Yerba Mate Side Effects and Benefits

Yerba mate ((Ilex paraguariensis) tea is a traditional drink in South America made from the leaves of the South American rainforest holly tree. Yerba mate contains caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well known stimulants also found in tea, chocolate and coffee. This stimulating herbal beverage has the unique ability to wake up the mind without the nervousness and jitters associated with coffee. Of the 196 volatile chemical compounds found in Yerba Mate, 144 are also found in green tea. Yerba Mate tea is steeped in hot water instead of boiling water, like other teas. This prevents the tea from becoming bitter.

Yerba Mate Benefits

Mate boosts energy, fights fatigue, is rich in antioxidants and minerals, reduces appetite, balances the body in all its functions and contains less caffeine than coffee or even green tea. (Among the polyphenols in Yerba Mate are caffeine, caffeic acid, quercetin, catechin, epicatechin gallate). Mate is known to contain saponins which have been shown to stimulate the immune system. The immune system, a critical collection of biological structures and processes, is important to keep as strong as possible.

Yerba MateSupportive evidence provided recently by scientists proves that mate tea has a positive effect on controlling weight and boosting weight loss. In Germany, it is a popular weight-loss aid and in France Yerba Mate is approved for the treatment of fatigue and as an aid in weight loss programs. A study done at The University of Lausanne  found that people who use yerba mate actually burn more body fat as energy, therefore, significantly reducing their total weight. A study done in 1999 in Switzerland, found that yerba mate had a thermogenic effect, meaning that it seemed to increase the amount of body fat burned as energy.

Yerba mate is full of antioxidants, including vitamin C and various flavinoids. Studies found that yerba mate contain 196 active constituents which are more than the compounds in green tea. A study published in 2008 found that yerba mate helped neutralize free radicals and protect mice from DNA damage, a hallmark of cancer and other diseases.

Yerba mate contains caffeine and stimulates the central nervous system. It is considered a stimulant, but unlike caffeine it affects the central nervous system without the addictive or nervousness caffeine can often cause. Another one of yerba mate benefits is its ability to reduce fatigue and increase mental and physical fatigue. Yerba mate is the subject of a German monograph which lists its approved uses for mental and physical fatigue.

Mate has been shown to improve digestion and repair damaged gastrointestinal tissues. Yerba mate also acts on the digestive tube by activating peristaltic movements, it facilitates digestion. Yerba mate is a traditional treatment for gastrointestinal disorders in South America.

Yerba mate also helps prevent arteriosclerosis and prevents blood clots that may cause heart attack or stroke. A study by the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil found that mate could reduce the progression of atherosclerosis in rabbits. Research from the Paris Instituteindicates LDL oxidation is inhibited by extracts of Yerba Mate and incidence of arteriosclerosis is low in countries where Yerba Mate is consumed.

Yerba Mate Side Effects

A large consumption of yerba mate tea could lead to insomnia, especially if it is consumed regularly on a daily basis. When yerba mate is consumed in large doses, it has been found to have adverse affects on the liver. Show alternative translations. Caffeine can contribute to muscle tension when consumed in excess, especially for those who are prone to it. Some studies suggest that it is the very hot temperature at which yerba mate is typically consumed that increases esophageal cancer risk, rather than yerba mate itself.

Maca Dosage and Benefits

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root that grows in the high mountains of Peru. The plant grows between 13,000 and 14,500 feet above the sea level on the high Andean plateaus of Peru. The Peruvians have used it as a food for centuries, both for its nutritional value and its medicinal properties. The dried roots can be stored for up to seven years.

Maca Benefits

The maca root is known for its adaptogenic properties. Studies have shown that one of the  Maca benefits is that the plant can work to balance hormones by directly working with the body’s endocrine system. Maca contains four types of alkaloids, which are indirectly through hormone system responsible for the proper utilization of phosphorus and calcium in the blood. Also maca root is used as a tonic to enhance strength and endurance and as an aphrodisiac to increase male potency and to improve hormonal functions.


Maca root is known as an adaptogen due to its ability to resist environmental stressors and strengthens the pituitary and adrenal systems. Adaptogens are substances that raise the physical body’s state of resistance to diseases through physiological health and emotional health improvements. Maca also helps the body to produce serotonin, a substance which induces good mood and digestion. People who have taken Maca for a long time have attested to the fact that they have experienced a dramatic decrease in the effects of stress in their body.

Libido Enhancement

Maca root has been shown to increase male libido and sperm production in studies. Study data showed that maca increased sexual desire by 180 % and increased sperm count by 200%.  Research has proven that it acts on certain areas of the body that produce hormones and energizing substances, which enhance libido and increase virility. The clinical study carried out by Gonzales from Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia demonstrates an 85% increase in the men’s total sperm count, as well as an increase in sperm motility and motile sperms quantity  in men treated with maca. Research has demonstrated that maca root contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which has reputed aphrodisiac properties. The hexanic extract of maca appears to be more effective at improving sexual performance in rats than methanolic and chloroformic extracts.

Hormone Regulator

By regulating the endocrine system, maca promotes overall health. The endocrine system consists of glands that produce hormones necessary for essential body functions. Always our body’s reaction and response is based on hormones and depends on hormonal imbalances. This system affects sexuality, growth, strength and energy. Maca stimulates the pituitary gland, acting as a kind of tonic for the hormone system.

