Ilex paraguarensis (St.Hil.)
Synonyms: Paraguay herb, Ilex mate, Houx mate, Gon gouha, Paraguay tea, Mate, Jesuit's Brazil tea, St. Bartholomew's tea
Description: A large, white-flowered shrub native to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, growing up to 6m tall, Ilex grows wild near streams but is largely cultivated in South America for the drink obtained by infusing the leaves. The leaves are alternate, large, oval or lanceolate and broadly toothed. The fruit is a red berry-like drupe.
Parts used: leaves
Collection: December to August.
Constituents: xanthine derivatives, caffeine, theobromine, volatile oil, polyphenolics, tannins, chlorogenic acid, vanillin, vitamin C.
Actions: stimulant to central nervous system, thymoleptic, diuretic, antirheumatic, mild analgesic, tonic, depurative
Indications: psychogenic headache, fatigue, nervous depression, rheumatic pain
Therapeutics and Pharmacology: Ilex is combined with other remedies in the treatment of psychogenic headache, fatigue, mild nervous depression and rheumatic pains. It stimulates mental and physical energy. Its beneficial effects are mainly due to caffeine and theobromine.
Caution: Excessive consumption of the tea can be purgative and emetic.
Preparation and Dosage: (thrice daily)
Regulatory Status: GSL
Dried leaves: 2-4g or by infusion
Liquid extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, 2-4ml.
Additional Comments: Mate is derived from the name of the vessel in which the herb is infused. Burnt sugar or lemon juice is usually added to it. It is sucked through a tube with a bulb strainer at the end and the cup is passed round. Charles Darwin called it 'the ideal stimulant'.
BHMA 1983 British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, BHMA, Bournemouth.
Grieve, M. 1931 A Modern Herbal, (ed. C.F. Leyel 1985), London.
Lust, J. 1990 The Herb Book, Bantam, London.
Wren, R.C. 1988 Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations, C.W.Daniel, Saffron Walden.
Contact: [email protected] Please complete the 'Subject' heading or your email will be assumed to be spam and automatically deleted. Before you contact me, I'd be grateful if you would please check to see if this website has the answer to your question (search box at the top of the homepage) - I have time to answer only a few of the many emails that arrive in my inbox every day. See also the statement below:
For your safety I am prohibited from giving specific medical advice to individuals over the internet or telephone so please do not waste your time or mine by emailing or calling me with detailed information about your health problems - I can only undertake face-to-face consultations for what should be obvious reasons. Diagnoses cannot be made remotely, and I am unable to offer any advice or treatment until I am completely satisfied that I know what I'm dealing with! The herb profiles and treatment suggestions on this website will help enable you to choose which herbs might be appropriate for minor ailments. For more serious or chronic conditions you should seek professional advice. This is particularly important if you are taking medication from your doctor or pharmacist, as some herbs can interact adversely with other drugs. If you would like to have a consultation with a medical herbalist then you should click here then scroll to 'Professional Organisations' at the bottom of the page to find a qualified practitioner in your area.
Christine Haughton, MA MNIMH MCPP FRSPH
Wold Farm, West Heslerton, Malton, North Yorkshire YO17 8RY, UK
Last updated 27th November 2014 ęPurple Sage Botanicals