Plant Family: Aquifoliaceae
Other Names: Maté, Caa, Chimarrão, Cimarrón, Yerba Maté, Erva Maté, Congonha, Erveira, Erva-Verdadeira, Ilex Maté, Houx Maté, Jesuit's Tea, Brazil Tea, Gón Gouha, Paraguay Cayi & Paraguay Tea.
Description: Native to Argentina, southern Brazil and Paraguay, mate is now also widely cultivated in Spain and Portugal. It is an evergreen shrub which can grow into a small tree reaching a height of between 6-15 metres. The leaves are oval or lanceolate, shiny, dark green with a yellowy mid rib and are 7–11cm in length with a serrated margin. The 4 petaled flowers are small and greenish-white in colour.
Brief History: The word mate is named after the mathi gourds (Lagenaria vulgaris) that are traditionally used as cups to drink mate throughout South America. The native Indian tribes used mate to help combat fatigue, the leaves were also used as a poultice for treating skin ulcers.
SUGGESTED USEPrimarily used as a tea and very popular in South American countries such as Paraguay and Brazil. The tea has a slightly bitter taste; traditionally used as a "livener" it is very refreshing. Honey can be added to reduce its astringency.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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