Talk:Yerba mate/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Proper Spelling

American Heritage Dictionary spells it correctly without the accent. I'm going to change it, since it reflects a post-colonial bias to misspell stubbornly a foreign-loan word. Peace. Why is mate spelled maté here? I've never seen it spelled this way before. I believe the right way of doing it is just as "mate", with a plain E. -Pilaf 03:39, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)

That's how I've always seen it spelled, too. It's not pronounced with the accent, so why is it spelled that way here? -Theanthrope 21:01, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Well, maybe it's not the best source for spanish words, but my Oxford English Dictionary shows it as "maté", and that is how I have always heard it pronounced, but if that is not correct, it should be changed, as long as there is sufficient explanation so no-one just changes it back. BTW, there are 9,750 google hits for "yerba maté", 71,000 for "yerba mate", so it looks like both are in common use, though "mate" has a clear edge. WormRunner 18:06, 8 Jan 2004 (UTC)
I've been bold and moved the page back to "yerba mate". I am 100% sure this is right, and I don't know why the Oxford dictionary spells is as "maté", but I can asure that's completely wrong. In fact, the word "maté" (as oposed to just "mate", which has a different pronounciation) means "i killed" in Spanish and would sound strange used as another common word. I also saw it spelled as "máte" somewhere. That's even a worse case, as it's an outright spelling mistake. -Pilaf 02:48, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
According to Merriam-Webster Online, maté is the French spelling. -Ejrrjs | What? 16:34, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Actually, according to Merriam-Webster Online, maté is the English spelling. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
The added accent in English, I imagine, is an attempt to distinguish it from the English one-syllable word "mate". That said, it's misleading anyhow since it can imply the emphasis on the last syllable. "Mate" with consistent italics is probably the best, most correct approach. --c
Are Oxford scholars immune against stupidity? I guess not. To write Maté against the writing and pronunciation customs and traditions of several countries like Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, etc. where a sizeable portion of the population drink Yerba Mate on a daily basis, is sheer stupidity. "Maté" simply does not exist, period. I know: I've been there, and have drank mate often. The common name is sufficiently explained in this very article:

The word hierba is Spanish for grass or herb; yerba is a variant spelling of it which is quite common... ...Mate is from the Quechua mati, meaning "cup". Yerba mate is therefore literally the "cup herb".

The scientific name is ilex paraguariensis., meaning Paraguay, not Ilex Oxfordiensis (see the corresponding articles in the Spanish Wikipedia if still in doubt: Yerba Mate and Mate).
No ignorant Briton, Oxford "scholar" or not, is going to change the way we South Americans call our traditional infusion. I've removed the tag. This discussion is simply ludicrous, and utter nonsense. --AVM 18:44, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I've said it before, but it is very common that the spelling of foreign words is adapted to the local spelling. I live in Netherlands, but sometimes we call our country "Holland". To write Holanda against the centuries-old tradition of several countries like Netherlands and Belgium is sheer stupidity. Holanda does not exist, period. I know: I live there and I use the word very often. No ignorant South-American, "scholar" or not, is going to change the way we Dutch call our country. I will edit the Spanish wikipedia page accordingly. -Han-Kwang 19:12, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree! Whoever (Latin American or not) tried to call "Holanda" that admirable country, Nederland, (or perhaps should I say the Koninkrijk der Nederlanden?) and tried to impose that foreign name upon the natives (the Dutch), deserves a good spanking, and I'd gladly help you administer it to the culprit. But you are missing the point there. Holanda is a valid name for your country in the Spanish language, just as Italy amd Italien are valid names in English and German for the country that calls itself Italia. What the idiot who wrote that entry into the Oxford Dictionary, and his colleagues (who try to impose such absurdity against the natives of several countries who seed, grow, harvest, pack, deliver, buy, simmer, drink, and enjoy Yerba Mate) are doing is something worse, which is to invent a totally alien word that has never been heard in those lands, nor used anywhere on Earth: "maté", purporting that is the way we South Americans write and pronounce it. Aangenaam, -AVM 23:14, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't get what you're saying. The Oxford people recommend 'maté' not to natives of Latin America, but to English-speaking Britons and North-Americans. Han-Kwang 23:28, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I'll put it simple enough. They're wrong, that's all. --AVM 06:27, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Why is it inherently wrong? Just because Spanish speaking people spell it "mate" does not mean that English speaking people can't spell it "maté". Han-Kwang provided a source that spells it as such. What English source do you have to dispute his claim? Remember, this is the English encyclopedia.
Since this is old, I am going to assume this issue has been settled. Still, this needed to be said. — trlkly 13:31, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree. It is an English encyclopedia, and periodic reverts from Latin American posters - however well-intentioned - does not make their point any more valid. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Mate, do you want a maté? I can't believe that the meaning is not obvious from the context. -User:Ejrrjs says What? 19:59, 5 December 2005 (UTC)
The fact you needed to use the accent to make your joke work should've provided a clue as to the problem. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
According to the " Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado" 35th edition {1948;} mate without the accent is the correct Spanish spelling. This can be confirmed in the Real Academia Española dictionary online at You will not find the word maté in any Spanish dictionary as they contain only the infinitive forms of verbs. Maté in Spanish means, "I killed"
Having said this the ‘e’ is always pronounced in Spanish, it sounds "eh" however the accentuation stresses the ‘a’; thus it sounds máteh. Yerba Mate is indigenous to South America, as such is the case I would argue the most correct pronunciation and spelling would be that of the Spanish language. -jamesjaw
I don't think the Spanish spelling is disputed. The question is how it is spelt in English: does it keep the Spanish spelling or not? The dictionaries say "maté", but very few American people seem to use it. -Han-Kwang 07:57, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that (US) Americans drop the umlauts and accents from everything. It's not a reason to italicize maté in all contexts, constantly refer to the Spanish origin of the word, or move Wikipedia ahead of the dictionaries on this one. As for (non-US) "Americans," they for the most part are simply misspelling a word based on their Latino or Brazilian heritage. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
The correct spelling is "mate", not "maté". The final plain "e" is used among us (Argentina y Uruguay) as in Paraguay and south Brazil, and as a native argentinian I've never ever seen "maté" writed or spoked.
The accent is only used for the benefit of English speakers. Spanish vowels are pronounced differently than their English counterparts. The word "mate" in English is pronounced with a long "A" sound. In Spanish, "mate" (the "A") is pronounced with an "Ahhh". -unsigned
Should it not be maté? And what does powerous mean? -S.
-No, it's right, mate.--El Chemaniaco 17:28, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
No, it's wrong. Mate is perfectly correct Spanish. In English, mate is properly pronounced with a long A and always will be unless italicized or quoted with a reference to the fact one is using a Spanish word. Maté is the proper English word for Spanish mate and with respect the Hispaniphones should know that. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
As all people that wrote in here, I have to say that "mate" is the only right way to write it and the only right way to say it since spanish pioneers were the first to give a written language to south-american natives. It doesn't matter the language (Spanish, English, French, etc) used to refer to the should be kept as the original and only pronunciation...besides it is not a spanish a native one. Thank you and if somebody from Oxford dictionary is reading, you will be doing a favour to the english speakers if you change and mention how words originally from other languages are pronounced instead of trying to give them and english way of saying it. -Vicente, from Paraguay. 15:34, 5 July 2007
Mate not Maté - the accent in Spanish is for pronounciation emphasis, but in Spanish it is 'ma-te' not 'mat-E' so Maté is incorrect in spelling and pronounciation. The Maté use is a marketing ploy so the English speaking consumer knows the product is from South America. -Miyerbamate 16:43, 12 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm gonna go ahead and switch it over to maté, in title and content. That spelling is definitely the one I've always seen as correct, and it matches the correct pronounciation. I think the commonality of "mate" is simply because the é character is uncommon on western keyboards, or even in western handwriting, and the significance of the accent is downplayed by those who are too lazy to run charmap.exe. - posted by SeekerOfWisdumb at 09:00, 08 Mar 2005 (UTC)
According to both Merriam Webster online, and Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language offline both spellings and both pronounciations are rigth. However, in the languages (Spanish, Portuguese and Guarani) of the people that drink the stuff maté does not make any sense. I strongly suggest to respect the original spelling. BTW, maté is the French word. Ejrrjs | What? 22:06, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- "That spelling (...) matches the correct pronounciation." - No, it does not. At least not the correct spanish pronunciation.
- "the é character is uncommon on western keyboards" There are no "western keyboards". There are spanish keyboars, french keyboards, german keyboards. etc. And with all of them it's possible to write an "é" . Without need to run any charmap.
- "the é character is uncommon (...) in western handwriting" - It is not. At least not in romance languages, spoken by about 700 millions of persons. Or does your concept of "western" exclude them? --Zitronfalda
He meant English-language keyboards, as you guys know, and which affects the likelihood of whether English-language users will type it with an accent or not. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
The correct spelling (and pronunciation) is Yerba Mate. "Maté" simply does not exist, period. --AVM 06:36, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
See above for the error of this viewpoint and the violation of NPOV it displays. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
basic spanish: "maté" is the first-person (singular) past tense of the verb "matar" --to kill. "mate" refers to the herb (or, as a previous poster said, the first and third-person conjunctive tense of the verb --se above). the acute accent changes the pronunciation as well as the meaning. "maté" is pronounced "maTEH" whereas "mate" is pronounced "MAteh". referring to the herb as "maté" is incorrect. given that the mate-drinking custom originated in (the southern part of) south america, it seems logical that the original (and correct) spelling be respected --at least until a suitable translation into english is found, if ever. (the only reason why i can think the word is grossly mispelled in most of the united states is because "mate" means an entirely different thing in english, and shop keepers want to avoid potential embarrasment from selling customers a mate.) august 2005.
Perhaps the same effect could be achieved if they wrote "matte". --AVM 06:36, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
You're quite correct that "mate" does mean something else in English, which is why Spanish mate is written as English "maté," despite that being a different word in Spanish. That this confuses or annoys bilingual individuals doesn't make the spelling any less proper for English or the English-language wiki. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
- Spell as "yerba mate". As a native English speaker living in Argentina, I think it's ridiculous to call the drink "maté", and I would be very surprised if that were the more common spelling in English, since English words generally do not use accents. Kragen Javier Sitaker (talk) 21:12, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Agreed! All this discussion comes to this final synopsis:
When trying to include the name of South American herb and infusion, some British dictionary writers, presumably scholars, found that using the original Spanish spelling would sound awkwardly and have a radically different meaning in English language, so they resorted to the dubious solution of inventing an unheard-of accented word (maté) which would --hopefully-- sound more like the original in Spanish. All the above contentions about maté being 'an English word' blissfully ignore the fact that the companion word, yerba, is NOT an English word, either. The American Merriam-Webster dictionary has no entry for Maté (as it hasn't for Yerba), but then Yerba does direct to their definition of Yerba Mate thus:
One entry found.  
Main Entry:     yer·ba ma·té    
Pronunciation:  \ˌyer-bə-ˈmä-ˌtā, ˌyər-\ 
Function:       noun 
Etymology:      American Spanish yerba mate, from yerba herb + mate maté
Date:           1839  
The problem lies in that the bogus (fake, false, and preposterous) word maté, with its absurd accent, when spoken in Spanish language is shocking and repulsive to anyone familiar with the original term. As I've written above, if the word matte had been used, instead of inventing a ridiculous word, there would be not such a problem. Also, I find some of the reaoning above about maté being 'an English word' to be laughable, to say the least: is Yerba Mate an English drink? Ha! --AVM (talk) 18:43, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

It might not be an English drink, but both Brazil and Argentina have significant numbers of Anglophone immigrants and descendants and other sojourners who would quickly come in contact with the beverage.

Of course the spelling maté could also suggest a French usage as well. The accent aigu is not a real accent in French and really isn't in English. The alternative to maté is either to pronounce it like 'matey' or to barbarically spell it *matay (the asterisk designating a form not in use, as in " *eated"). Such words as café, résumé, and protégé -- all originally French -- are in use in English and are properly so spelled.

I checked the French version of the article on yerba maté ... and the beverage and plant are identified as such -- literally. To be sure, the area in which yerba maté is grown and heavily consumed is not an officially Francophone area. But that said, both Argentina and Brazil have had substantial numbers of French immigrants and their descendants, and they surely use the accent aigu for the beverage and the drink when communicating in French. Such people would know about the beverage and the plant. The acute accent does not have the same significance in French as in Spanish.

The acute accent would be barbarous in Spanish or Portuguese prose, but it would be expected in French (where it isn't a real accent) and reasonable in English. Americans do not have a problem with the pronunciation of the Spanish e as in Laredo or even Tecate, let alone the barbarously-named Mission Viejo. Pbrower2a (talk) 18:46, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Page move from Yerba mate to Yerba maté???

