Photo Courtesy of anyaivanova — Getty Images

While billions of people start their day with coffee or tea, many are starting their days with a stimulating one called yerba mate or Ilex paraguariensis. This tea is very popular throughout the Middle East and South America and known as Brazilian tea, Paraguay tea, or simply mate. The Ilex paraguariensis tree is native to South America and grown in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The leaves and twigs of the yerba mate tree are dried, usually over a fire, and steeped in hot water to make the herbal tea. 

Usually consumed as a tea, it is often marketed in extract form and as a supplement that contains a more concentrated dose where the extraction method directly affects the potency of the extract. Lighting, the age of the leaves and drying methods all affect the quality of the yerba mate extract. Extract that contains significantly more caffeine when dried in lower light, younger leaves are richer in beneficial compounds and microwave drying yields a more nutritious extract than vacuum drying.

Benefits of yerba mate

Yerba mate extract is rich in antioxidants because of its high concentration of polyphenols and is comparable to red wine and even superior to green tea with its antioxidant composition. Yerba mate is a stimulant and diuretic with anti-cancer properties.

Benefits of yerba mate for hair

The caffeine and antioxidants alone gives reasons why this extract will be great for our hair. According to a study published by the International Journal of Dermatology, the higher than green tea composition of caffeine in yerba mate makes it ideal for targeting DHT, the hormone responsible for restricting the hair follicles ability to produce hair growth. Caffeine can restore hair growth or at the very least prevent abnormal hair loss. Caffeine has been known to give hair a natural sheen and make it more manageable.

Antioxidants prevent cell damage from the free radicals. The sun, smoke, and pollution causes oxidation and antioxidants simply neutralizes them to keep hair healthy. We are seeing more hair products using them, but many are simply found in nature like in fruits, plants, or herbs. Yerba mate has immune boosting properties, anti-aging properties, and helps to detoxify the blood and play a contributing roll in hair growth by providing nutrients that are necessary for normal health functions.

While drinking the tea will benefit your hair, to intensify the benefits, applying directly to your hair is more ideal. If you already use or are interested in tea rinses then simply steep some yerba tea and allow to cool. Shampoo hair and slowly pour over cooled tea over your head and follow with a deep conditioner.

Have you tried Yerba tea for your hair?

Sabrina Perkins


Sabrina, founder of and contributor to several online publications, is a freelance writer who engages her audiences on the relevance of natural hair, beauty, and style.

No comments yet.