Yerba mate: A stimulant beverage similar to tea, very popular in South America, brewed from the dried leaves and stemlets of a member of the holly family known botanically as Ilex paraguayensis.
Despite claims to the contrary, Yerba mate does contain caffeine although the level is relatively low compared to coffee or tea. Yerba mate also contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals and other chemicals of note such as theobromine and theophylline.
Yerba mate (pronounced yer ba ma tA) comes from the American Spanish, from yerba meaning herb + mate, the hollow gourd used as a bowl or container for brewing yerba mate.
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