The leaves of this tree are used to produce a herbal infusion called Yerba Mate or Paraguayan tea, a beverage traditionally consumed in central and southern South America. It is also very popular in Syria where it is imported from Argentina. Yerba mate can also be found in energy drinks.
The leaves are evergreen, with a serrated margin. The leaves are often called yerba (Spanish) or erva (Portuguese), both of which mean herb. They contain caffeine and other alkaloids and are harvested commercially.
Mate also contains compounds that, when extracted from green tea, help burn more calories, act as an appetite suppressant and weight loss tool, increase the supply of nutrients and oxygen to the heart, increase mental energy and focus, improve mood, and promote deeper sleep.