More Potential Yerba Mate Side Effects

Be sure to stay informed about potential yerba mate side effects (as well as mate's many health and wellness benefits) so you can rest assured this herbal tea is a good and beneficial choice for you.

It can be so fascinating discovering the many different ways that teas (true teas and herbal teas, as well) can be so good for us - physically, mentally, emotionally, and even socially.

However, just as you carefully read labels at the grocery store, it's wise to learn about the teas that are part of your day - not only potential benefits, but possible side effects, risks, and even contraindications, too.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind about yerba mate (if you missed our first page about Yerba Mate Side Effects, you'll find it here).

How to Make Yerba Mate

Drop by our Yerba Mate Recipe pages to learn how to make hot or iced yerba mate, as well as a delicious yerba mate latte. 

Yerba Mate and Cancer... Is there a connection?

If you've been reading up on the health benefits of yerba mate, no doubt you've come across various sources indicating that this herbal tea can increase the risk of certain types of cancer (such as throat, mouth, larynx, esophageal, bladder, and lung cancer). 

While some studies suggest a link between drinking mate and cancer prevalence, further research indicates that yerba mate itself does not actually increase cancer risk - instead, other habits and lifestyle choices may be at the root of or contribute to any increased health concern. 

For example, much of the research targeting yerba mate has been conducted in areas where yerba mate is regularly consumed in large quantities at exceedingly high temperatures, and the known risks associated with drinking extremely hot beverages can impact yerba mate research outcomes (learn more about the risks of drinking exceptionally hot tea here). 

Other lifestyle factors and conditions that can significantly affect increased cancer risk (such as unhealthy diet, pre-existing health issues, regular tobacco use, and high alcohol consumption) can influence or confuse study results, as well. 

At this point, no study has conclusively shown that yerba mate consumption itself causes an increased risk of cancer (in fact, studies are showing that yerba mate may actually help to protect us against cancer and other chronic diseases!).

Yerba Mate Side Effects

More research is needed to uncover any interdependent relationships between yerba mate, other factors (tea temperatures and mate processing methods, as well as smoking, alcohol use, diet, and other lifestyle choices), and a higher risk of certain cancer types for yerba mate drinkers. 

Yerba Mate Side Effects and PAHs

PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are chemicals that, in larger amounts, can potentially cause cancer and many other serious short- and long-term health effects.

We are exposed to PAHs in our daily lives through various sources, such as motor vehicle exhaust, certain cosmetic and body-care products, tobacco smoke, and smoked, charcoal-broiled, or barbecued foods. 

What do PAHs have to do with yerba mate? Most yerba mate is processed using a traditional smoke-drying method, in which yerba mate leaves and stemlets are dried over smoky burning wood. And, smoked yerba mate does contain high levels of PAHs.

Yerba Mate Side Effects

While more research is needed, yerba mate studies have raised important questions about possible links between smoked yerba mate consumption, tobacco use, and a diet high in barbecued foods - all potential sources of PAHs - and an increased susceptibility to certain types of cancer.

PAHs can't be completely avoided - they're in the air, water, and soil around us, as well as in many foods, beverages, and other products in our everyday lives. But, we can take steps to reduce our exposure to PAHs - for example, by choosing air-dried or unsmoked mate, which has lower PAH levels than smoked mate (this may be a good option especially for those who drink lots of yerba mate, are regular tobacco users, and/or have high amounts of smoked or barbecued foods in their diets).

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As with most things in life, using your good common sense when drinking yerba mate will help you enjoy the benefits and avoid possible risks! Don't gulp down exceptionally hot tea (let your tea cool for at least 3 or 4 minutes before drinking). Don't regularly consume excessive amounts of yerba mate. Choose organic air-dried or unsmoked mate to reduce exposure to PAHs. And, support your healthful decision to drink tea with other smart, beneficial lifestyle choices to nurture your body and mind and keep them strong and healthy!

There's more yet about yerba mate side effects... read more here, including information about yerba mate for moms and tots!

It can feel quite serious to learn about potential yerba mate side effects (and any possible risks associated with other teas and herbal tisanes), but part of ensuring that you support your good health is staying informed about what goes into your body. Staying up-to-date not only about the health benefits of the teas in your tea cupboard, but also about any potential concerns or issues connected with drinking these teas, means that you can rest assured that you're making good health choices for you and your household. 

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. 

Tea health benefits matter - but remember to enjoy your tea, too! Choosing teas that taste delicious and nourishing to you and bring a smile to your face will mean that you'll be more likely to include these beneficial beverages as a regular part of your day!

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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