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

That's not how you spell it. There are hardly any Google hits with this spelling (either Spanish or English). Is this an April fools joke? I don't find it very funny since the page move cannot be undone without admin assistance. I have requested undoing this move on WP:AN. Han-Kwang 10:28, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

The New Oxford American Dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary and the Columbia Encyclopedia all spell it yerba maté with an accent. You can check them all if you wish. This spelling is even stated in the Wikipedia article. Hey, I don't like it either. I speak Spanish natively and find it totally silly, but that's the way things are and our "duty" is to inform what's documented. If you move it back you would be making an unsourced claim. This is the English Wikipedia not the Spanish Wikipedia. —☆ CieloEstrellado 11:37, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Britannica, Random House, and Chambers all use maté. --SigPig |SEND - OVER 19:37, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Please discuss on talk page and wait for consensus before moving page. Thanks, -- Infrogmation 12:40, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Vote for Yerba maté (with the accent).
As far as I can tell, the meaning "Ilex beverage" for the word "mate" (without the accent) does not exist in English.
(without the accent)
(with the accent)
-- Writtenonsand 13:49, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
I am leaning towards leaving it at yerba mate. It looks to me like it is not accented in Spanish, where the term comes to English from. In English it is sometimes written with accent, and more commonly without. Why would it be written with an accent in English when such is not present in the original? Here in Louisiana, it is "mate" is pronounced with the accent on the first syllable; is the last emphasized in the UK or somewhere else? Otherwise, I'd hypothesize that "maté" in English is a simple mistake-- possibly influenced by "té", the Spanish word for tea (which has an accent to distinguish itself from the pronoun). In any case, IMO this needs a bit more looking in to. -- Infrogmation 14:33, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
The word is apparently naturalized in English, so we should use correct English usage in English Wikipedia, regardless of what's correct in modern Spanish. (I suspect that Spanish used to use the accent but that some spelling reform or other eliminated it in Spanish, leaving English with the older spelling. Cf. "Neanderthal": a correct spelling in modern English and formerly in German, but not in modern German.) -- Writtenonsand 23:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
neutral I wasn't aware of the spelling according to various reputable dictionaries. Given that, I no longer totally oppose the maté spelling, but even though "maté" is the official English spelling, the Spanish "mate" spelling is vastly more common in and that fact should be mentioned somewhere. The proposed version of the page was reading: Yerba maté (Spanish) or erva mate (Portuguese) is a... in the intro, which is obviously incorrect. Better would be:
  • (title change) Yerba maté (English), yerba mate (Spanish), or erva mate (Portugese) ... In English it is spelled as yerba maté, but in trade more often the original Spanish spelling is used.
  • (with old title) Yerba mate (Spanish), yerba maté (English), or erva mate (Portugese) ... In English it is spelled as yerba maté, but in trade more often the original Spanish spelling is used.
I don't want to get involved in a meaningless discussion about whether the most common or the dictionary spelling is used. Han-Kwang 15:58, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Your suggestions seem logical to me. :-) -- Writtenonsand 23:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
Leave it at yerba mate. Replying to Writtenonsand: the word has never been written maté in Spanish. The acute accent is used to mark stress, and the stress is on the first syllable. The é in English is only used to show that the e should be pronounced, same as in Pokémon, and similar to the use of the diaeresis in Tolkien's romanization of his fictional languages. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 00:20, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the info! But to repeat, English Wikipedia should use correct English usage, regardless of what's correct in modern Spanish, Japanese, Quenya, or Sindarin. :-) -- Writtenonsand 06:52, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
According to both Merriam Webster online, and Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language offline both spellings and both pronounciations are rigth. However, in the languages (Spanish, Portuguese and Guarani) of the people that drink the stuff maté does not make any sense. I strongly suggest to respect the original spelling. BTW, maté is the French word. Ejrrjs | What? 22:06, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC) and User:Ejrrjs says What? 17:51, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
M-W gives "mate" as a variant under "maté", but only one spelling for "yerba maté". I think your other argument is less relevant. The 500,000 people who live in The Hague call it Den Haag, but guess which is the main Wikipedia entry? Again, I'm fine with either spelling, as long as the article explains the spelling variants. Han-Kwang 22:17, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Yerba maté is neither a common spelling, nor the original spelling, then why use it? I strongly oppose to the moving. --Mariano(t/c) 13:31, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

It is irrelevant whether it is used with an accent in Spanish, this is the English Wikipedia. This page is being monopolised by Spanish speaking users who speak English as a second or third language and had no idea how the word was spelled in English. Come to your senses people! —☆ CieloEstrellado 19:14, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

It doesn't matter that this is the English Wikipedia. Writing it in English would not be correct spelling, regardless of what Wikipedia this is. The word is originally Spanish and thus must be written as it is written in said language. It would be idiotic to put something wrong just because dictionary-based bureaucracies demand it. In fact, writing it as it should be written would help people who don't know how it's spelled or pronounced to actually know how to say it. It would sound extremely awkward if somebody from an English speaking country just came to Argentina and asked for a drink of "maté". Needless to say, this English dictionary is wrong. As if it wasn't obvious enough, I think the best option is to leave it as Yerba Mate. Slartibartfast1992 03:09, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

1. "It doesn't matter that this is the English Wikipedia." Incorrect. Read WP:UE.
2. "The word is originally Spanish and thus must be written as it is written in said language." Incorrect. By that logic, all modern languages would have translate all their words back to whatever language they got them from. Languages absorb words and phrases from other languages (loanwords and calques) especially in the case of something new that they can't readily coin a word/phrase for, or when an existing non-English word/phrase is particularly à propos. In a lot of these cases, the word/phrase becomes integrated into the language, sometimes undergoing an "apropos" shift in pronunciation and/or spelling.
3. "It would be idiotic to put something wrong just because dictionary-based bureaucracies demand it." Incorrect. Please see WP:OR, WP:RS, WP:V.
4. "In fact, writing it as it should be written would help people who don't know how it's spelled or pronounced to actually know how to say it. It would sound extremely awkward if somebody from an English speaking country just came to Argentina and asked for a drink of 'maté'." What should they ask for? A drink of "mate" (rhyming with "fate", "date", "hate")? Again, it's adopted into English; and no offense, but Spanish orthographic/pronunciation rules (or any such rules from an original source language) are no longer relevant once the Anglos get their grubby long-a-silent-e paws on them. The only way to indicate to English-speakers that the final "e" is not silent is to include some diacritic -- either an acute accent or possibly a trema.
5. "Needless to say, this English dictionary is wrong." So 6 dictionaries of the English language and 2 respected encyclopedias are wrong? You'll forgive me if I do not take your word for it against these 8 others mentioned above. --SigPig |SEND - OVER 09:59, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I think the only relevant question is whether we choose the official spelling (maté) or the most common spelling in English context (mate). The Spanish spelling convention is not relevant. Han-Kwang 17:25, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

I would say we should follow the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names). --Mariano(t/c) 14:45, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
So to summarize the opinions so far:
  • Neutral: HanKwang
  • Maté (because correct English, per WP:UE): CieloEstrellado, SigPig, Writtenonsand
  • Mate (since maté is incorrect or not used in Spanish): Infrogmation, Pablo D. Flores, Slartibartfast1992 (I think these votes should not count)
  • Mate (more common and/or allowed per WP:NC(CN)): Errjs, Mariano
No consensus to change the status quo so far... Han-Kwang 15:25, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Maté WP:UE; the argument that this is original to English is reflected in the links elsewhere, and should be mentioned and explained in the article. But the claims that we should follow Spanish spelling makes no sense; should the Spanish WP be compelled to move es:Londres to London? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 19:54, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Not really, since otherwise I'd be asking for "Germany" to be moved to "Deutschland". "Londres" is the recognized Spanish version of "London" in all spoken and written environments; "maté" is one written variant of "mate" found, as I see it, mainly in commercial packaging, and motivated only by the need to mark the "é" as non-mute. English-speaking people won't commonly write "maté" with an accent, since they don't have easy access to it in typewritter or computer keyboards. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 20:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

All the major sources are agreed that the correct English spelling carries an acute accent. This article has been renamed from Yerba mate to Yerba maté as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis 19:23, 17 April 2007 (UTC) Excuse me, but there was no concensus whatsoever to move the page, why did you move it and closed the discussion??? BTW, All mejor sources recognice Yerba mate as the most common spelling. --Mariano(t/c) 19:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC) Hypercorrection. User:Ejrrjs says What? 22:28, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Not only was the page moved without consensus, now any comment on the moving is happily ignored. I really feel like reverting the unjustified move. --Mariano(t/c) 18:50, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Agree; I will move back. Improper close of ongoing discussion, unilateral move, and questionable statement that some votes by editors in good standing "should not count". I am perfectly willing to see the article at either title if there is consensus, but clearly there was not for the move made. -- Infrogmation 02:05, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The "questionable" statement was clearly stated as being my opinion. I understand that you don't like it because it applies to your vote, but I don't think the correctness of maté in English is disputed anymore. The question is, again, whether common usage or academically correct should be reflected. Like articles on The Hague (Den Haag), Germany (Deutschland), Netherlands (Nederland), tea (tê, chá), yoghurt (yoğurt), and so on, the spelling in the language the word comes from is not relevant in itself on English Wikipedia. Regarding the {{fact}} tag on "common usage" in the current version: I base it on googling for English pages containing either spelling: [1]. Among the first 100 hits, there are 11 with the spelling maté, of which the first one was the moved wikipedia article. There are about 6 more in the next 200 hits. Han-Kwang 09:55, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

From a latecomer, some thoughts:

The motivation for use of the "é" rather than a plain "e" appears to be due to a perception that without the indicator, typical English speakers would pronounce the term improperly - ie. in a way which is uncommon, (!) or in a way which conforms to the way "mate" is pronounced in another context. There is plenty of variance in the way English vowels are pronounced, with British and American pronunciation providing some intrinsic (but not official) guidance. The term "Yerba mate" is from Spanish and Quechua (nice explanation here). The word "yerba" itself is spelled in a way which is inconsistent with most Spanish usage (see Y#Spanish) and appears to be borrowed spelling from English usage. Genuine native language purists could argue that it should be spelled hierba mate rather than yerba mate. But English spelling conventions don't conform to Spanish rules. Nor do they conform to English "authorities". Spelling is a convention based on custom. There is little chance that someone who is familiar with the term will pronounce it incorrectly. So what are those who want the accented spelling complaining about? There is in fact a convention in English which dismisses the usage of accents and other non-standard characters in favor of plain spelling. What is lost in precise pronunciation is made up for in ease of spelling - hence more consistent spelling. The major influence for the use of accents in English appears to come by way of French, not Spanish. In either case, the acceptance of the "native" spelling is largely dealt with by the simplest-spelling rule. Anything else is a matter of taste - for which all argument is practically pointless.

As to the spelling of "yerba," it is completely consistent with the Spanish usage among the people who consume it in the rioplatense area of South America. The word may well be etymologically derived from the word "hierba," originally a dialectal variation of it, but I doubt that any native speakers of the region even think of a connection between the two words. They are both used with mutually exclusive meanings. Yerba is yerba /ʒerβa/ and hierba is hierba /jerβa/ (herb). The spelling "yerba" comes directly from the local Spanish, not from any anglicisation of "hierba." The introductory sentence "The leaves, popularly called "herb" (Spanish: yerba, Portuguese: erva)" needs to be changed or deleted, as the Spanish really does not mean "herb," but specifically refers to yerba mate. When they want to say "herb" they use the word "hierba." I challenge anyone who speaks Spanish with people from the region to replace one term with the other, and then see how people react. They will either be confused or correct you. Cospelero (talk)

In addition, I don't think the accent helps pronunciation at all - in fact I think its more confusing because the accent in English is used largely to indicate stress and intonation, not the proper vowel sound - "ma-te" is neither pronounced as "MA-te" nor as "ma-TE", but the accent on the e would suggest the latter. Compare with "máte" 0- which seems to indicates a sound closer to the proper one. The point of diacritics is to be of help - it doesnt serve its apparent intended purpose here. This is to say nothing of the problem of inconsistency accross languages as to the usage of diacritics - they are special to the language and often not transferable. (This is not the only case where Frenchies seem to want to assert Frenchified spelling - Talk:Langues d'oïl).

The other motivation is claimed consistency with defacto language authorities like Oxford's. Because spelling is largely a matter of convention - or choices between conventions - Wikipedia defers to our own policy - not to Oxford's. -Stevertigo 21:06, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

It says here on my box of the stuff "Yerba Maté"; but I bought it at a health food store and it's probably not definitive. (Midwestern United States health food stores tend to have less-than-accurate nomenclature). On the other hand, the people at the store (and everyone I know)pronounce it MAH-te which is definitely not accurately represented by transcribing it Maté. Since the majority of self-proclaimed Argentinians and Uruguayans commenting here are saying "mate" and it's not pronounced with the accent, I'd say stick with mate. CredoFromStart talk 19:19, 18 May 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it is pronounced MA-te which would make maté inaccurate. Besides, if a label at a health store says maté, it's probably incorrect (we can't cite labels lol). So I know mate (no "é") is correct. In the case of people who say it should be written as in English, this is just one of those words that hasn't been around that long in English as to have an English word for it. Stick with the Spanish version. Slartibartfast1992 01:30, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Why not use "Ilex paraguariensis"? Dantadd 22:17, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
Nobody just talks to you while having tea and says "Hey, want a cup of Ilex Paraguariensis juice (mate)?" or "Did you fetch the Ilex Paraguariensis?". It would be completely awkward to use a scientific term in place of the name commonly used by people. Slartibartfast1992 22:26, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep the title Yerba Mate. "Maté" is an appropriate variant in French for many reasons, but not in English. As for the widespread and incorrect usage among English speakers, make a redirection page from Yerba Maté. --Targeman 14:07, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Keep. Maté is inappropriate also in French. It is a wrong solution to the pronunciation problem. I am quite unpleasantly surprised that this obviously bogus dispute even made its way to the page itself. elpincha 19:57, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • The heavy-hitting references like the dictionaries have it as Maté though. Therefore putting it without the accent is WP:OR. I'm not sure I agree with it, but they're the experts and the wikipedia cannot and should not go its own way on these things.WolfKeeper 20:32, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Maté isn't a Spanish term; it's an English word

The article says

In English-speaking countries, the spelling used is yerba maté (with an accented é)[four cites]—where the acute accent indicates that the e is not silent, and thus that the word should not be pronounced as the English word mate.

and yet every non-Italicized usage of the word is unaccented and the article is mistitled.

As posters have already pointed out, the OED, Random House, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage all have maté as the correct English spelling, and this despite the tendency (especially in America and especially with ALT codes annoying to come by) to disaccent any word that can stand it. The Columbia Electronic Encylopedia and Encyclopedia Britannica also use the accent. Although the standard English spelling may change in the future, it hasn't yet, and the Latin American posters correcting English spelling based on their personal experiences in (Rioplatense- & Portuguese-speaking) Latin America are (although in perfectly good faith) simply in error.

Insulting the Oxford scholars above is an extreme example of avoiding NPOV, but illustrative; albeit those scholars do use British English, their English should be understood by the poster to be more correct and common for England than his own. Similarly the American English dictionaries, &c. WP:Competence.

