Saturday, July 05, 2008

South America's elixir of life

GNU/FDL photo

That's mate (pronounced mah tay) tea, or yerba mate, the almost mystical South American beverage.

As Johann Fleck writes in The Epoch Times:

"Throughout South America, the indigenous peoples are closely linked by the mate tradition, as evidenced in writings such as 'The Incas' Green Gold,' or by its reverential subtitle, 'Drink of the Gods.'

"According to legend, about 1,000 years ago a god handed the Guarani Indians the plant, with instructions for brewing the leaves into tea. Since then, the drink mate has been an indispensable part of daily life for millions of South Americans.

"In several regions, people drink copious quantities of this beverage any time of day. Field workers drink the brew to ward off heat and exhaustion. People who engage in lengthy, round-table discussions like it for its mentally stimulating properties, claiming it can induce inspiration, while creating a relaxed state."

(You can read the rest of this highly interesting report online here.)

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