- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: yerba mate
Brand Name: Ilex paraguariensis
Drug Class: Herbals
What is yerba mate, and what is it used for?
Yerba mate is a popular herbal drink prepared from the dried leaves of the shrub Ilex paraguariensis, native to South American countries including Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Yerba mate tea is commonly drunk in these countries, similar to tea or coffee, and is gaining wide popularity because of its purported health benefits. Yerba mate tea is used for many purposes including weight loss, fatigue, headache, and improving memory, thinking skills and athletic performance, however, there are no scientific studies to back these uses.
The medicinal benefits of yerba mate are believed to be from the chemicals it contains, which include purine alkaloids such as caffeine and theobromine, polyphenols such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, and terpenes such as saponins and carotenoids. In addition, yerba mate also is a source of nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. The primary effect is the stimulant effect of caffeine which may relieve fatigue and boost energy.
Some studies indicate that other effects of yerba mate may include antioxidant, anti-diabetic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, anti-cancer and pain-relieving properties. Yerba mate may help weight loss by reducing fat absorption in the intestines and by increasing metabolism, energy expenditure and fat oxidation in the liver, however, more scientific research is required to establish the efficacy of yerba mate for most of its uses.
Suggested uses of yerba mate include:
- Do not take yerba mate if you have high blood pressure (hypertension).
- Do not take yerba mate if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and do not give it to children.
- Drinking a lot of yerba mate can increase the risk for esophageal and other cancers, particularly if you also drink alcohol and/or smoke.
- Use yerba mate with caution if you have any of the following conditions:
What are the side effects of yerba mate?
Common side effects of yerba mate include:
- Excess stimulation
- Upset stomach
- Increase in heart rate
- Inhibition of platelet aggregation
- Increase in risk for esophageal and other cancers, with intake of large amounts
Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms or serious side effects while using this drug:
- Serious heart symptoms include fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness;
- Severe headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness, vomiting, loss of coordination, feeling unsteady;
- Severe nervous system reaction with very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, and feeling like you might pass out; or
- Serious eye symptoms include blurred vision, tunnel vision, eye pain or swelling, or seeing halos around lights.
This is not a complete list of all side effects or adverse reactions that may occur from the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may also report side effects or health problems to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What are the dosages of yerba mate?
There are no established typical dosing guidelines for yerba mate.
- Dried leaves steeped in hot water for 10 minutes
Yerba mate overdose can cause adverse effects such as insomnia, increased heart rate and upset stomach, which should resolve with discontinuation of yerba mate. Prolonged intake of large amounts of yerba mate tea can increase the risk for certain types of cancer, particularly in people who smoke or drink alcohol.
What drugs interact with yerba mate?
Inform your doctor of all medications you are currently taking, who can advise you on any possible drug interactions. Never begin taking, suddenly discontinue, or change the dosage of any medication without your doctor’s recommendation.
- Yerba mate has no known severe, serious or moderate interactions with other drugs.
- Mild Interactions of yerba mate include:
The drug interactions listed above are not all of the possible interactions or adverse effects. For more information on drug interactions, visit the RxList Drug Interaction Checker.
It is important to always tell your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you use, as well as the dosage for each, and keep a list of the information. Check with your doctor or health care provider if you have any questions about the medication.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Yerba mate appears to increase the risk for cancer. It is not known if this risk is transferred to the fetus. Yerba mate also contains caffeine, large doses of which have been associated with miscarriage, premature delivery and low birth weight. Avoid taking yerba mate if you are pregnant.
- It is not known if yerba mate is present in breastmilk. Avoid yerba mate if you are breastfeeding because of the potential risks to the breastfed infant from the caffeine and carcinogenic chemicals in yerba mate.
- Do not take any herbal products, including yerba mate, without first checking with your healthcare provider, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What else should I know about yerba mate?
- Yerba mate tea is likely safe for most adults in recommended dose for up to 12 weeks.
- Use yerba mate exactly as per label instructions. Natural products are not necessarily safe always and following suggested dosing is important.
- Check with your healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplement, including yerba mate, particularly if you have any health conditions or if you are on any regular medication.
- Herbal products often contain many ingredients. Check labels for the components in the yerba mate product you choose.