If mate were a modern borrowing and unlisted in any English dictionaries, it'd be different; but it is listed and accented é simply has a different effect in English words than it does in Spanish or Portuguese. Similarly, given its presence and usage in English, italicizing every instance is silly. I appreciate that the Uruguayan and Argentine posters are active on this page and more interested in a subject closer to their culture, but consensus really doesn't apply (WP: Democracy) when you're disregarding all authorities on a subject and not using English. The confusion with Spanish "I kill" is amusing but aside the point, since this isn't the Spanish wiki.

So far, the only probative argument against the maté spelling is the googling of current internet usage performed by Han-Kwang above, but it represents WP:OR and is far outweighed by the unanimous voice of the dictionaries and other encyclopedias. (Additionally, his search applies only to online usage and did not exclude pages based on this one or pages treating mate as a foreign Spanish word without reference to its native English usage.)

All English usage in the article should have the accented é; all italicized references to the Spanish origin of the word should not. The contradiction of pointing out English usage and not following it should've been clear before now, but regardless it's really that simple. Edits will follow shortly, and hopefully people will read through the discussion and relevant policies before inducing a revert war, prior to the dictionaries changing their spellings of the word. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, current IPA pronunciation is off. My IPA is quite poor, but English "mah-tey" / "ˈmä-ˌtā" should be something like [mɒtei] and not the Spanish pronunciation currently listed. In fact, there are several alternate pronunciations. The Spanish [mate] should be included as an example of how the word is spoken in the region where it is cultivated and mostly consumed, but shouldn't be the lead-off on the article. -LlywelynII (talk) 09:53, 27 September 2008 (UTC)


Part of the revision history of this page is at (the incorrectly capitalized) Yerba Mate [2]. --Koyaanis Qatsi 13:15 Jan 18, 2003 (UTC)

Please add new topics and questions at the end of this page. Unless you're replying to someone, start new discussions in a new section. -Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 11:09, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Maté - Café

Many English words come from French and not Spanish. So café and cafe - I think most English speakers would say them the same and recognize them as so in context. I guess they would do so for maté and mate too. Just because there are a lot of Spanish speakers here, doesn't mean that we have to look at a Spanish origin. WE should also look at a French etymological path. In which case maté fits with café, outré and blasé very well. There do not seem to be good arguments why we should look to a Spanish etymological path which would be inconsistent with this French pattern. If anyone knows please give them.

The article on maté or mate as it now should probably be consistent with this one - it is not as of now:

[3] - can an editor fix them. I am sorry to say they will both need locking due to the intransigence and unreasonableness of many readers of wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:49, 7 June 2011 (UTC)


As KQ points out, all of the claims that mate is caffeine-free come from unreliable sources. The reference to the Florida study I found in a quote from Dr. Andrew Weil, who is about as far from a skeptic about such things as one can be and still get the M.D. If he doesn't buy the claims, then there's certainly no credibility to them, because he believes lots of "herbal/alternative medicine" things there's very little evidence for. - Lee Daniel Crocker

How about people with first-hand experience? Would that be a reliable source? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:22, 13 March 2008 (UTC)
No. Aside from the obvious problem with primary sources, people with "first-hand experience" could be duping themselves. This is Wikipedia, not Erowid. --tc2011 (talk) 22:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Or Lycæum, for that matter. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Dr. Theodore Peckholt, writing for the American Journal of Pharmacy, cites that

In 1843, Stenhouse found in mate an alkaloid and proved that it was, identical with caffeine.

so - with due allowance for 19th c. scientific muck-ups - it's been known that maté does contain caffeine for over 150 years. -LlywelynII (talk) 17:01, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

It's been stated in several places on the web that Mateine is a stereo-isomer of Caffeine. Caffeine isn't stereo-isotopic. Simply put, Yerba Mate does contain caffeine. If you doubt this, ask anyone studying Pre-Med, or better still, ask an organic chemist at any university if Caffeine is stereo-isotopic, and you'll get an emphatic "NO". If you are trying to quit Caffeine, Yerba Mate is not an option. If you are looking for an alternative to coffee, you may find Yerba Mate beneficial. Hope this helps. - Edward D.

I have to take issue with the notion that mate drinkers are duped by a placebo effect into thinking that the herb doesn't contain caffeina. I lack the creds to make a scientific case, but as a person who drinks mate all day, every day, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the effects are far, far different from coffee or tea: mate is not such an awful diuretic, nor does it keep me awake at night, nor make me jittery and impatient in a stressful workplace. Scoff all you want, but SOMETHING is different. It is patronizing to tell me that something lacking scientific proof just can't be when I know empirically that it is. It does no one justice to dissuade potential users from a substance that they might otherwise find as useful as I have. Also, "If you are trying to quit coffee, mate is not an option" is a silly statement, unless you know WHY that person wants to quit drinking coffee. In my case, I quit because coffee makes me nervous; mate does not. In my case mate was "an option" (viz. supra). If you need to quit because of some medical reason (women are often told to give up caffeine because of tumors, for example) the statement may or may not be true. If you want to ask a pre-med student (as suggested above) why not ask an Argentine pre-med student if s/he could possibly study without mate. Good science is never so dogmatic. -Ken D.
A typical intake of mate does contain caffeine, my mate, but far less so than either espresso, "black" coffee, or instant coffee. Maybe on a level with green tea. Doesn't it explain it all? Also, I never heard any serious person refer seriously to the stereoisomer issue (even though I did hear from medicinal chemists that if such an isomer existed, it could have properties far removed from those of caffeine... which is entirely speculative). -elpincha 21:48, 27 December 2005 (UTC)
With all due respect to the steroisomer discussion, which looks like it isn't due much, what's more interesting is that in addition to caffeine/mateine mate contains theobromine (an alkaloid found in chocolate whcih is supposed to contribute to its supposed euphoric effect,) and theophylline, which, like caffeine, is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor but has different pharmacology. Maybe we could shift our interest to these other compounds of known psychoactivity. -Nick N.

Regarding the mateine/caffeine confusion, I have often been quoted as the source for that mistake. The original article that contained that informaiton was first produced as a draft that was supposed to have been validated before publication. Unfortunately, it was published by a distributor of yerba mate in a pamphlet before I was able to verify the veracity Dr. Martin's statement (I have his quote in a letter, so his denial of that quote is in error). My first guess as to what would differentiate mateine from caffeine was that they must be stereoisomers; I have repeatedly rescinded that opinion once I learned of the impossiblity of this arrangement. It was meant to be a minor point in my monograph, one that would have been immediately discarded if it had not been prematurely published for all the world to see (which popularity, by the way, I find outrageous).

Having admitted my chemical error, however, I am more convinced today than ever, that the physiological and nutritional activity of mate is very different than those provided by coffee, gurana and kola nut. The healthful benefits of mate far outweigh any activity traceable to caffeine alone, and may, as I originally implied, be related to the particular constellation of xanthines and other nutrients found in mate.

Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 19:58, May 11, 2006 (UTC)

Brewing Time and Caffeine Content

It states in this article:

However, the net amount of caffeine in one preparation of yerba mate is typically quite high, in large part because the repeated filling of the mate with hot water is able to extract the highly-soluble xanthines extremely effectively. It is for this reason that one mate may be shared among several people and yet produce the desired stimulating effect in all of them.

But, according to my understanding, the high water solubility of caffeine (and other xanthines, I suppose) means that extended and repeated brewing does little to extract additional caffeine. Upton Tea Import's information on decaffeinated tea says the following:

Decaffeinating Your Own Tea

Caffeine is highly water soluble, and nearly 80% of the total caffeine content of the tea leaves will be extracted within the first 30 seconds of steeping. If you wish to "decaffeinate" your own tea, the process is simple. Pour boiling water over the tea leaves, and allow a maximum of a 30 second rinse. Empty this water off, and pour fresh boiling water over the rinsed leaves to brew for the prescribed time.

Although this was about tea, not yerba mate, I think we can assuming all plant materials lose their caffeine roughly equivalently... It sounds to me like the article's statement cannot be true -- either the xanthines are highly soluble and repeated filling & brewing extracts very little additional, or they are not highly soluble and repeated filling & brewing extracts significant additional amounts. --Madprime 01:57, 1 January 2006 (UTC) never drink mate with boiling water :-) OTOH the very first serving tastes awful, so it is customary to spit it out or, if you are in a more distinguished company, to be drank by the cebador, so the first mate is never passed around. It is said that tannin is responsible for the initial taste, but I have no sources but folklore. -User:Ejrrjs says What? 10:53, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


Speaking as a decidedly non-expert, anglo-North American, I thought the consenus was that sugar should not be added. I have drunk maté for several years, but I have never used sugar myself. Also, might not the traditional ritual of passing the the gourd be mentioned? I always felt it was an interesting aspect of the whole thing. Silly, I suppose... -Sjfloat 14:57 26 May 2003 (UTC)

Mate can take sugar. At least in Argentina, where I live, many people prefer to add sugar to it and it's known as "mate dulce" (sweet mate). Pilaf 03:39, 7 Jan 2004 (UTC)
Here in Brazil, however, adding sugar to Mate is almost a blasphemy... ---k
It's also bad practice in Argentina. Usually for children, when they are still not used to the bitter taste. -Mariano 07:17, 2005 Jun 20 (UTC)
There seems to be some regional variation as well; in central Argentina I (another U.S. mate drinker) have often been served it "dulce", while friends in Buenos Aires (who almost universally drink it unsweetened) converted me to "amargo" afterwards. --c
True. In Santiago del Estero and sorrounding provinces the "mate dulce" is more popular than "amargo". -Lacrymology 11:15, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
More anecdotal evidence: My mother drinks it sweetened (albeit with artificial sweetener, but whatever), but my dad drinks it amargo. I have always been taught that my mom's version is unorthodox. -Stale Fries taste better 05:32, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Above, someone says that adding sugar to mate is "bad practice" in Argentina. This is false. It is true that in the capital, Buenos Aires, mate is generally taken straight, but in the interior of the country (Córdoba, for example) it is common to add sugar and "yuyitos" (herbs) for medicinal and flavor effect. The author of the comment above is probably a "porteño" (resident of Buenos Aires). -glasperlenspiel 06:59, August 21, 2005 (UTC)
In Uruguay sugared and/or spiced mate is considered something an old woman would drink. For us, mate should be drinked hot and without additives. 17:35, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Tea or tisane

Minor terminology question... should we refer to Tea or Tisane/Herbal tea? - Logotu

I guess that all three are correct, and infusion too. However, probably tea is misleading, as it refers more specifically to an infusion made from Camellia sinensis or its relatives within the Theaceae family. It should be noted that infusions are the primaty method of administering most medicinal herbs. Regards, --AVM 13:31, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


Doesn't anyone have a picture of the plant?

Why was the picture removed? I didn't think it was off topic at all. -Theanthrope 17:57, 2 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yeah same for me and the new pictures is very small Chmouel Boudjnah 23:30, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I thought it was an extremely ugly, amateurish photo. We can do better than that. -Viajero 12:13, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)


Have converted this to my best reckoning, /jE@b{ ma:teI/. The replaced entry claimed it was pronounced /jE@bVh m{hteI/, which seems highly improbable

Shouldn't we defer to a native speaker for this? "Improbable" seems a poor reason to change the stated pronunciation of a spanish word. WormRunner | Talk 00:53, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Agreed we need a fluent Spanish speaker. I'm far from perfect, but do know enough to know the claimed pronunciation that I took out was hopelessly wrong; it was actually preposterous in any language, not just Spanish. - MPF 17:51, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I used to drink the stuff and knew a fellow who had been in Paraguay for some time, who pronounced it "MAH-tay". The word means "death" (matar=to kill) and the pronunciation is standard phonetic Spanish. The word "yerba" I see only on packages of the stuff, though it may be a common part of the name in parts of Mexico and Argentina where the stuff is also popular. I don't know how to read the SAMPA pronunciations, so I can't tell whether they are right or not. -UninvitedCompany 17:58, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
With that aspiration at the end of the first syllable?? Cr*p! Makes it sound like a sort of bronchitic wheeze, not a proper word. Trying to say that would give me a bad sore throat, and doesn't sound like any Spanish I've ever heard.
To read the SAMPA, check on the SAMPA page linked, they're quite straightforward. - MPF 18:31, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The stress is definitely on the first syllable, "MA-te". I'm more familiar with IPA than SAMPA, but I would render it as /ma:'tE/. I'm a native speaker. Spanish was my first language, though I've lost some living in the US. My father is Argentine and I grew up drinking that stuff. I've heard my senile grandfather in Buenos Aires yell at my grandmother "hace mate!" until it seemed like the only thing he could say. That is to say, I'm familiar with the word. The word mate is the same as the first, second, and third person singular conjunctive conjugation of the verb "matar" but it doesn't *mean* the same thing. Theanthrope 18:35, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Thanks Theanthrope; would you like to edit the main article accordingly? - be good to have it done properly, so it isn't "maHutay" the way it was before - MPF 18:45, 31 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Hi. in Argentina the pronounciation would be closer to SHAIR-ba MAH-tay. In Argentina y and ll are (usually) pronounced as english sh or the s in pleasure, it is called yeísmo
That "sh" sound is only for a Rioplantense accent, as the article says. Otherwise, that is an accurate pronunciation. Stale Fries taste better 05:41, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

When I went to Rio de Janeiro the pronunciation I heard was more like "match", with an "ah" sound rhyming with "watch". Occasionally I heard the "e" on the end like the brand "Matte Leão" sounded like "motch-uh leeown". Has anyone else heard this pronunciation or is this maybe a regional pronunciation for Rio? (Corby (talk) 07:28, 24 December 2009 (UTC))

Why should the Spanish or Portuguese translations be of any relevance for the pronunciation if they aren't for the spelling? In English it is pronounced ma-TAY, because of the accent.-- (talk) 01:43, 23 February 2010 (UTC)


I'm kind of doubtful of this new section. I've had mate for years, and I've never seen cobras, nor has my father seen spiders, nor my grandmother dancing demons. Theanthrope 22:01, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)

OK, so what have you seen? --Jerome Potts 18:36, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

increased focus is a form of hallucination — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Death by bombilla?

