Some Potential Risks and Side Effects of Yerba Mate

It's a smart idea to stay informed about any possible side effects of yerba mate if you're thinking of making this tea a regular part of your (or your family's) day.

While teas and herbal tisanes can be so beneficial for us in so many ways, each tea is not necessarily the best - or healthiest - choice for each of us.

Delicious yerba mate is brimming with health and wellness benefits, but, before you add this tea to your tea cupboard, be sure to read up on any potential concerns associated with drinking yerba mate. 

Here are some things to keep in mind before you brew up a pot of this satisfying herbal tea...

Side Effects of Yerba Mate - Some General Precautions

When you're first getting to know mate, introduce this tea to your diet gradually, until you know if it's a good choice for you. Watch for any physical or emotional indications (such as a rash or itchiness, headache, irritability, jitteriness, or an upset stomach) that this tea or the amount you're drinking may not be right for you.

Side Effects of Yerba Mate

And, if you are planning to start drinking yerba mate with the intent of treating or managing a particular health concern or condition (such as diabetes, heart disease, or obesity), please don't make any changes to your current treatment plan until you've discussed potential yerba mate benefits and side effects with your trusted healthcare provider.

As with any tea or hot beverage or soup you enjoy, please don't consume yerba mate when it's too hot!

Studies have indicated a high rate of esophageal, larynx, and other cancers of the throat and mouth in areas of the world where consuming large amounts of extremely hot beverages (including yerba mate) is normal practice. But, this high incidence of cancer has been attributed to the temperature of the water, rather than the beverages themselves.

Yerba Mate Benefits & You!

What do you think of yerba mate? If you've tried this herbal tea, why not share your thoughts and opinions about yerba mate benefits for health and wellness with our other readers? We'd love to hear what you think! Click here to join the conversation and share your experience with mate. 

You can read more about concerns with consuming exceedingly hot tea here. And, remember to let your tea cool for a few minutes before taking that first sip!

Yerba mate, unlike other herbal teas, does naturally contain caffeine (mate has about 70 - 85 mg caffeine per 8 oz. cup). So, if you're sensitive to or trying to cut back on caffeine, you may decide to limit how much mate you drink or choose another (caffeine-free) herbal tea, such as cinnamon, ginger, or dandelion, instead. 

While most of us are aware of caffeine's possible side effects, caffeine does have some potential benefits, too! Drop by our Caffeine Benefits pages to learn more.

Side Effects of Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate and Medications

Teas and herbal tisanes can provide so many wonderful benefits for physical, mental, emotional, and even social health and wellbeing! However, these tasty beverages do contain active ingredients and, as such, it's important to be aware of any potential interaction with any prescription or over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies you're taking.

With yerba mate, this is particularly important if you are being treated for depression, high or low blood pressure, diabetes, a heart condition, or cancer. 

Please also check with your healthcare professional about whether yerba mate (and the amount) is a good choice for you if you're taking antibiotics, hormones, birth control pills, anticoagulants, antiplatelets, or if you have a scheduled medical or dental surgery coming up.

What about yerba mate and cancer?

Have you been hearing about a potential link between drinking yerba mate and increased cancer risk? Learn more about the research targeting a connection between yerba mate and cancer prevalence here. 

Also, because yerba mate is a natural stimulant, please keep in mind that this tea may interact negatively with other stimulants (such as nicotine, Ritalin, or other stimulant drugs). 

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We're not through yet... You'll find more information about potential side effects and risks in drinking yerba mate here.

It's natural that we would assume that teas (true teas and herbal teas, too) are always healthy and beneficial, and not give potential side effects a second thought... Yes, teas can provide so many benefits for good health, but the active ingredients in these beverages - combined with our unique, special selves - mean that each of us can have a uniquely special response to each tea.

To be safe and healthy, be sure to stay informed about the teas in your tea stash, and spend a bit of time reading up on any possible associated concerns. And, your natural healthcare practitioner or other healthcare provider is a great source of information on the best teas and herbal tisanes for you - ask her or him about potential benefits and side effects of yerba mate, too.