Maca Dosage

The recommended dosage is 1500 to 3000 mg/day. maca  root  in capsules has been tested in doses of 500 to 1,000 mg taken three times for male infertility. Choose gelatinized maca for greater potency and optimal absorption. Buy maca from reliable manufacturers only and beware of fake products.

Maca Side Effects

Maca is a food, not a drug and is generally considered to be safe for everyone.In toxicity studies conducted by many laboratories, Maca root showed absolutely no toxicity and no adverse pharmacological effects.One of the side effects of maca can be nausea and stomach upset.The stimulant properties may make it difficult to sleep.If you have a disorder in which your thyroid gland produces too much or too little thyroid hormone, don’t take Maca root extract without first talking with your physician. When you are using it medicinally, avoid taking maca continuously for more than three months.

Astragalus Benefits and Side Effects

Astragalus root (astragalus membranaceus) is a popular herbal tonic commonly used in Chinese medicine. Historically, astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine, usually in combination with other herbs, to support and enhance the immune system. While there are multiple species of astragalus, most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus.

Astragalus Benefits

Astragalus is used to strengthen the immune system against colds or flu, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, insomnia, genital herpes, hepatitis, AIDS and chemotherapy side effects.


Astragalus is classified as an adaptogen, an herb that increases the body’s endurance and resistance to a wide array of physical, chemical, and biological stressors. Adaptogens have the unique ability to normalize body functions and balance body systems.  In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), astragalus is often combined with other tonic herbs, such as cordyceps, ginseng or ashwagandha, to keep the immune system humming during periods of high stress. Astragalus increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used in combinations.

Immune System

Astragalus stimulated NK-cell activity of human peripheral blood lymphocytes and restored steroid inhibited NK-cell activity.  Oral doses of the whole root or root extracts have been shown to increase phagocytic activity, enhance production of interferon and activate natural killer cell activity. In tests at the Hiroshima School of Medicine in Japan, it was shown to directly increase B-lymphocyte and T-lymphocyte levels, interleukin and antibody production. In a study in the Journal of Ehtnopharmacolory, published in 2010, large carbohydrate molecules extracted from astragalus stimulated the function of T lymphocytes in the laboratory. Astragalus increases white blood cell production of the body’s own anti-viral compounds alpha-and gamma-interferon, which generally protect against viral invasion. In addition to boosting immunity, Astragalus has antibacterial, adaptogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects. Astragalus helps the body resist virus infections, particularly in the lungs, by increasing production of interferon, an immune factor that inhibits viral growth. Has been shown to inhibit the replication of coxsackie B-3 virus, shown to a causative factor in myocarditis.


Astragalus RootResearchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that astragalus extract boosted the cell-destroying ability, or cytotoxicity, of the conventional immune system drug interleukin-2  by helping cells of the immune system. Researchers from the University of Texas, Houston, have reported that cancer patients receiving Astragalus have twice the survival rate of those only receiving placebos. Improvement in quality of life was reported following use of an injectable form of astragalus with vinorelbine and cisplatin in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. According to clinical trials from the University of California, Berkeley, Astragalus was shownto increase chemotherapy efficacy and reduce toxicity when combined with platinum-based chemotherapy to improve survival and tumor response for systemic treatments for advanced non–small-cell lung cancer. Data from clinical trials are suggestive that astragalus alone and in combination with other herbs may help with the toxic effects of cancer chemotherapy.  In a study done with 115 patients on chemotherapy, over 80% showed higher white blood cell counts when taking Astragalus.


Extracts of astragalus have been shown to alleviate liver injury and protect hepatic cells from pathological changes. A study in the August 2008 issue of Basic and Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology, reports that astragalus root is also effective in protecting the liver. According to a  article, elevated serum levels of glutamate pyruvate transaminase  returned to normal and symptoms associated with the disease subsided within one to two months of treatment with an unspecified astragalus preparation. Experiments also show astragalus to be liver cell protective in laboratory induced hepatitis by preventing liver glycogen reduction caused by carbon tetrachloride exposure.


Astragalus has protective and strengthening effects on the heart. According to The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, astragalus demonstrated cardioprotective effects, significantly improving cardiac function and increasing the survival rate from heart failure. Another clinical research showed improvement in breathing and exercise capacity, along with less chest tightness in patients with congestive heart failure. The effect of Astragalus membranaceus on left ventricular function and oxygen free radicals was evaluated in 43 cardiac patients. The herb demonstrated a strengthening of left ventricular function and an effect of anti-oxygen free radicals for a cardiotonic action.  Scientific data shows that Asrtagalus has blood-thinning properties, thus preventing the clogging of the coronary arteries.

Astragalus Dosage

The appropriate dose of astragalus depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. For adults,  250 to 500 mg standardized extract three to four times daily. Powdered Astragalus root; 500 mg to 1000 mg in capsules three times daily. In tincture form; 30–60 drops of astragalus can be taken four times per day. Injections should only be given under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Astragalus Side Effects

The body can develop a tolerance to immune stimulating herbs such as Astragalus if it is taken for long periods. Astragalus may interact with medications that suppress the immune system, such as the drug cyclophosphamide taken by cancer patients and similar drugs taken by organ transplant recipients. Astragalus may interfere with the actions of diuretics, phenobarbital, beta-blockers, and anticoagulants. Pregnant women should consult their doctors before taking astragalus or giving it to children.