Some years back, I read a story about a South American politican who was killed while drinking a mate and driving. Supposedly, he hit a bump, and the bombilla was driven up through his soft palate and into his brain. Now I can't find the story anywhere. I've Googled any number of terms to no success. Does this ring a bell for anyone? - 18:34, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

It doesn't ring a bell, an probably doesn't belong in the article, but it does provide a good moral: Don't drink and drive :) Theanthrope 18:41, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I was told by an Israeli doctor who was serving as a latin american Ambassador that this type of injury was common in Uruguay; the bombilla would penetrate into their mouth during a car accident. I disbelieved and chuckled, but he informed me that it was common and serious (Jon Esslinger). 03:14, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Exactly; many buses here (Uruguay) have, among the warnings of not descending while the bus is moving and such, the warning that you should not drink mate on the bus. A sudden stop will cause the bombilla to hurt your mouth. The warning is disregarded with impunity, and bus drivers let Darwin enforce it. 17:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)


I just searched Pub Med for Yerba Mate found an article stating that "Ardisia and mate teas may thus share a public health potential as chemopreventive agents" So not Sure I buy the carcinogen bit.. Here's a link to the Abstract..

My understanding was that the higher risk of esophageal cancer was related to drinking scalding-hot beverages, regardless of whether it's yerba mate or tea or coffee? (sorry, can't find a cite right now) -- Logotu 16:22, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Please note that in order to have a decent mate water should not boil ; otherwise the yerba becomes "washed" (mate lavado). The appropriate temperature is around 70 ºC. Ejrrjs | What? 21:40, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Regardless, studies of heavy consumers of maté have shown a higher incidence of esophageal cancer. These were native Uruguayans who were presumably not mishandling their maté, but the cancer risk might have been related to the heat of their drink, since none of them consumed it cold in tereré style. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
When people mention the drying method makes mate carcinogenic. Are they referring to the smoked/roasted variety as being carcinogenic, or is the natural 'green' variety also carcinogenic?. In other words ss the carcinogenic potential still present in the green variety as it is the roasted variety? In other words Is it safer to drink the green variety? Can someone who is an expert clarify this in the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:46, 6 April 2011 (UTC)


ejrrjs- Maté contains caffeine; furthermore, it is used as a stimulant like coffee, tea, coca tea, and so on. That clearly puts it into the Herbal & fungal drugs/medicines category. People don't just drink it for the taste, (although it is delicious!); they drink it for its other properties as well. my assumption is that you are reacting the negative connotation of "drug", which is understandable, but the category is "herbal and fungal drugs/medicines", which range from chamomile tea to coffee to ayahuasca/jage. the category is pretty heavy right now on the "drugs" with less of the "medicines", but this is temporary; healing poultices, psychoactives, and mild stimulants all have places there, as do st john's wort and a million other things. I've put maté back into the category, for all of the above reasons.Heah 17:56, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the fact they are looking at the negative connatation of 'drug' its herbal/medicinal and as we all know most drugs and many that are effective derive from plants etc. Does any body know if this has any effect on weight loss ? as this is also a stimulant. It is definately herbal/medicinal. Another one that should be added with st. john's wort is Gention Violets, works wonders. ( 10:31, 5 July 2007 (UTC)) 5th July 2007

Drinking mate

I subdivided the Drinking mate section. It might be a bit overdivided now, but I felt the original was way too long, and less subdivition was unconsistent. I also added some paragraphs to that section that I would like to have revised for style--Lacrymology 08:18:14, 2005-08-04 (UTC)

I recently got a gourd and mate as a present and I tried to find out how I'm supposed to drink it exactly. To be honest, the description in this section is incomprehensible to me. Descriptive words such as 'slope', 'mound', 'flat top', 'side-to-side' (can mean two things when the gourd isn't upright) are quite ambiguous. This problem is unfortunately shared by other web sites on mate drinking (I even had a Brazilian colleague check out Portuguese sites for me). A picture would say more than a thousand words here. Is there any experienced mate drinker with a digital camera? -Han-Kwang 12:01, 25 May 2006 (UTC)
Hum, I'll give it a try, but I have to warn you; my method has always been criticized. After all, in the worse case the you will have to change the yerba more often than if done properly. It won't taste any different if you just put the herbs, the straw, and pour the water. (If you quote me on this I will definitely deny the accusations) Mariano(t/c) 12:13, 25 May 2006 (UTC) 17:35, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Students & Mate

This article is truly great; as an argentinian I´m amazed that such a complete essay on mate could appear on Wikipedia :). However, I have one minor correction:

"University students in South America have reported to be unable to study unless they are drinking mate, and furthermore, that studying is sometimes just an excuse for drinking it."

I find this very doubtful. Unless some scientific/statistic evidence is provided, I w/uld regard this as hearsay. I´m a student at university and I´ve never seen people "unable to study" unless they have mate. It is the practical equivalent of someone not being able to study without coffee, which is a sign of addictive behaviour. Not common at all from my experience. But again, someone correct me if there´s any scientific evidence of this (a poll of some sorts). -unsigned

I'd say that's correct of you to point this out. The problem, of course, is that I don't expect anything about mate to be very well sourced. I've known many people who found it difficult to study at night without drinking either coffee or mate, but "being unable to study without mate" is an exaggeration. The usual thing is: one student says to the rest, "I'm bored and I'm getting asleep. Why don't you make some mate?". Some other says "OK", heats the water and everybody takes a little break, and then the mate is passed around while the studying continues. Nothing terribly ritualistic or addict-like. --Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 21:54, 27 August 2005 (UTC)


I can't find any information on drinking mate while pregnant on this page. Do pregnant women avoid drinking mate in South American countries? There are many many cautions against it on the web but I can't tell if it's commercial CYA (mainly from using it as a supplement), allopathic misinformation and alarmism or based on the shared experience of traditional societies or longstanding tradition. Also info about possible risks (if any) to nursing mothers and their infants would be helpful. Thanks.

I'm afraid that Wikipedia is not the best place to get medical advise, and I'm not qualified either, so I will not try to answer.
On a lighter side, let me say this: for want of yerba some women DID get pregnant. Ejrrjs | What? 06:32, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

I found this, for what is worth: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Mate vs Yerba mate

This article is too long. I am wondering if we should leve the shrub alone and move the drink and drinking issues to Mate (beverage). Ejrrjs | What? 06:37, 14 October 2005 (UTC)

Belatedly reading this... Yes, I'd like to have that too. Simply put, people don't drink yerba mate, they drink mate. The infusion and the culture around it is one thing, and the plant species is a different thing. Helps with the size, too. --Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 16:00, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree --El Chemaniaco 17:36, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Pretty much like Tango music and Tango (dance), Mate and Yerba mate should be two different articles. Mariano(t/c) 07:12, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
'Tis done. There is still some content in this article that might be moved to Mate (beverage) or partially shared. I think this one should additionally mention chimarrão and tereré in a more prominent place. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 11:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Nice job, Pablo. I will work on Mate (beverage), to bear more in mind chimarrão amd tereré as I said in this discussion page, in "Brazil" topic; also add some links to it as well as to Mate (disambiguation page). --El Chemaniaco 16:25, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Maté-Drinker Userbox

I have just created User:UBX/mate for use in babel on user pages. --WAvegetarian (talk) (email) (contribs) 08:56, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Minor point

Since in Spanish the noun always precedes the adjective, the literal translation for "yerba mate" would not be "herb cup" but "cup herb", which would probably make more sense anyway.

So I fixed it. -unsigned

It doesn't always, but yes, in this case it probably means something like "the drinking cup herb" or "the herb used in the drinking cup." -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia Trivia?

Wikipedesketch1.png Is the Wikipede holding a mate? -- Logotu 18:12, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but the bombilla is pointing the wrong way, unless it is passing the mate over to somebody else. User:Ejrrjs says What? 19:30, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Which would be appropriate and friendly, no? -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


If my memory serves me correctly, mate was originaly drunk among cowboys and/or labourers coming from Uruguay? to work in Argentina. It has long been associated with th gaucho culture (which would explain why the gourds are traditionaly made from bull scrotums). This should be included in the article, no? - Sfacets 04:04, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

  • It was discovered by guaraníes before Spaniards came
  • It was developed by Jesuits
  • There was no cattle (or bombillas, for that matter) before the european brought them
  • Guacho is a "bad word".
  • yes, some gourds are covered (not made from) by calves skin and it is a typical Uruguayan craft. A `photo would be nice. - User:Ejrrjs says What? 07:02, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I wrote Gaucho, not guacho ;) ... gauchos still hold an important part in the culture of mate, spreading the custom from place to place as they travelled with their herds. There are many gourds made from leather, and this is not reserved to Uruguyan craft, but is also present in many s. american countries. -Sfacets 09:16, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
It would be nice to get more history of the use and consumption of the plant. Particularly, the expulsion of the Jesuits and the almost complete isolation of Paraguay seem to make its continued popularity and spread the more remarkable; it'd be nice to see why and how maté and guarana have been successful in Brazil. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


It would also be nice to get a map of the zone of cultivation of the yerba maté. There are some on the internet but I'm not sure about copyright issues for the ones available in English, which are on commercial websites. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


I find that the article almost exclude Brazilian mate drinking - which is exatly the same, but, for example, with different names. I added a link to Chimarrão a page that is exaclty the opposite: deliberatly ignores Argentine/Uruguayan/Paraguayan mate. I am suggesting to make this page reasonably regard all national versions, adding for example Brazilian name of bomba along with bombilla, and then even delete the other. I will soon start any corrections I find necessary, and any help is wanted. -El Chemaniaco 17:33, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Un-funny edit" makes a point

A recent edit by an anonymous user changing "friends" into "mates" underlines why it would be a good idea to include a pronunciation guide... thoughts? Sfacets 10:55, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm... there's a whole paragraph devoted to explaining the pronunciation of yerba mate. It's IPA, of course, as per WP:PRON, which also states that pronunciation transcriptions based on traditional English spelling are discouraged. The article explicitly mentions that the original language is Spanish, so that the reader will be less tempted to read the word mate as if it were English. —Pablo D. Flores (Talk) 13:54, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
It is a very good point. See above for discussion of maté as the correct and standard English spelling at the current time and why this article should use it. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:21, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Identical text to

I don't know whether this article plagiarizes The Tao of Tea or vice versa, but some of the text in this article matches word for word. For example, the section starting "From reports of personal experience with mate ..." and continuing through "... and a stimulating effect on myocardial (heart) tissue" is identical in both pages. No attribution is given on either page to cite the other.

Part of the benefit of open source information, innit? Although obviously, if it's the other way around, Tao of Tea could come by and make the appropriate edits to avoid violating their copyright. Not that most of the text isn't general information, though. -LlywelynII (talk) 12:45, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

On Sweetening and Argentine maté consumption

Well as a person who spent his early life among old mate drinkers,I simply desire to point put that the now very extended habit of sweetening the mate with sugar has a similar story to that of cofee. Although I d hardly call myself an expert it is well known that seasoned drinkers point out that the sugar would actually kill the flavor of a quality made coffee,so it happens with Mate. Also,mate in Buenos Aires only became popular again not too many years ago (say perhaps 7 or 9),causing unexperienced people(mainly youngsters and teens) who not only lacked the knowledge of how to properly heat the water but were also rather unaccostumed to the sour and acid flavour of mate.In the end they "covered" the flavor with sugar. I still remember back in secondary on an outing with people from the school,they had brought termos and yerba to make mate,not only did they boil the water and added too much sugar but they also didnt know when the yerba got "lavada" ("washed",that is,it means it has lost flavor and the mate has to be cleansed and refilled).The same situation has happened and still happens a lot to me. Now why would I tell you a little boring tale from my teenhood?I found out many anglo-americans&brits (and even other european people) have "learned" or "met" mate through people such as the ones I mentioned,and so carry a misconception of how this concoction is properly fashioned.

On a final note,I noticed at the initial part of the article saying the waters is boiled and then mixed with fresh/cold water to get the right temperature. I could be wrong,but far as experience tells me (and believe me,I drink a lot) this is done as a "fix" when the water has boiled and one doesnt wants to go over the whole process of refilling and heating the kettle again. At least from what I've seen the proper temperature is at "primer herbor" ("first boil"),roughly a short fraction of time before the water starts boiling. I don t feel yet with the intellectual authority to modify this article so I ask of you to ponder this post.

ºP.S.:This has probably been said before but there are some differences in the way wich argentines in general (although the "litoraleños",for obvious geographical and cultural reasons do it in a very similar fashion to the neighboruing countries) prepare and even produce the mate in comparison to uruguayans and paraguayans(brazilians as well I suppose) Paraguayans are known to add and/or mix it with Tererè Uruguayans produce the yerba in a different way,rhe resulting product being a somewhat more grinded variation - El Gostro 05:17, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

On your comment that "mate in Buenos Aires only became popular again not too many years ago (say perhaps 7 or 9)", I couldn't disagree more. Drinking mate is a very old costum all over Argentina, also in Buenos Aires. Secondly, this article is about the Yerba itself. For the drink, see Mate (beverage). Mariano(t/c) 08:16, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
Ooops!My apologies.
And on the fact that it is an old custom I agree and that is why I cited "in Buenos Aires",back in the nineties most of the kids got into mate as a novelty,a thing that usually happens to groups attempting to revive or adapt to old customs.
In any event should I move this post to the proper talk page? -El Gostro 21:08, 18 October 2006 (UTC)
I don't think there was a rupture between the drinking costum of out parents and ours, that's why I said it didn't "only became popular again"; it never stopped being. You can try the raising the curing the mate topic for the mate (beverage) article. - Mariano(t/c) 07:41, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Conservation issues?