More about Yerba Mate Benefits

Yerba Mate Benefits - If you enjoy herbal teas, you'll be hard pressed to find a healthier, more beneficial herbal tea than mate! Read more about the many ways this tea can benefit your physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Yerba Mate Benefits & You! - What do you think of yerba mate tea? Why not share your thoughts and opinions about yerba mate and its health benefits with our other readers? And, see what other visitors to our site have to say about mate, as well. 

Side Effects of Yerba Mate - Mate is brimming with health and wellness benefits, but be sure to stay informed about any potential side effects of yerba mate before you add this tea to your day. 

Yerba Mate for Weight Loss - If you've been thinking of losing a few pounds for health reasons or just to feel a bit better about yourself, here are some of the reasons yerba mate for weight loss might be a good choice for you.

Yerba Mate Recipes - Whether you'd like to learn more about making yerba mate the 'traditional' way, are interested in trying iced mate, or are craving a steamy yerba mate latte, you'll find a recipe here.

What is Yerba Mate? - Get to know the South American Ilex paraguariensis shrub and the flavorful herbal tea made from its dried leaves. 


Andersen T, Fogh J. Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients. J Hum Nutr Diet. Jun 2001;14(3):243-250. 

Arbiser JL, Li XC, Hossain CF, et al. Naturally occurring proteasome inhibitors from mate tea (Ilex paraguayensis) serve as models for topical proteasome inhibitors. J Invest Dermatol. Aug 2005;125(2):207-212.

Bastos DHM, Oliveira DM, Matsumoto RLT, Carvalho P, Ribero ML. Yerba maté: Pharmacological Properties, Research and Biotechnology. Medicinal and Aromatic Plant Science and Biotechnology. 2007; 1(1), 37-46. http://www.globalsciencebooks.

Bixby M, Spieler L, Menini T, Gugliucci A. Ilex paraguariensis extracts are potent inhibitors of nitrosative stress: a comparative study with green tea and wines using a protein nitration model and mammalian cell cytotoxicity. Life Sci. 2005 Jun 3;77(3):345-58. Epub 2005 Feb 9.

Conforti AS, Gallo ME, Saravi FD. Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) consumption is associated with higher bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Bone. Jan 2012;50(1):9-13.  

Gonzalez de Mejia E, Song YS, Ramirez-Mares MV, et al. Effect of yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) tea on topoisomerase inhibition and oral carcinoma cell proliferation. J Agric Food Chem. Mar 23 2005;53(6):1966-1973. 

Harrold JA, Hughes GM, O’Shiel K, et al. Acute effects of a herb extract formulation and inulin fibre on appetite, energy intake and food choice. Appetite. Mar 2013;62:84-90.  

Heck CI, De Mejia EG. Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): A Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Health Implications, and Technological Considerations. Journal of Food Science. Nov/Dec 2007;72(9):R138-R151. 

Klein, GA et al. Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) improves glycemic and lipid profiles of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes individuals: A pilot study. J Am Coll Nutr. 2011 Oct; 30(5):320-32.  

Loria D, Barrios E, Zanetti R. Cancer and yerba mate consumption: a review of possible associations. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2009 Jun;25(6):530-9.  

Miranda DD, Arcari DP, Pedrazzoli J, Jr., et al. Protective effects of mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) on H2O2-induced DNA damage and DNA repair in mice. Mutagenesis. Jul 2008;23(4):261-265. 

Puangpraphant S, Berhow MA, Vermillion K, et al. Dicaffeoylquinic acids in Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire) inhibit NF-kappaB nucleus translocation in macrophages and induce apoptosis by activating caspases-8 and -3 in human colon cancer cells. Mol Nutr Food Res. Oct 2011;55(10):1509-1522. 

Santos I, Matijasevich A, Valle N. Maté Drinking during Pregnancy and Risk of Preterm and Small for Gestational Age Birth. J. Nutr. May 1, 2005; 135(5):1120-1123.    

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