- Yerba mate is marketed as an herbal supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Products may differ in formulations and strengths, and labels may not always match contents; exercise caution in choosing your product.
- Store yerba mate supplements safely out of reach of children.
- In case of overdose, seek medical help or contact Poison Control.
Yerba mate tea is used for many purposes including weight loss, fatigue, headache, and improving memory, thinking skills and athletic performance, however, there are no scientific studies to back these uses. Do not take yerba mate if you have high blood pressure (hypertension). Do not take yerba mate if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and do not give it to children. Common side effects of yerba mate include excess stimulation, insomnia, upset stomach, hypertension, increase in heart rate, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and increased risk for esophageal and other cancers with excessive use.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Bad Foods That Are Good for Weight Loss in Pictures
Are you avoiding foods you could be enjoying as you try to lose weight? Get the skinny on "bad" foods like potatoes, cheese, and...
The 14 Most Common Causes of Fatigue
Always feeling tired? Learn more about the causes of fatigue. Get tips to relieve symptoms of fatigue. Feel less tired and start...
Diet & Weight Loss: Reasons You're Not Losing Belly Fat
If you're trying to lose belly fat but can't, there's probably a reason.
Diet and Weight Loss: What’s a Ketogenic Diet?
These are low-carb diets -- the basic idea is to get most of your calories from protein and fat. There are some benefits, but you...
Diet and Weight Loss: Your Best Ways to Beat Belly Fat
Could your job be to blame for your belly fat? It might be, if it stresses you out. But there are a number of ways to get rid of...
Diet and Weight Loss: Best and Worst Late Night Snacks for Your Health
If you're truly hungry for a bedtime snack, don't ignore your body's signals. It's hard to fall asleep when your tummy's rumbling...
Weight Loss Challenges: Why Can't I Lose Weight?
Finding it difficult to lose weight? It’s a hard thing to do, and there are some surprising reasons you may not be losing weight...
10 Metabolism Boosting Facts and Myths
Losing weight by increasing your metabolism is challenging. There are many metabolism myths and only a few surefire tricks to get...
Weight Loss Surgery Quiz
What happens after weight loss surgery? What should you eat? Take this quiz to learn about bariatric surgery. Are you a candidate?
Weight Loss Quiz: Test Your Weight Control IQ
Are you trying to lose weight? Take this quiz to see what you can add to routine to get on the right track for results!
Headaches Quiz: Learn About Headache Pain
If you're plagued with headaches, our Headaches Quiz may help you identify causes, triggers, symptoms, and treatments for...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Quiz: Symptoms & Treatment
Exhausted all the time? Maybe it's not all in the mind. Take the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Quiz to learn more about tricky...
Weight Loss Surgery: What to Expect
Are you considering weight loss (bariatic) surgery? WebMD helps you know what makes you a good candidate and the pros and cons of...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Tests, Causes, Treatments
What is chronic fatigue syndrome? CFS can occur at any age for men or women. Learn more about the causes of CFS, as well as tests...
Diet and Weight Loss: What's an Elimination Diet?
Ever wonder if a certain food causes your headaches or makes you tired or uncomfortable? You might try to find out with an...
Diet and Weight Loss: Why Are You Always Hungry?
What are the causes of hunger? There are more reasons you get hungry than just an empty stomach. Food cravings, pregnancy, blood...
Migraines and Headaches: Remedies That Can Either Help or Hurt a Migraine
Which home remedies are good or bad for migraine headaches? Some can go either way. Learn more about getting migraine relief at...
Best and Worst Drinks For Weight Loss
From coffee to cocktails, learn which beverages can help or hinder a healthy lifestyle. See the best and worst drinks for weight...
Diet and Weight Loss: The Best and Worst Thai Dishes for Your Health
Thai cuisine is loaded with fresh veggies and spices. But some dishes are packed with calories and fat. Learn what foods you...
Fitness and Exercise: Best Exercises for Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, some exercises might be better than others. Check out these 11 choices you can put in your...
Fibromyalgia: 9 Ways to Avoid Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue
See how to sleep better, reduce stress, and soothe fibromyalgia muscle pain. WebMD answers questions about alternative therapies,...