Although the conservation box lists yerba mate as being near threatened, there is no mention of conservation issues or threats in the article. Does anyone know anything about this? Is it overharvested in the wild? Does the near threatened apply only to wild populations, or does it include cultivated plants? ThanksJustinleif 20:41, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The only source discussing it I've seen is a site on the internet; but apparently the seeds of the yerba maté are only viable for a brief window after fertilization and can't be banked for longer than a year, the plant has a long germination, and the weakening of the genetic variance and resistance to diseases from forest loss all combine to put it at a slight risk. -LlywelynII (talk) 16:12, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


I reverted this addition:

Though apparantly not proven, it is possible, through three of the stereoactive nitrogen centers for caffeine to have up to 8 stereoisomers, much as in the simple case of ephedrine and pseudoephidrine [4]

The reference actually explains:

... However, pyramidal nitrogen is normally not configurationally stable. It rapidly inverts its configuration (equilibrium arrows) [...] In any event, nitrogen groups such as this, if present in a compound, do not contribute to isolable stereoisomers.

- Han-Kwang (t) 15:29, 26 August 2007 (UTC)


Last I checked "synergize" was not a bio-chemical reaction, I think this should be changed to something more precise (and has an actual meaning outside the marketing world, where it still doesn't really have a meaning). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Synergy has meaning:
  • Main Entry: syn·er·gy Pronunciation: 'si-n&r-jE Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural -gies Etymology: New Latin synergia, from Greek synergos working together
  • 1 : SYNERGISM; broadly : combined action or operation
  • 2 : a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements (as resources or efforts)
synergyze seems to be a marketting term, from the many web sites that use the term. - Jclerman 14:23, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Effects of combining caffeine & theobromine

The current article reads:

"Mate contains both caffeine and theobromine (which antagonize adenosine receptors) and reduces the body production of adenosine in the blood (prolongs half life of ATP, ADP, and AMP). These two processes will synergize to provide a much cleaner stimulation than a simple dose of caffeine (only blocking adenosine receptors)."

What does "cleaner stimulation" mean? Is the stimulation more effective? Does the stimulation not cause as much jitteriness/jumpiness/twitchiness/whatever you want to call it? —a thing 20:53, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Yerba Mate in pill form

I've been looking around online for potential downsides of Mate in pill form(specific), but I can't seem to find anything. The reason for this is due to my belief that in tea form the Mate would get absorbed much faster into the body (blood vessels in the mouth and being a liquid). So I'm thinking this might be a increased affect on oral cancer and neck cancer and the list. Absorption rates and potential intestinal problems is what is on my mind should solid Mate enter the body.- Trancor (talk) 02:17, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Wiley source below suggests that current cancer risks related to maté might arise from (1) the consumption of hot fluids, particularly via straws & in conjunction with consumption of cigarettes and red meat; (2) contaminants added during the current roasting process; and (3) certain chemicals within the maté itself. Pills would skip the first, but only avoid the second if they were originally processed from raw maté leaves. The third could still be an issue. -LlywelynII (talk) 16:48, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


The article could use some discussion of the common adulterants: Ilex dumosa var. guaranina, I. brevicuspis, I. theezans, I. affinis, I. cognata, I. microdonta, I. pseudobuxus, I. brasiliensis, I. taubertiana, I. chamædryfolia, I. integerrima, I. amara. It's especially important to note that adulteration has apparently been a continuing problem throughout the history of maté harvesting, can dramatically affect the nutritional and medicinal effects of maté, and tends to increase the bitterness of maté blends. Also, Roble Tucumano (I. argentina) is a related species in Argentina and Bolivia that is almost a "decaf" maté - it produces theobromine but no caffeine.

Thing is, I'm not sure about the specifics of the different varieties and don't want to just list them in the article. Some species like I. amara and I. dumosa are sometimes listed as being yerba maté. Any knowledgeable botanists or Latin Americans know the differences or different uses of these varieties? -LlywelynII (talk) 13:20, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Another source listed varieties of maté recognized by growers as erva de talo roxo, erva de talo branco and erva piriquita in Brazil; caá verá, caá manduví, caá panambi, caá cuatí, caá ñú, caá eté, caá mi, caá chacra, and caá-je-he-ni in Paraguay; and yerba colorada, yerba señorita, and caá miní in Argentina. We wouldn't want to put up every single brand produced, but if the plants are different or produce substantially different kinds of maté, we could help people differentiate between them. -LlywelynII (talk) 16:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Finally, Dr. Theodore Peckolt, writing for the American Journal of Pharmacy in 1883, lists several sources as stating that the Jesuits (and presumably Guarani) originally used seven different species (separately or blended) for the tea: Ilex theezans, I. ovalifolia, I. amara, I. crepitans, I. gigantea, I. Humboldtiana, as well as I. para. although only I. para. was employed in central Paraguay or was specially cultivated for the tea. -LlywelynII (talk) 16:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Scientific Sources

An abstract for a study of antioxidant properties of yerba maté and related species; Another metastudy, particularly particularly problems with current esophagial and bladder cancer studies; A third - probably better for the maté article, about the correlation of stems with bitterness and caffeine content. -LlywelynII (talk) 13:20, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Other scientific names

Don't know if we bother to include these, but synonyms for I. paraguariensis include

Ilex paraguariensis, St. Hil. (1822 & 1833); I. Mate, St. Hil. (1826); I. paraguayensis, Hooker, fil.; I. paraguensis, D. Don.; I. paraguariensis, α, obtusifolia, Mart.; β, acutifolia, Mart.; Cassine Gongonha, Raben.; C. Gouguba, Guibourt; Chomelia amara, Vell.

Also, the article could use some discussion of the accepted botanical varieties (I. paraguariensis var. paraguariensis is straight maté, but there's also var. vestita in Uruguay and var. acutifolia, angustifolia, euneura, genuina, guaranina, latifolia, longifolia, sincorensis, and ulei elsewhere) and forms (I. paraguariensis f. confusa, dasyprionata, domestica, latifolia, microphylla, parvifolia, pubescens, and sorbilis.) Not sure what all of the distinctions between these are, though, or their properties, distribution, or use. -LlywelynII (talk) 15:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Yerba Mate Association of the Americas

(From User talk:Hankwang) You reverted my addition of this to the article on Yerba Mate, saying it is "one big advertisement." Are you claiming it is a commercial advertisement? I can't find anything commercial in it at all. IMHO it is full of useful information about Yerba Mate, from a specialist organization in the field. Please be more specific about your objection. Lou Sander (talk) 19:30, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

In my edit summary, I quoted phrases that can be found on the website: "myriad of health benefits", "unique social experience", "antioxidant power", "tea may cause cancer". These phrases are clear marketing language. The whole site is designed to convince the reader that mate is good and the reader is not likely to find objective information there, specially not anything that might be critical. The site is also mentioning cancer several times in relation to tea and coffee, [5] which are competitors to mate. There is no statement which clarifies who is paying the costs for this organization. I would generally consider a website that is clearly paid by advertisements more reliable than one that does tell anything about their income sources. In this case, the money likely comes from mate trade organizations. Han-Kwang (t) 19:46, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

English spelling revisited

The article says "In English-speaking countries, the proper spelling is yerba maté (with an accented é)." This is followed by two very general references to print dictionaries and two simple references from online dictionaries. A bit later, the article says "The spelling mate is commonly used in English, though.," and somebody is asking for a citation.

I offer this from Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, 2002, which is a pretty authoritative dictionary for American English:

The main entry for the word in question is ma·té or ma·te, followed by the usual dictionary material.
The explanatory material for main entries is on page 14a, headed 1.71. It says: When a main entry is followed by the word or and another spelling or form, the two spellings or forms are equal variants. Their order is usually alphabetical, and the first is no more to be preferred than the second, or third, or fourth, if three or four are joined by or. Both or all are standard and any one may be used according to personal inclination or personal style preferences... (some examples follow)... If the alphabetical order of variants joined by or is reversed, they remain equal variants. The one printed first may be slightly more common but not enough to justify calling them unequal..."

It seems to me that an unabridged, authoritative reliable source is telling us, in great detail, that maté and mate are equally valid English spellings of the word. I propose that the final paragraph of the "Nomenclature" section be replaced with a paragraph stating that fact, and including a detailed reference to the material in the indented paragraphs above. It will also need to present the English pronunciation. Skyrocket654 (talk) 03:23, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, I've edited the text accordingly.
I also think it's quite WP:OR to assert that the accent mark is a "hypercorrection", which implies that the accented spelling is a mistake. Quite the contrary, the accent is there on purpose to indicate that the "e" is pronounced, which it would not be otherwise. Cf. eg. Maldivian capital Malé ("mah-leh"), spelled that way so it's not pronounced "male" → "mail". Jpatokal (talk) 11:37, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
The OED lists the word only as yerva and yerba-maté, though it has yerba mate in the quotations. Besides Malé, there's also saké. kwami (talk) 21:21, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

First Botanist to have catalogued it

I was curious about Mate’s history and discovered that actually wikipedia’s article about presents a different version, without explicit sources, about who was the botanist who first catalogued it. On Wikipedia, currently, we have the following: “It was first scientifically classified by Swiss botanist Moses Bertoni, who settled in Paraguay in 1895. “ While on (Parana State Museum’s webpage) we have: “A erva-mate foi classificada em 1820 pelo botânico francês Saint-Hilaire, após observar os ervais nativos em uma fazenda nas proximidades de Curitiba” (The Erva-mate was catalogued by the French botanist Saint-Hilare in 1820, after observing the native herbs in a farm near to Curitiba). --DanielMalanski (talk) 16:57, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

  • You could edit the article and include both versions since both are sourced, just be sure to give both versions the same weight. It is common in the Paraguay-Brazil-Argetnina area for history to vary considerably among each nation, specially when it comes down to something so traditional to the coomon folk as to be able to consider it nationalistic already. Veritiel (talk) 20:17, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Deleted dubious MAOI claim

I deleted a 2-paragraph section entitled "Possible MAOI Activity". The claim's source was a 2005 US patent, a document which cites no documented evidence for this putative effect other than the author's own research. I cannot find any peer-reviewed scientific publications corroborating the claim that mate is an MAO inhibitor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Trueno Peinado (talkcontribs) 04:03, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Spelling consistency

This article needs to either a) always use "maté", or always use "mate" (italicized), and stop mix-'n'-matching between spellings from one sentence or another and also stop using "mate", which is a completely different word in English. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 20:03, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Bad link - reference 19

Original link to gives a 404.

I found the new location by going to the home page of Mundo Matero, but it then links to www gratisweb com /gif_animados/yerba/Chemical-Features.html which is blacklisted.

However, I also found the original source:

Valduga, Eunice. Chemical and anatomical characterization of the Ilex paraguariensis leaf Saint Hilaire and some species used to adulterate the yerba mate. Thesis of Post-graduation presented in the University of Paraná, Curitiba, in 1995.


Unfortunately, it is in Portuguese.

I'm going to go ahead and correct the link to the original source, but I would like to know what is the preferred approach in a situation such as this, where the original source in not in English.

Thanks. Bearhair (talk) 01:52, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Excellent work. Thank you. In the absence of any English sources it is ok to use foreign language references. We can also use Google translate. Thanks again. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 02:15, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

"Maté", an English word?

I'm rather amused by the fact some people claim in this talk page that maté is an English word. I know of no words in English that have accents, except those that were copied from romance languages and had said accent in the original language, e.g. née, which is French for "born" (for females) and is used in English to indicate the so-called maiden name of a married woman.

I call upon the people discussing the matter on this talk page for an explanation on how an English word can have an accent when the original language does not, without having hypercorrection issues. Please discuss that regardless of whatever dictionary says the correct spelling of the word is or the meaning of x or y in Spanish or Portuguese or whatever. The fact this is an article about an English-language term automatically kills both the POV of other languages and the POV of dictionaries. I remind everyone that language is a dynamic being that dictionaries have no control upon; if it were otherwise, we'd all be speaking the same languages people spoke three thousand years ago.

Thanks. Vítor Cassol (talk) 08:38, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

EDIT: I would also like to point out that many words, e.g. anime are spelled without an acute accent regardless of the fact the final e is pronounced. English has no such thing as accents to distinguish between two ways of pronouncing a word, and if it did, it'd want enough kinds of accents to make a whole new language out of it. The fact colonel is pronounced differently than one would guess does not give it accents.

Thanks. Vítor Cassol (talk) 08:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree, and think it should be moved to Yerba mate. CRGreathouse (t | c) 05:21, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

I also agree, but it looks like Oxford is God here. "Language is fluid", they say, until a Brit gets involved. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:41, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

It MUST be "yerba mate." The accent is ABSURD, despite what tradition may exist in some English-language dictionaries. These dictionaries either made or passed along a mistake. There is no justification for moving the accentuation of the word. It does NOT need to be distinguished from the English word "mate" as English has within its own lexicon many homographs.Cospelero (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:47, 20 March 2011 (UTC).

Cultural difference between Argentina and Uruguay

"One difference between mate drinking in Uruguay and Argentina is that in Uruguay, the water in contained in a vacuum flask, "Termo", while in Argentina it is usually contained in a "pava" (kettle). This is the reason people in Uruguay tend to drink mate in the open air whereas Argentinian people usually drink mate in their homes where they can keep their kettle hot."

I found this statment completely contradicting to my experience after living in Buenos Aires for a couple of years. Throughout my daily routine of meeting new people every day as a missionary, not once can I ever recall anyone using anything but a thermos to store their hot water. Many times I met with people at their homes, but rather than drink mate inside they would usually insist on drinking it outside with a thermos. However, this statement in the article makes me think that either the author accidentally got the 2 cultures mixed up (I don't know anything about the culture in Uruguay) or this must be a cultural difference specific to Beunos Aires as opposed to other parts of Argentina. Can anyone confirm either of these speculations? Viper5030 (talk) 03:06, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

It is an unsourced subjective appreciation, based on the fact that Uruguayans drink mate in the outside (with the thermos) in urban enviroments far more than the urban Argentines. But in the end it is an absurd generalization, as Uruguayans also drink mate with pava or thermos in the inside, and Argentinians also dirnk mate with thermos both in the ouside and the inside. Removing the paragraph. Salut, --IANVS (talk) 03:17, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Popular brands

Why Piporé is not included? Quit spread even in Europe... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Will be added. Anyway "Popular brands" should be branched of to a new article or a compressible table. Dentren | Talk 11:04, 27 March 2011 (UTC)

Mate Overdose

Since mate contains such high levels of caffeine/ mateine, taking it in super large doses (for example 50 cups worth a day) for long periods of time (weeks or months) can cause a caffeine overdose. This can trigger seizures among many other side effects. So if you are trying to ween yourself off of other types of stimulants with mate, be careful! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Not sure if you were suggesting that for inclusion in the article, but who drinks 50 cups a day?!?! MsBatfish (talk) 09:32, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

If you are drinking 50 cups of any liquid a day you are likely going to get hyponatremia.

