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Yerba Mate: Are there any health risks?

Some raise concerns about the risks of yerba mate and worry that this plant is dangerous to health, possibly causing cancer. In this article, we are demystifying this subject by briefly explaining where this concern comes from and how to avoid possible danger in order to only enjoy the benefits of consuming this unique plant.

Could Yerba Mate cause cancer? 

Smoke and PAHs

Most of the world’s Yerba Mate is processed using a heavily smoked drying system that uses burning wood to dry the mate leaves. This drying method generates polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), known to promote premature aging (source), as being carcinogenic if consumed in high concentrations.


On the other hand, conventional yerba mate is grown with the use of pesticides. Several studies, including this one from Harvard University, show that long-term exposure to pesticides can lead to chronic health problems such as cancer and neurological abnormalities. In addition, certain types of pesticides could also affect the nervous system.

What can you do to make sure you consume yerba mate without harming your health?

Always choose Unsmoked & Organic Yerba Mate

We work hard at Mateina to offer high quality and safe yerba mate.
Our mate is cultivated by a fourth-generation farmer family in the province of Misiones, northeastern Argentina, without the use of herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

Mateina’s yerba mate is organic & air-dried, through a process using hot air, allowing the leaves to be free of smoke-generated PAHs. So you can enjoy our light-tasting mate with peace of mind.

A plant with many benefits

Yerba mate is a plant with multiple health benefits. Some studies suggest yerba mate could strengthen the immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and the development of other chronic diseases. Find out more about the benefits of this naturally energizing plant with 5 good reasons to drink yerba mate here.

Important: The purpose of this blog is to cover briefly frequently asked questions as well as to keep you informed on relevant topics that are important to us. Please consult a qualified healthcare practitioner if you have any questions or concerns regarding your health condition.