Related Disease Conditions
Obesity and Overweight
Get the facts on obesity and being overweight, including the health risks, causes, reviews of weight-loss diet plans, BMI chart, symptoms, causes, surgical and nonsurgical treatments, and medications.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Migraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Fatigue and Exhaustion
Fatigue can be described in various ways. Sometimes fatigue is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental and physical). The causes of fatigue are generally related to a variety of conditions or diseases, for example, anemia, mono, medications, sleep problems, cancer, anxiety, heart disease, and drug abuse.Treatment of fatigue is generally directed toward the condition or disease that is causing the fatigue.
Which Birth Control Is the Best for Acne and Weight Loss?
Birth control or contraceptive methods include several medications, devices, or tricks for preventing pregnancy. Birth control methods vary in their mode of action, effectiveness in preventing pregnancy, and the presence of any beneficial or undesirable effects.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or SEID)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that lasts 6 months or longer, is not improved by bed rest, and may be worsened by physical or mental activity.
Can Thyroid Problems Cause Extreme Fatigue?
Extreme fatigue is a very common symptom of thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Here are 7 tips for dealing with fatigue caused by thyroid problems.
What Does Lymphoma Fatigue Feel Like?
Lymphoma fatigue is a persistent and distressing feeling of tiredness or exhaustion caused by lymphoma itself or the lymphoma treatment.
How Long Could Fatigue Last After COVID-19 Infection?
Fatigue usually lasts for 2-3 weeks after COVID-19 infection, although some people may experience fatigue for 12 weeks or more after the infection is gone.
How Do You Fix Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is not a recognized medical diagnosis but a theory that links chronic stress exposure to adrenal insufficiency and adrenal exhaustion. You can fight adrenal fatigue naturally with diet, exercise, and sleep. Check out the center below for more medical references on fatigue, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Is the Best Prescription Weight Loss Pill?
Many weight loss pills are available in the market. The best prescription pill for you depends on your weight loss goals, your tolerability to the pill prescribed and your coexisting health conditions, if any.
Which Weight Loss Surgery Is Permanent?
Weight-loss surgery — also known as bariatric surgery — is one of the best treatments for obesity and related diseases. As per the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), there are five types of surgeries that your doctor can recommend for permanent weight loss.
Does MS Medication Help With Fatigue?
While medications used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) may not help ease fatigue, they may help with keeping the patient awake and manage their tiredness.
Does NMO Cause Fatigue?
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or Devic disease is a rare, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) doesn't cause fatigue, but living with the disease can lead to fatigue.
How Do You Fight Fatigue From COVID-19?
You can fight COVID-19 fatigue by getting plenty of rest, practicing good sleep hygiene, napping when needed, staying hydrated, and eating a balanced diet.
Weight Loss Pills and Supplements: Do They Work?
A bodyweight over the healthy limit is associated with several health conditions, such as diabetes, heart diseases, and certain cancers. According to health experts, long-term weight loss can be safely attained by making healthy lifestyle changes like healthy eating patterns, limiting calorie intake, and doing regular physical activity. Many people, however, are not able to make these healthy lifestyle changes.
Diet Pills, Weight Loss Drugs, Suppressants
Maintaining a healthy weight is important because being overweight or underweight may lead to various health issues. Body mass index or BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.
The 10 Best Diet Plans For Weight Loss
Diet means a reduction in calorie intake. For the optimal management of overweight and obese patients, a combination of diet, exercise, and behavioral modifications may be helpful. Weight loss is directly related to the difference between the individual’s energy intake and energy expenditure.
Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Mental or Physical?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not a mental disorder but a physical one. Learn about the symptoms and causes of CFS. Check out the center below for more medical references on chronic fatigue, including multimedia (slideshows, images, and quizzes), related diseases, treatment, diagnosis, medications, and prevention or wellness.
What Can Cause Fatigue?
Fatigue is a constant, lingering feeling of exhaustion. Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination including lifestyle factors, shift work, emotional factors, medications and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
- What Is the Best Way to Fight Fatigue?
- Will a Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Weight Gain or Weight Loss?
- Is Flexible Dieting Good for Weight Loss? How So I Start My Flexible Diet?
- Are Calorie-Dense Foods Good for Weight Loss?
- What Should You Eat When You Feel Fatigued?
- Which Is Better: Weight Loss or Fat Loss?
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.