File:Erva Mate Plantation Brasil.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion


An image used in this article, File:Erva Mate Plantation Brasil.jpg, has been nominated for speedy deletion for the following reason: All Wikipedia files with unknown copyright status

What should I do?

Don't panic; you should have time to contest the deletion (although please review deletion guidelines before doing so). The best way to contest this form of deletion is by posting on the image talk page.

  • If the image is non-free then you may need to provide a fair use rationale
  • If the image isn't freely licensed and there is no fair use rationale, then it cannot be uploaded or used.
  • If the image has already been deleted you may want to try Deletion Review

This notification is provided by a Bot --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 13:54, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Vegaswikian (talk) 05:05, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Yerba matéYerba mate – Per discussion, it seems "maté" is found in dictionaries, but almost never in the wild. Common English usage is clearly "mate". This can be clearly seen with a Google search (note that point 7 of WP:GOOGLE#Search engine tests says that search engines are useful for "Identifying the names used for things (including alternative names and terminology)"). When I search Google for "yerba maté|mate" (with the United States as my location), only three of the top 50 results (including Wikipedia) use "yerba maté". Wikipedia "Maté" should be listed as an alternative spelling, of course, but Wikipedia is not ruled by dictionaries. relisted -Mike Cline (talk) 14:15, 2 December 2011 (UTC) - Afiler (talk) 04:15, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Don't care for either option The pronunciation is with the accent. The tea is usually referred to yerba alone in South America. The article for the beverage itself is at mate (beverage), without the accent. I would suggest that the article be moved instead to Yerba. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:34, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. The use of "é" is understandable and indeed useful; but it is not warranted by etymology: Quechua mati via Spanish mate. In fact, the diacritical might give a false impression that the second syllable is accented in Spanish, and therefore should be in English. Sources agree pretty well on no actute; see ngrams for "yerba mate,yerba maté" [see below]. NoeticaTea? 05:27, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support as per Spanish, no accent The use of "é" appears to be from French and/or hypercorrection to avoid Australian "ello mate!". Given that this is a Spanish term and terminus technicus, conform to Spanish orthography, WP:EN not relevant here. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:28, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
A statistical report
I have withdrawn my ngram evidence (see above) because Google ngrams fail with "é", and presumably with other diacriticals. Instead, I have analysed the first 100 Googlebook hits on yerba mate OR maté, using the restrictions "Preview available›Books›1 Jan 1970–24 Nov 2011›" (and also "English language", not shown at the head of the page but in the specification). This search found published sources with "yerba" and at least one of "mate" and "maté". In the results for the first 100 hits (the excerpts on the results page):
  • 179 of the 216 occurrences were "mate" (and all were semantically associated with "yerba")
  • 37 of the 216 occurrences were "maté"
  • [there were 191 occurrences of "yerba"]
None of the 100 excerpts on that page had both "mate" and "maté", except 2 in which cross-language distinctions were made.
Google excerpts are sometimes inaccurate for diacriticals. I examined the first 20 hits with "mate" that could genuinely be viewed (some could not), and found that 3 in fact had "maté" instead. I reduced the result for "mate" using the ratio 17/20, and transferred those removed to "maté" instead (so that the total reported remains 216):
  • "mate": 152 (70%)
  • "maté":  64 (30%)
Conclusion: "yerba mate" is estimated to be the preference in 70% of published sources, and "yerba maté" in 30%. This estimate draws on dominant, checkable, primary sources (not general dictionaries) from the last four decades.
NoeticaTea? 23:44, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
No diacritic gets majority usage on Google Books. For maté, I get 15 percent usage (486 / 3,180). This compares to 29 percent for café (93,300 / 317,000), and 11 percent for crêpe (421 / 3,790). This ngram suggests that the usage for the diacritic in yerba maté is around 1 percent, but the numbers from Google Books directly yield 22 percent (973 / 4,490). I've found that this is pretty typical, i.e. that the ngram picks up only a fraction of the Google Book diacritics. Kauffner (talk) 04:16, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Kauffner, I have corrected the omission of one acute in my preceding post; but the report was unambiguous (with only one reasonable interpretation available).
But I cannot immediately follow what you are saying. Those Googlebook estimates are always suspect. And I have already pointed out that ngram evidence (such as I withdrew, above) is utterly worthless in the present case. The ngrams scarcely register forms with "é" at all. Try "café", "résumé", etc. to see what I mean. What is your assessment of my rather nuanced analysis, which makes statistical corrections to arrive a reliable estimate? NoeticaTea? 05:31, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the numbers I presented speak for themselves: The usage rate for this diacritic is extremely high, almost as high as for the diacritic in "café", which is perhaps the best established of all English-language diacritics. Kauffner (talk) 05:52, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Just once in a while I'd like a straight answer when I ask a question, Kauffner. I go to all the trouble of a statistically sound sampling and analysis; I present the results lucidly; I ask for your assessment (are there flaws in my method, or what?); and I get no answer. I cannot see what you are driving at with these latest figures, whose derivation I have criticised. Someone else might make sense of your post; but I'm afraid that for me there is nothing in it that remotely "speaks for itself". Feel free to respond, this time. And clarify. NoeticaTea? 06:10, 25 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment: First, the original suggestion is that Wikipedia is not a dictionary and yet you use dictionaries to make your point. Second, it's not correct at all to call it the plant. It's the yerba plant Yerba is the tea out of which you make mate. Third, the diacritical in café and résumé actually reflect a different pronunciation. With Mate, the pronunciation is not "ma-tay", it's a short "e" at the end, but it incorrectly distinguishes the pronunciation from the English synonym for "friend". How the word is pronounced is essential. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:28, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
In English, it is pronounced /ˌyer-bə-ˈmä-ˌtā/. The link is to Merriam-Webster, which has a nice sound file for this. I don't see anyone using "yerba" to mean the plant. Kauffner (talk) 19:59, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
That pronunciation is machine generated based on the incorrect spelling. Don't use it as a reliable source. The Castillians and Portuguese Brazilian pronunciation is correct. I've corrected the statement. Yerba is the tea. Mate is the drink. Cocoa is the product. Chocolate mile and hot chocolate are the drinks. Check other versions of Wikipedia to see how they use it. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:18, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
The case is not unproblematically like "café" or "résumé". There can be no downside to retaining an original diacritical in those cases; but there is, as I have pointed out, a downside in adding an unetymological acute to "yerba mate". Spanish orthography and pronunciation are not irrelevant, because many readers will know that an acute marks a syllable as stressed in Spanish (and Portuguese); some will be misled. NoeticaTea? 23:44, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
I can think of a couple cases in English where diacritics are used to indicate pronunciation and where the diacritics don't come directly from another language, but it's the diaresis/umlaut symbol that's used. There are the given names Chloë and Zoë, the surname Brontë, and the old-fashioned spelling of hyphenated words like coöperation (now usually spelled cooperation or co-operation) and seër (see here), still used by the New Yorker magazine. Based on this convention, the most logical English spelling would be "matë", though I have not found this in actual use. - Afiler (talk) 07:32, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support. This matter is handled pretty well in Mate (beverage), the article about the brew commonly made from this plant. The pertinent material is presented below, along with its supporting citations:
Both the spellings "mate" and "maté" are used in English.[1][2][3][4][5] The acute accent on the final letter is likely added as a hypercorrection, and serves to indicate that the word and its pronunciation are distinct from the common English word "mate". However, the Yerba Mate Association of the Americas states that it is always improper to accent the second syllable, since doing so confuses the word with an unrelated Spanish word for killing[6] ("Maté" literally means "I killed" in Spanish).
  1. ^ Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged, 2002, shows the main entry for the word as ma·té or ma·te. The explanatory material for main entries on page 14a, headed 1.71, says "When a main entry is followed by the word or and another spelling or form, the two spellings or forms are equal variants. Their order is usually alphabetical, and the first is no more to be preferred than the second..."
  2. ^ The New Oxford American Dictionary
  3. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary
  4. ^ American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  5. ^ Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary
  6. ^ "FAQs: Pronunciation and Spelling". Yerba Mate Association of the Americas. Retrieved 2008-11-27. 
From this material, and from the many posts by Spanish-speaking editors, it's pretty clear (to me) that the accent does NOT belong there, in spite of its presence in many not-so-reliable-on-this-point dictionaries. (See the footnote from the highly authoritative Webster's Third)
I can't supply a reliable source, but I've been schooled that the "ma" is pronounced like that in maharaja or mama, and the "te" is pronounced like that in technical. Lou Sander (talk) 15:09, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Correct pronunciation. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:33, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Comment. I see that the Yerba Mate Association has changed their web site, and the above reference to it is out of date. Nuts! Some native speakers pronouncing the word can be found HERE, and some comments on spelling can be found in the last paragraph HERE. Lou Sander (talk) 15:39, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Support: from reading all the evidence presented here, it appears that "mate" is the "correct" spelling and that it is also the more common. Make Yerba maté a re-direct and include it as an alternate spelling in the lead of the article. All this arguing about the "proper" pronunciation is just distracting us from the issue at hand. I thought we were trying to decide what the title should be, not what the most authentic pronunciation is.
If people dispute the pronunciation guide in this and/or the Mate (beverage) article, perhaps that should be discussed in its own separate section. MsBatfish (talk) 08:54, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

How to prepare it?

How many litres of drink can be done with 1kg of Yerba Mate?

I've added a comprehensive (though somewhat hastily-written) guide to how mate is traditionally prepared with a gourd and bombilla, as well as adding an excellent resource on the same to the External Links (among a couple other relevant links). My sense is that such discussion should likely be separated from the discussion of mate paraphernalia, but unfortunately I'm off to bed and am unable to take any further time to pry apart those two very intertwined items.

What are your thoughts about splitting the "Mate drinking" section into two, so as to separate any sort of procedural guide from discussion of mate's more tangible elements? - SeekerOfWisdumb 13:21, 26 April 2005‎ (UTC)


I think the material on terere should be extended, or even (if enaugh can be put together) a separate article should be created.--Lacrymology 08:21, 4 August 2005‎ (UTC)

Chile and Mate drinking

I'm Chilean and a regular mate drinking, yes I'm from magallanes. Anyway, I don't think that drinking yerba mate in Chiloé and Magallanes in just because of Argentinian influence as it's stated in the article. It's better to say that it is something that has been lost in other regions of Chile (anyways in Araucanía, Los Lagos and other rural zones of chile it is still popular). In colonial times it was a costume much more widespread. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DaniloVilicic (talkcontribs) 00:34, 7 May 2006‎ (UTC)


i think that curing the mate is a very important topic — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 28 September 2006‎ (UTC)

The leaves, popularly called "herb"?

The article says: The leaves, popularly called "herb" (Spanish: yerba, Portuguese: erva)..
Does anyone in any place actually call them "herb"? (I've never heard this, even in English it's usually yerba, isn't it?). Or is it just trying to explain what the Spanish and Portuguese words mean? I would prefer something like: The leaves, popularly referred to as "yerba", meaning "herb", (Portuguese: erva).. but I thought I'd bring it up here first in case there is some reason it was done this way. MsBatfish (talk) 10:05, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

I think the one who wrote that was actually thinking on Spanish and Portuguese usage. As far as to my understanding yerba is understood as yerba mate in Spanish language only in some contexts cause it can also refer to herbs in general or for example to marihuana. Chiton magnificus (talk) 12:10, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
So do you mean that you agree and you think that saying "herb" is just providing the English translation for what the words mean? In English Wikipedia, we should say what the most commonly used word is by English speakers, even if it's a word borrowed from another language. Since, to my knowledge, English speakers do not call yerba "herb" - it is just that the word means herb in Spanish (and the Portuguese "erva" means "herb" as well) - I think the sentence should be re-phrased. How about something like:
The leaves, popularly called "yerba" in English and Spanish, from the Spanish word for "herb" (Portuguese: "erva")..
It doesn't imply that the word "yerba" (or "erva") always refers to the leaves of yerba mate, that is why there are quotations marks ("Scare quotes"), to signify that it is only in this context, and the translation "herb" helps with that as well. MsBatfish (talk) 04:39, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

For the text, "herb" is the best translation for "yerba" or "erva". There is no statistical data saying that "yerba" or "erva" is the most common therm. In the Spanish Wikipedia is right to use yerba, not in the English one, so "herb" would be preferable.
Argentina population: 40,764,561 Paraguay population: 6,568,290, Brazilian population:196,655,014
According to FAO, Brazil is the biggest producer of mate in the world with 434,727 MT (53%), followed by Argentina with 300,000 MT (37%) and Paraguay with 76,663 MT (10%).
So, the world most common therm is erva (Portuguese) not yerba (Spanish). But since it is an ENGLISH page, an English term should be used. Herb is the best translation for yerba or erva; "Mate" for the beverage (common for Portuguese and Spanish languages - consensus) and Ilex paraguariensis for the plant (scientific name), as occur for coffee and tea. unsigned comment added by (talk)

Health effects

The section on health effects must use either review articles or major textbooks as refs. Primary research is not appropriate. Will work on removing non reviews in the next few days.

