Action ► Stimulant to brain and nervous system, mild antispasmod-ic, eliminates uric acid. Used for physical exhaustion, rheumatism, gout and nervous headache. (A national drink of Paraguay and Brazil.) Causes purging and even vomiting in large doses.
Key application ► In physical and mental fatigue. (German Commission E, WHO.) In fatigue, nervous depression, psychogenic headache especially from fatigue, rheumatic pains. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.) German Commission E reported analeptic, positively inotropic, positively chronotropic, glycogenolytic, lipolytic and diuretic properties.
The leaves contain xanthine derivatives, including caffeine (0.2-2%), theobromine (0.3-00.5%), theophylline (absent in some samples), polyphe-nolics, tannins and chlorogenic acid, vanillin, vitamin C, volatile oil. Used in the same way as tea, due to its caffeine and theobromine content.
Mate is a world famous tea and is commonly consumed in several South American countries.
The flavour constituents exhibited moderate to weak broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against several Gram-positive bacteria. Some components are bactericidal, particularly against the most carcinogenic bacteria, Streptococcus mutans.
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