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  • Writer's pictureBy Lani


Updated: May 2, 2020

Obesity amongst populations is a current global issue. Every single diet related disease that westernised countries face can be attributed to obesity, making it a major concern of public health. Excess weight is closely linked to reduced quality of life and lifespan, and maintaining a healthy weight for your body type is imperative for your overall wellbeing.

Current methodology for weight loss is possibly the most marketed claim worldwide. Weightless bars, programs, machines, tablets, and everything in between, have been created in the effort to appeal to a vulnerable audience. The truth of the matter is that there is no such thing as a quick fix. Losing too much weight too quickly will only result in that weight being gained again in the near future. The real results come from a sustainable change in your lifestyle, with just a few healthy additions. Eat real foods, move your body as often as you can, be mindful at meal times, and realise that junk food is not food at all.

Natural medicine looks at a plethora of dietary integrations in order to aid progressive weight loss.

Over the past few decades, important discoveries regarding weight gain and adiposity have been made. The first of these included the discovery of leptin, which is a hormone that regulates feelings of satiety and energy metabolism2. This in-turn reduces how much food yu eat and helps control the amount of adipose tissue (fat) that is gained1. The second discovery was the description of adipocyte synthesis (“fat creation”), which allowed the mechanisms of how and why obesity occurs to begin to be better understood1.

Dietary additions that can help reduce adiposity are therefore a useful addition in reducing weight, that are non-invasive and sustainable in their effect.

One particular herb that has been frequently studied for its potential weight-loss abilities is yerba maté (click here to hear pronunciation). It is a plant traditionally from South America, mainly prepared in beverage form. Studies show the beneficial antioxidant and obesity modulating properties of yerba maté.

Some of the anti-obesity properties that yerba maté demonstrates include:

  • Improving within-meal satiety1

  • Reducing LDL cholesterol3

  • Acutely lowering appetite and subsequent caloric intake before a meal4

  • Minimising obesity induced inflammation in adipose tissue when paired with a high fat diet5

  • Ameliorating metabolic syndrome (obesity, high blood triglycerides, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance) by improving insulin sensitivity and cellular glucose (sugar) uptake6

  • Increasing gastric emptying time, inducing a longer feeling of satiety 1

  • Minimising circulating triglycerides in blood7

  • Stimulating appetite regulators GLP-1 and leptin which increase satiation7

  • Reducing obesity related inflammation of the liver and muscle8

As seen above, the data accumulating in support of yerba maté containing anti-obesity properties is fairly substantial. It is proving to be a healthy dietary addition that may help fight the on-going battle against obesity in society.

So how can you integrate Yerba Maté into your diet?

In studies, supplementation of yerba maté in tablet form was used to determine its effects, however it is best integrated into a balanced diet in beverage form. Having a yerba maté tea 15-30 minutes before a meal showed the most positive acute effects on satiety, and should help you stay fuller for longer after a meal. Furthermore, some studies showed pairing it with a meal that is higher in healthy fats (such as nuts, avocado or fish, NOT deep fried junk food) had an even more dominant effect on reducing adipose tissue and thus obesity.

The take home messages if you are looking to reduce excess body fat…

Try integrating yerba maté into yur diet in tea/beverage form
Drink the tea/beverage around 15-30 minutes before a meal
Increase your intake of healthy fats in the meals you are eating after drinking yerba mate
Integrate yerba maté into a healthy, balanced diet – NOT as a meal replacement of any form

Any of your local tea shops or health stores should sell yerba maté, and if you live in Australia even some chemists such as Chemist Warehouse have it in stock. Otherwise check out the By Lani shop for some options to order it online.

If you have tried this tea out before, let me know - I'd love to hear your experience with it!

Now have a break from your screen and go enjoy a cup of tea, no matter what kind it is. x



  1. The Positive Effects of Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) in Obesity.

  2. Leptin activation of Stat3 in the hypothalamus of wild-type and ob/ob mice but not db/db mice.

  3. Consumption of yerba mate ( Ilex paraguariensis ) improves serum lipid parameters in healthy dyslipidemic subjects and provides an additional LDL-cholesterol reduction in individuals on statin therapy.

  4. Acute effects of a herb extract formulation and inulin fibre on appetite, energy intake and food choice.

  5. Antiobesity effects of yerba maté extract (Ilex paraguariensis) in high-fat diet-induced obese mice.

  6. Protective and ameliorative effects of maté (Ilex paraguariensis) on metabolic syndrome in TSOD mice.

  7. Mate tea (Ilex paraguariensis) promotes satiety and body weight lowering in mice: involvement of glucagon-like peptide-1.

  8. Yerba mate extract (Ilex paraguariensis) attenuates both central and peripheral inflammatory effects of diet-induced obesity in rats.


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