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Introduction

Ilex paraguariensis is a member of the holly family (Aquifoliaceae) native to subtropical South America.The leaves of this tree are used to produce a herbal infusion called yerba mate or Paraguayan tea.It is widely used in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and its consumption often constitutes a form of social ritual.Furthermore, some medicinal properties have been attributed to yerba mate, including:
  • stimulant to the central nervous system
  • diuretic
  • hypocholesterolemic
  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • anti-rheumatic
  • beneficial for the cardiovascular system
Paraguayan tea has been traditionally used by indigenous people and is nowadays one of the most important economic products in South America.

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