Suffer intense headaches? You need quick relief. Learn about the plant recommended by practitioners of alternative medicine and try yerba mate for migraines!
Known as the tea of the Jesuits, yerba mate has its roots in South America. It’s a plant that contains a wealth of alkaloid compounds that are quite similar to those in caffeine – which means, of course, that it’s a stimulant. However, its unique chemical composition means that its effects are more subtle than coffee’s.
Yerba mate has been used for centuries as a beverage and is renowned for its powerful energising properties. Medicinally, it has often been recommended for weight loss, to boost intellectual performance and to treat depression. There’s evidence that it helps to combat the pain of headaches, most notably those very strong headaches that can classified as migraines.
Migraines hate yerba mate
Scientists have studied whether or not yerba mate’s high alkaloid content (caffeine, theobromine and theophylline, for instance) can relieve migraines by reducing another compound called xanthene. In order to benefit from this, experts recommend a dosage of less than two hundred milligrams of alkaloids per day for migraine control.
There’s another scientific hypothesis that the caffeine in yerba mate soothes the intense pain of migraines by acting on the adenosine receptors that are present in nerve cells. Adesonine is a neurotransmitter that is capable of dilating the blood vessels located in the areas of the neck and head. In layperson’s terms, this means that this dilation allows for better blood flow. It stops pressure from building, which is what provokes such intense headaches.
Common sense caution: many people who drink an excessive amount of caffeinated beverages are often afflicted with painful headaches. Caffeine is the primary trigger for these. This is why we advise you to take yerba mate in small doses to gauge your sensitivity.
Image courtesy of Gloria Arbonés