Maté is also known as yerba mate, erva mate, Paraguay tea, St. Bartholomew’s tea or Jesuits tea. The terms refer to the leaves of Ilex paraguarensis St. Hilaire, an evergreen member of the Aquifoliaceae family. The leaves of maté are important natural products from which a tisane (tealike beverage) is made. This beverage is widely consumed throughout South America, particularly Paraguay, Argentina and
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Brazil. Maté is also used as a component of beverages such as chimarrao, tereré and some soft drinks (Viera et al., 2008). Because maté is rich in caffeine, it acts as a stimulant (tonic) and a diuretic (Wichtl, 1994).
Although L. cubeba is normally associated with China, Choudhury et al. (2009) reported that this evergreen shrub of the Lauraceae family can also be found growing in its natural environment in the eastern Himalayan areas of Assam, Manipur and other autonomous regions of northeastern India.