As the following ref is completely useless thus removed. We need a articles title and year of publication

In an investigation of mate antioxidant activity, there was a correlation found between content of caffeoyl-derivatives and antioxidant capacity (AOC).[1] Amongst a group of Ilex species,Ilex paraguariensis antioxidant activity was the highest.[1]

Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:52, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

That's nonsense. There no need for review articles or textbooks editors must simply be cautious when using primary sources. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:36, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
I have never heard of that requirement before either. In fact, I've heard people say the opposite is true: that it is better to use a (credible) primary or direct source for research, statistics, etc, as opposed to a source publishing, quoting, paraphrasing, or making conclusions based on that research. If there is some Wikipedia policy where what you (Doc James) say is referred to, please link to the policy here. And please explain your conclusion that that ref was "useless", that is rather vague and subjective. MsBatfish (talk) 04:44, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Sure this one here WP:MEDRS which pertains to specifically health content.
Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:55, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

With respect to the above ref can anyone provide a PMID, article title, journal name and date of publication? It is just a link to a publishing house. Also specifically we should not use primary research to contradict review articles which basically act to balance the sum of the literature.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:57, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. That page doesn't say that primary sources should never be used, just that they should ideally not be used when a secondary source is available and that they should be used very carefully and the article should explain where the statement came from and note any caveats etc. I think it would be most helpful if you made a complete list of every statement and source (with links to the specific source) you're removing and why, so that other editors can understand why they're being removed and have a chance to find a better source to support the material, and/or edit the statements in the article to make them comply with the guidelines for primary sources. I think it should also be noted that the guidelines you are referring to apply specifically to medical information, so that people don't get confused and think that this applies to all parts of all articles (or conversely, think that only the regular guidelines on sources apply and assume that Doc James must be wrong). I see you (Doc James) are starting to list some of the segments of the article that you dispute, which is good. I for one would really appreciate if you were even more detailed, either provide exact quotes of the disputed material with a link to the source and/or the individual diffs for each edit (in cases where you've already made an edit). Thanks very much.
Also, I think the wording of the guideline is kind of unclear when it says "if secondary sources are available". It could be interpreted 2 ways: to mean secondary sources for the specific statement, or secondary sources on the topic. Do you think this is something I should mention at the Talk page for WP:MEDRS? Maybe the wording could be made clearer? MsBatfish (talk) 12:03, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes not that they should never be used. Thus in my efforts to improve this article I am replacing the primary research with review articles which is completely inline with policy.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:19, 14 December 2011 (UTC)


There are some good review articles with respect to cancer such as Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:04, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Exactly which sources don't meet WP:RS?

This edit added the tag but no discussion related to which sources are unreliable. Will remove if it's not explained further. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:15, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Discussion is in this section. Currently there are refs such as this when there are review articles available. Thus the tag.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:20, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you need to look at WP:RS and when you're don, explain which sources are not reliable. There are no blogs to my knowledge, don't know about the fact checking of the existing sources. This thing about review articles is not mentioned there so it's a red herring as far as I'm concerned, but this is the season for pickled herring. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:28, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

"Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper." in this section [6] Review articles are available thus we should use them.--Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:38, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

You keep twisting things to suit your opinion. For instance, I asked why the source that you remove was not reliable. Instead of answering that question you state a different fact. In short, the source meets WP:RS and you're not willing to admit it because it contradicts other sources, sources that state that drinking mate is carcinogenic. I'm going to restore it. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:15, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Majority opinion supports the usage of review articles and does not generally support the use of primary per WP:DUE. There are many primary sources in this article that are being used inappropriately.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 19:17, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. WP:DUE doesn't mention that at all. I don't see any primary sources being used inappropriately. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:20, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
All that I see is "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint." So I'm sorry, you're mistaken about what WP:DUE states. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Single studies of dubious quality are not "significant viewpoints." Hence, omitting them from the article is consistent with what you quoted from policy. Honestly, this is more about "will this make a good article?" and dubious health claims have no place in a good article. Whether some specific line of policy allows or forbids is not that important, it's the idea that matters. The idea here is that we don't want minimum-quality sourcing of dubious health claims when there isn't reliable secondary source coverage that gives us as authors reasonable perspective on the topic. SDY (talk) 02:40, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Obesity section

This paragraph based on two studies in mice comes out and states "In most studies" which is original research as neither ref makes this claim, than does not even mention that the only evidence is in mice.

In most studies,[2][3] Ilex paraguensis tea has been shown to lessen the tendency towards obesity induced by a high-starch diet.

Both of the papers are primary research. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 05:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

And? Let me explain this to you in simple terms: primary sources are not bad. They are not unusable. They are not even suspect. They are simply primary sources. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
The reason for the caution on primary sources comes into effect is when it's by a specific subject and that subject is saying things that others don't. For instance a primary source by Adolph Hitler may be taken suspiciously when discussing the person, but not when discussing his philosophy as in Mein Kampf. So stop painting all primary sources as bad. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:46, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Primary sources are, in general, bad sources for an article. There are some exceptions (direct quotations an obvious example), but those are exceptions and in general primary sources are not suitable for writing an encyclopedia. Relying on single published papers to summarize the current state of research essentially runs the risk of distorting the due weight of the findings. In general, single papers as primary sources are dubious and can really only support claims like "research exists" or "this is being evaluated" or "there may be an effect." The claims in the article were "it works" which requires a lot more than just a single study. SDY (talk) 01:16, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. Primary sources are not ideal, but they're acceptable. See WP:RS. They were not being used for the only summary of the current state of research and had you actually read what was removed you would have seen that. Restoring. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:07, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

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

That's a very conclusive statement, backed up by... one study published in a nonmedical journal. The study abstract describes it as a single-blind trial with no control group, which is not a very convincing trial design. It is a human trial, and it had a reasonable study population (102 subjects in three study arms), but as medical research goes it's fairly weak evidence. Do we really want to stuff the article full of dubious claims with the bare minimum quality of sourcing? "It doesn't say we can't" is an extremely weak argument for including these sources. SDY (talk) 22:36, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
By all means, the emphasis should be reduced wherever possible, particularly in the face of WP:UNDUE. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:06, 11 December 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b "Elsevier: Article Locator". Retrieved 2011-06-05. 
  2. ^ Martins F, Noso TM, Porto VB, Curiel A, Gambero A, Bastos DH, Ribeiro ML, Carvalho PD. Mate Tea Inhibits In Vitro Pancreatic Lipase Activity and Has Hypolipidemic Effect on High-fat Diet-induced Obese Mice: Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Jun 18.
  3. ^ Arçari DP, Bartchewsky W, Dos Santos TW, Oliveira KA, Funck A, Pedrazzoli J, de Souza MF, Saad MJ, Bastos DH, Gambero A, Carvalho PD, Ribeiro ML.Antiobesity Effects of yerba mate Extract (Ilex paraguariensis) in High-fat Diet-induced Obese Mice.Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 May 14

General comment

I haven't looked closely at the whole section, but the subsections on Obesity, Cholesterol, E-NTPDase activity, and Antioxidants don't seem worthy of inclusion in the article. They are nothing but reports on individual studies, and they lack conclusions published independently of themselves. I don't see this as a matter of the nature or quality of the sources, but of whether this material even belongs in Wikipedia. We are an encyclopedia, not a summary of individual studies. Lou Sander (talk) 16:02, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

I could see a "research on health benefits" section being appropriate. Honestly, people frequently make all sorts of claims about mate and green tea and such, so the article would be incomplete without some mention of the claims. Might be better to roll them all into one section, though, since they're "notable" as a group even if the individual claims aren't individually "notable." SDY (talk) 17:38, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree and another issue is that studies on potential mechanism of effects (for example that it is an antioxidant) is presented as a health effect.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:55, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
This is an interesting situation. WP:NOR forbids synthesizing information that is not synthesized elsewhere. We might be doing that if we said "There are questions about health effects" and provided a list of these studies. IMHO, we WOULD BE doing it, and shouldn't. If we can find a reference that says there are such questions, we could certainly incorporate these studies into the list of references about it. Lou Sander (talk) 16:49, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
There is also a question about undue weight being given to individual studies. WP:UNDUE doesn't directly address "individual studies", but it DOES say pretty strongly that individual viewpoints that haven't achieved any sort of following shouldn't be in an article. IMHO, individual health studies fall into that category. Strictly speaking they aren't "viewpoints", I suppose, but they are the same sort of animal. Lou Sander (talk) 16:55, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Xanthines heading - badly worded sentence

It is a minor point, but a sentence, referring to synonyms for caffeine, under the heading Chemical composition and properties: Xanthines is perfectly understandable but nevertheless semantically nonsensical. A substance cannot be a synonym. Only a word can be a synonym. Thus, I propose changing the sentence to something like: The word "mateine" was previously used as a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine).

The sentence currently reads: A substance previously called "mateine" is a synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine). (talk) 18:06, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Be bold. Please make the change. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:55, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I think it might be better to make it even clearer, since as it reads (even with the grammatical correction) it sounds like it is just another word for caffeine. But it is not - it's a specific word for the caffeine found in mate, (for example, one wouldn't refer to the caffeine in coffee as "mateine"). Perhaps a better option would be to say: The word "mateine" was previously used as a case-specific synonym for caffeine (like theine and guaranine), or, even more clear, but longer: "Mateine" is a word (no longer in common use) for the caffeine chemical found in yerba mate; however, it is identical to the caffeine derived from other sources, for example coffee or tea. Similar cases where this has been done include theine and guaranine. or something like that...
Thoughts? MsBatfish (talk) 09:09, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if "mateine" refers to the caffeine found in mate then it is not a synonym for caffeine at all. How about this: The word "mateine" was formerly used to refer to the caffeine in yerba mate (similarly theine and guaranine refer to the caffeine in tea and guarana respectively). Biirnats (talk) 02:11, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Requested move: → Ilex paraguariensis

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No clear Consensus to move Mdann52 (talk) 15:36, 5 August 2012 (UTC) (non-admin)

