Yerba Maté is made from the dried leaves of Ilex paraguariensis, an evergreen shrub that grows in Central and South America. This Latin drink is said to brim with antioxidants, and new evidence suggests that it can bolster bone strength in postmenopausal women.
A study from Argentina published online on Sept. 3, 2011 in the journal Bone compared 146 postmenopausal women, some of whom who drank one liter of yerba mate tea daily for five years and some of whom didn’t. (The researchers excluded women whose health history put them at high risk for osteoporosis.) Results showed that the yerba maté drinkers had 9.7 percent higher bone density in their lumbar spine and 6.2 percent higher bone density in the area of the thigh just below the hip joint (this area is called the femoral neck) than the women who didn’t drink yerba maté.
In another study women who drank Chinese tea also had higher bone density in these two sites compared to women nondrinkers of tea; the increases were 4.3 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.
Article courtesy of Dr. Andrew Weil's website, found here.