On a study that concluded on January 2009 and took 7 months, a group of scientists leaded by the argentinian chemical engineer Luis Brumovsky who has a magister degree on food technology, found that the total amount of polyphenols contained in Yerba Mate is higher than the ones found in green or black tea.
The study confirmed that the maximum amount of these antioxidants substances can be obtained when Yerba Mate is brewed at a water temperature of 70º Celcius Degrees (158º Farenheit) using 50 grams of loose tea and half a litre of water.
The result is you´ll be getting between 4.6 - 5.7 grams of Chlorogenic acid and 2.5 - 3.3 of Gallic Acid with those 50 grams of Yerba Mate and 1/2 Litre of water at the temperature mentioned above.
When brewing your mate cold (known as "Tereré") you´ll get between 1.5 - 2.3 grams of Chlorogenic acid and 0.9 - 1.3 of Gallic Acid at a water temperature of 5º Celcius Degrees (41º Farenheit) using 50 grams of tea and half a litre of water.
If you drink it very hot (boiling water) using tea bags (3 grams each) you´ll get between 0.5 - 0.6 grams of Chlorogenic acid and 0.28 - 0.31 of Gallic Acid.
The scientists used 10 different brands and also concluded that the numbers given above may change a little bit when you consider different types of teas and quality.
Polyphenols are a group of chemical substances found in plants, characterized by the presence of more than one phenol unit or building block per molecule. Polyphenols are generally divided into hydrolyzable tannins (gallic acid esters of glucose and other sugars) and phenylpropanoids, such as lignins, flavonoids, and condensed tannins.
Notable sources of polyphenols include berries, tea, beer, grapes/wine, olive oil, chocolate/cocoa, coffee, walnuts, peanuts, pomegranates, and other fruits and vegetables.
High levels of polyphenols can generally be found in the fruit skins.
Yerba mate contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and 11 polyphenols, a group of phytochemicals which act as powerful antioxidants.
Polyphenols are considered to exhibit anticancer effects in mammals by strengthening an organism's natural defenses and protecting it against cellular destruction.
• Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex
• Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc
• Additional Compounds: Carotene, Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Inositol, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Tannins, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.
In Germany it has become popular as a weight-loss aid. Yerba mate is the subject of a German monograph which lists its approved uses for mental and physical fatigue. In France yerba mate is approved for the treatment of asthenia (weakness or lack of energy), as an aid in weight-loss programs, and as a diuretic. It also appears in the British Herbal Phamacopoeia (1996) and indicated for the treatment of fatigue, weight loss, and headaches. In the U.S., Dr. James Balch, M.D. recommends yerba mate for arthritis, headache, hemorrhoids, fluid retention, obesity, fatigue, stress, constipation, allergies, and hay fever, and states that it "cleanses the blood, tones the nervous system, retards aging, stimulates the mind, controls the appetite, stimulates the production of cortisone, and is believed to enhance the healing powers of other herbs." Yerba mate now is cultivated in India, and the Indian Ayurvedic Phamacopoeia lists mate for the treatment of psychogenic headaches, nervous depression, fatigue, and rheumatic pains.