Yerba mateIlex paraguariensis – For the search term "yerba mate" -wikipedia, the top 25 results Google returns refer to mate (beverage). So the plant is incorrectly designated primary topic. Coffee plant redirects to Coffea, while tea plant redirects to Camellia sinensis. This proposal would create the same setup for mate. On Merriam-Webster yerba maté directs to maté. The current split on Wiki implies that the terms "yerba mate" and "mate" refer to different things, thus misleading the reader. I suspect that many readers assume that this is Wiki's main article about the beverage. I note that Spanish Wiki uses the proposed form. Kauffner (talk) 14:38, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Oppose. The tea itself, which what this article is primarily about, is commonly referred to as yerba. The warm drink is mate. The cold drink is tereré. So if it's going to be moved, it should be moved to "yerba" alone dropping the "mate". --Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:02, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps you are looking at the wrong article? This article opens, "Yerba a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae), well-known as the source of the mate beverage." The image on the top right shows a plant and is captioned Ilex paraguariensis. The first section of the article is entitled "Cultivation." If you look at the categories, one is for "near threatened plants," and several are for "crops." "Yerba" and "maté" mean the same thing. They are both names for the beverage that is produced from this plant. Kauffner (talk) 18:39, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I'm not looking at the wrong article, but thanks for the suggestion. This article is about both the plant and its use as a beverage. The sections describe the chemical composition and properties of the tea, the health effects of the tea, mechanism of action of the tea, the history of the consumption of the tea, nomenclature involving both the plant and the tea, the Argentine market of the tea, and finally the curative properties of the tea.
The beverage page is about the consumption of the beverage in hot form, but not about the tea itself. This should not be about the plant alone. If you're suggesting a split to mate discussing the tea and the species of plant, it would be easy enough and would be something that could be supported. But moving is not an option.
Also, don't move my comments. If you want me to move them, ask me. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:31, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Support. There is already a page Mate (beverage), so this one should be about the plant, and the page name should be the scientific name of the plant. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 19:48, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Support (with further edits). This seems a clear case when there should be separate articles about the species Ilex paraguariensis and about the product. This article is mostly about the species, so should be moved and then edited to fit with the product article(s). Peter coxhead (talk) 09:10, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Comment Support what? There is currently no species page. Are you suggesting that a new article for the species should be created and the species content from this article should be moved there? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 14:36, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, there is and there isn't a species page. The lead section of this article is about the species. Later content isn't about the species. So I support moving this article to Ilex paraguariensis and then moving much of the "use" content to Mate (beverage). Peter coxhead (talk) 16:33, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
That would be great if the user were limited to the hot beverage. It's not. So we can't. As stated above, the warm drink is mate, while the cold drink is tereré. There are also variants made with milk and others that simply sweetened versions of the hot beverage. The dry tea is the only common element. While the hot drink is the main form of consumption, it is not the primary one. There is are two separate articles for flour and bread, so why are we suggesting to merge the content here into an article where it doesn't belong? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:42, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
All of your arguments aside, you have failed to address mine. This is against consensus and you should canvas those who came to this consensus to determine if your new argument can form a new one. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:48, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
The purpose of an RM is to update the determination of consensus. The closer will determine if there is a fresh consensus is, and if so, what that consensus might be. Editors have no obligation to notify anyone, aside from the listing at WP:RM. Every reference I checked says that "mate" and "yerba mate" are the same thing. Both terms usually refer to the beverage, occasionally the plant. Either way, there is no basis for them to be the titles of separate articles. Kauffner (talk) 19:02, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
Fine I'll do the work for you. You can't expect every user to follow every corner of Wikipedia. Some only monitor their own accounts and occasionally revisit their watch list. It is a courtesy that I will extend to these editors who previously voiced an opinion on the subject.
I don't know what references you checked so that tidbit of information is nearly useless. Yerba is the dry tea. Mate is the warm drink. Mate cosido and mate dulce are variants as well. Tereré, the cold beverage. See the associated link in Spanish. The problem with this article is that it is not coherent either and is in long need of attention. If we reflect the Spanish articles more closely, it would be an overall better fit. As full disclosure, I don't speak Spanish, but understand it well enough to understand the differences between the subject. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:17, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
What references could I possibly have consulted? Perhaps you could try reading the nominations that I wrote. I linked to a dictionary above, as well as to other references over at Talk:Mate_(beverage) . Kauffner (talk) 20:36, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
comment what about this: (1) yerba mate - redirect to mate (2) yerba - focus the article on the tea (which seems to be the ur-product from which other products derive) (3) move species information to latin name. (4) keep Tereré. This might parallel bread cracker (food) flour and wheat. --KarlB (talk) 04:55, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Comment, and suggestion at the end: I have no reason to oppose a change from yerba mate to Ilex paraguaiensis -- both names are equally correct, after all. However, I must ask Kauffner to be a little less hard-headed about challenges to his opinion and to do the research before asking for a page move. Here's a short list of facts. (1) There are more infusion variants than I care to count. To list a few: Brazilian chimarrão, a hot, bitter infusion (which, incidentally, I'm drinking right now); Argentinian mate, also a hot, bitter infusion, which is essentially the same as the Brazilian chimarrão but is prepared differently and can be arguably considered a different variant; tererê (Portuguese) or tereré (Spanish), a cold, bitter infusion akin to the Brazilian chimarrão, but cold instead of hot; somewhat common in the center-western parts of Brazil, possibly after gaúcho people who migrated, and also likely drank in the immediately neighboring countries (mostly Paraguay and Bolivia); teabag infusion, commonly known in Brazil as chá mate (mate tea) or by the brand name called Mate Leão (Lion Mate, also subject to jokes because mate is spelled and sounds exactly the same as the imperative form for "kill" in Portuguese, hence it could mean "kill lions" or "kill the lion", albeit in sub-par grammar) and common in Argentina; any of the above with sugar, making sweet forms of the infusion; and others. (2) If you don't know where to research, a good starting place is asking the people who are bound to know. I've been drinking chimarrão even before I was born, since my mother already drank it. It went to me through the umbilical cord, and it was breastfed to me. I'm bound to know about it. It's an intrinsic part of my culture which no amount of time or distance will erase. To my folks, few things are more fun than a family get-together in which lots of people sit together in a circle, eat something, and drink chimarrão, all that whilst playing cards, yelling at the kids or pets (and them yelling/barking/etc back at us, lol), and asking when our churrasco, a regional barbecue form, is going to be ready. Other people will drink it in other ways, and some people will adhere to "rules" that others won't (this is no Japanese tea ceremony, but there are some "procedures" for social drinking of the beverage, which differ from variant to variant and from place to place but have common grounds). See, I just explained several forms to you right there, the existence of which you denied, plus assorted things. I didn't even need to check this very encyclopedia before writing that stuff, but I did afterwards; you could have done that if you wanted, and if you had, you'd know that lots of it is also said in it in one form or another. You didn't even need to ask, but you did expect people to be summoned by your move request, and you did need to wait for Walter Görlitz (BTW, thank you for the notifications, Walter) to be kind enough to summon others, such as me, here. As he said, you can't expect people to monitor every corner of Wikipedia, specially the people who only ever log in to fix things they know to be blatantly incorrect. If not for his edits to my talk page, which get sent to my email address, I'd possibly never even see these two discussions. I can't help but wonder if you purposefully avoided calling in the people who you expected would oppose you, but I'll pretend that thought hasn't crossed my mind. (3) Dictionaries can't be used as sources here. They are books that give you word meanings. That's all they do. They don't provide you with enough specifics to change the title of an encyclopedia article. Incidentally, encyclopedias are, kind of by definition, more in-depth than dictionaries. See the problem? You're trying to use the student notes to override the professor's lecture. That's not going to work. (End of fact list.) My suggestion: (1) Keep article title OR move it to Ilex paraguaiensis, with one being a redirect to the other; keep mate (beverage) article with title as is. (2) Move mate-related content to the mate article, and rewrite this article where required to change it into an article about the plant itself; mention uses as a drink, link to mate article and tereré article where required. (3) Check mate article for any fix requirements, fix tereré article (which isn't any good at the moment, but that's neither here nor there for this specific debate) OR merge its data onto mate article (tereré is considered by many a subform of mate/chimarrão/cimarrón, and commonly described in southern Brazil, even to people who don't drink chimarrão, as "chimarrão with cold water"), depending on article lengths and tereré's ability to stay as a stand-alone article. (P.S.: I inserted a displacement before KarlB's comment to align it with the rest of the page. I hope this isn't disruptive.) Vítor Cassol (talk) 11:47, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Oppose, albeit the concern is valuable. Ideally there could be 3 articles:
1) Ilex paraguariensis for the species
2) Yerba mate for the tea/substance employed in the beverage
3) Mate (beverage) for the beverage. This article exists already.
Such division would help to avoid confusion and keep each of them clean and focused on their topic. Right now Yerba mate is quite messy.Chiton (talk) 12:00, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget what to do about tereré! :) Anyway, while it might be interesting to separate the herb from the species, I see little use in doing so. After all, the herb is the species; you take the plant, you cut the leaves into small parts, and you have the tea (or the substance, if you want to put it that way). I don't see how you'd separate one part from the other -- would you suggest, for instance, that the health effects go under the plant or the tea herb? I frankly think they're not different enough to warrant different articles; the rest of the plant, after the leaves are harvested, have little use other than preparing for next harvest, and I'm not personally aware of any studies involving those parts of the plant. The beverage itself is a different matter entirely, as there are multiple ways to prepare it, and as drinking it is a social and cultural event, in some ways not entirely unlike tea for the British or the Japanese; as such, it should be a separate article, as it is now. In short: I don't think separating the plant from the herb is a good idea; separating them would be, in my opinion, both harder on editors and more confusing on readers. So here's a question: assuming we kept the article as one (and yes, it needs lots of editing), which of the two names should it have? Vítor Cassol (talk) 12:18, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Oppose - My suggestion is similar to Vitor Cassol's above: Keep the current article title as is redirecting Ilex paraguaiensis here, as the lede here already contains a reference to the scientific name of the plant. Separate content between the plant (this article), and the mate beverage article as much as possible. The end result would be similar to what there is already with two main articles, one about the plant (this one, where the scientific nanme also redirects), and one about the beverage (no need about a third one, as the beverage one can include both hot or cold drinking modes). warshytalk 13:51, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

note the 3rd one exists already: Tereré I agree in general though we don't need to have separate articles for each separate regional variant, for the same reason we don't need articles about all the different ways tea is prepared - we should focus on those which get significant coverage in reliable sources. --KarlB (talk) 14:58, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Note: I agree that we should probably merge tereré into mate (beverage), but one issue at a time. --Vítor Cassol (talk) 19:45, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment directed at Kauffner: I see now why you didn't want to notify anyone. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 15:12, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Does anyone think that the plant is the primary topic for the term "yerba mate"? Googling suggests that it is very far from being primary, and I don't see anyone challenging this. So I must ask if anyone wants this article to continue to define yerba mate as “a species of holly." If not, I can only conclude that the opposers are confused as to what the subject of this article is. Kauffner (talk) 17:03, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
No. But the two are intrinsically linked. Yerba, or yerba mate is the tea itself. Mate is the hot beverage. Terr... you know, you should just read what has been written a few times already. No one takes issue with moving the material related exclusively to the plant to a separate article. Moving this article is not acceptable to some. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:05, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
Kauffner, are you doing this on purpose? I am going to ask you to explain to me how I can possibly be "confused" as to what the subject of the article is, considering it is a plant the infusion of which is a beverage characteristic of and intrinsically linked to my people. The herb is the plant; herbs are plants by definition, after all. As for "primary topic", I must request you elaborate on that and start providing links to back your claims, which are so far filled with weasel words. Furthermore, whether the article itself has any factually incorrect statements is blatantly irrelevant to the discussion over the name of the article or over what articles Wikipedia should or should not have. Plus, there is no need for a separate article for the plant for a simple reason: after you strip yerba mate from Ilex paraguaiensis, nothing notable is left of the poor plant, and therefore an article on the plant itself that excludes all tea-related information is entirely useless. This is not akin to wheat, since, aside from using flour to make bread, you can feed livestock, and probably a bunch of other stuff. The Ilex paraguaiensis is cultivated for the sole purpose of being used in beverages. I've asked before what information would go to which article and no one has given me a satisfactory answer so far. --Vítor Cassol (talk) 19:45, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

I don'y know what the confusion is and I don't need Google to know what 'yerba mate' or 'mate (beverage)' is. Wikipedia is actually better. The first is the plant from which the leaves are used to make the beverage, which some want to call by the Latin scientific name, whereas others prefer it to be identified first and foremost by its popular native name, by which it is also identified by the people that live where it grows, and that use it daily as a staple of their lives and culture. The other is the beverage and the cultural rituals that surround its social uses. Where is the confusion here? Thanks. warshytalk 18:57, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Reply: Kauffner is trying to induce confusion by bringing up completely irrelevant points in an attempt to have his way with the articles, in spite of blatant disregard for previous consensus, for others' arguments, and sometimes even for established facts. I'm soon enough going to label this whole issue a troll and request that someone asks for intervention from above to close the move request, however that works in Wikipedia. --Vítor Cassol (talk) 19:45, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • comment AFAIK, "yerba mate" is the normal word in English for both the plant and the beverage. The dab should therefore be Yerba mate (plant) and Yerba mate (beverage). The beverage should probably be the rd from the main name, w the plant as a hat note. — kwami (talk) 19:14, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment errrm, nope, you know it wrong. Very wrong. There is no beverage named "yerba mate" anywhere on the planet. This is akin to how there is no alcoholic beverage called "cereals", though there is one called "vokda" which, I'm told, is made out of them. :) --Vítor Cassol (talk) 19:45, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment There is no beverage called yerba mate. Yerba, or yerba mate is the tea. Mate is the beverage. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:33, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Suggestion There are two separate issues here, it looks to me. The first is the move/rename suggestion, the other one is the content of the two articles that are already in place with the current names. It looks to me that the moving/renaming issue can be closed, since there seems to be a clear majority for leaving the names as they are. As for the specific content of the two articles, I don't believe that anyone opposes more editing work on distinguishing them and improving them. This work of separating content and improving both related articles will and should continue, independently of the removal of the renaming request. warshytalk 22:10, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment It seems that split may have some inertia. Move plant material into an article. Leave the tea article here. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:33, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment It is sold in the U.S. as "yerba mate" (package in English). I would think this would also be the common name in English, but why don't you check with google n-gram. I have heard it called mate (pronounced MAH-tay, same as Spanish) in the Boston area. The Latin name should go in the lead sentence for proper identification of the plant. Horrible stuff. Good luck with the rewrite. Neotarf (talk) 22:38, 14 July 2012 (UTC)
    • Comment It is sold in the U.S. and Canada as "yerba mate". It is also sold in stores that don't sell other teas and sell South American products as "yerba" alone. While you may have heard it called MAH-tay, no one who speaks Spanish would say that to you since that would be "I kill"--well, unless you're annoying them and they are threatening you. The plant itself is horrible if you eat it, but lovely if you prepare it correctly. Both the Latin name should be in the lede of a new article based on the plant. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 00:24, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
With respect, while it may indeed be an incorrect pronunciation in spanish, what matters here is english usage. Every time I've heard it in english, it is pronounced MAH-tay, and for me the hypercorrection helps with the pronunciation> how is it pronounced in spanish?--KarlB (talk) 03:03, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
With respect, both the hypercorrection and the English pronunciation are incorrect. The hypercorrection simply reinforces the incorrect pronunciation. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 03:46, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
What is the correct pronunciation, and are there any dictionaries which support that? --KarlB (talk) 03:56, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Speak to someone who drinks it and they'll tell you. --Walter Görlitz (talk) 04:38, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
I do recognize that they're not WP:RSs. Also, don't the dictionary definitions list both the hypercorrected and the directly transliterated spelling? --Walter Görlitz (talk) 05:03, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
Support. I agree with the opinion that "this seems a clear case when there should be separate articles about the species Ilex paraguariensis and about the product"(including leaves). The leaves also are related with the product, or the plant, there is no reason for three pages. It looks like the Spanish speakers (and friends) are trying to force the use of "yerba", a Spanish word (and Brazil is the main producer, so the therm "erva" would be also desirable; or "herb" in English). It is an English page, and it is OK for use the scientific name (Latin), but the therm "yerba" not, and should be explained in the text. drlammel (talk) 11:23, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Despite all the "supports" and "opposes", perhaps we already have a consensus on the substantive issue: The plant should be at Ilex paraguariensis, and "yerba mate" properly refers to the leaves, especially when sold in loose form to make tea. Kauffner (talk) 05:24, 15 July 2012 (UTC)
Albeit I agree with you I see that Vitor Cassol and warsh opposes. Perhaps you could summarize opionions stated here before claiming any consensus. Chiton (talk) 05:36, 16 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't see any consensus. I see a pressure of the Spanish speakers (and friends) for use the therm "yerba", a Spanish word (Why not "erva", the Brazilian therm, since Brazil produces 54% of the world production? Or "herb" the English therm?). It is an English page, and it is OK for use the scientific name (Latin), but the therm "yerba" not, and should be explained in the text. Leaves are related to the plant or to the beverage, I don't see reason to have three pages. One page for the plant and the other for the beverage are enough (like the pages for tea). drlammel (talk) 11:37, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
There's no pressure, it's simply the more common language and term. --04:44, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • There is no statistical data saying that yerba is the most common therm. And the most important: this page is in ENGLISH, not Spanish! In the Spanish Wikipedia is right to use yerba, not in the English one. --03:06, 5 August 2012 (UTC) comment added by (talk)
Argentina population: 40,764,561 Paraguay population: 6,568,290, Brazilian population:196,655,014
According to FAO, Brazil is the biggest producer of mate in the world with 434,727 MT (53%), followed by Argentina with 300,000 MT (37%) and Paraguay with 76,663 MT (10%).
So, the world most common therm is erva (Portuguese) not yerba (Spanish). But since it is an ENGLISH page, an English term should be used. "Mate" for the beverage (common for Portuguese and Spanish - consensus) and Ilex paraguariensis for the plant (scientific name), as occur for coffee and tea. (talk) 07:17, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.