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Home » Plant infomation

Ilex paraguariensis  A. St.-Hil.


Botanical Name


Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.

English Name


Brazilian tea, Paraguay tea, Jesuit tea, South American holly



Ilex mate A. St.-Hil., Ilex paraguensis D. Don, Ilex domestica Reissek





General Info


An evergreen, dioecious shrub or tree, up to 18 m tall in the wild state, in cultivation pruned to a 3—6 m tall multi-stemmed and highly branched bush. Leaves alternate, coriaceous; petiole 1 cm long; blade obovate, 10—12 cm x 5—6 cm, tapering towards the base, with serrate margin and obtuse apex, dark green and glabrous. Inflorescence an axillary, corymboid fascicle with 3—11 male or 1—3 female flowers; flowers small, pedicellate, with 4-lobed persistent calyx and 4 white petals; 4 stamens in male flower; pistil in female flower superior, ovary 4-locular with 1—2 ovules per cell. Fruit a reddish to blackish, globular drupe, 0.5—0.8 cm in diameter, with 4 pyrenes, each containing one seed.

Herb Effects

Diuretic, depurative, and a general tonic to relieve mental and physical fatigue (mate)


Tropical Plant Database
PROSEA (Plant Resources of South-East Asia) Foundation



Medicinal Use

The tea made by infusing the dried leaves and twigs in hot water is used to achieve weight loss, physical and mental fatigue, nervous depression, rheumatic pains, and psychogenic- and fatigue-related headaches. Mate is also used for arthritis, headache, hemorrhoids, fluid retention, obesity, fatigue, stress, constipation, allergies, and hay fever.



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