Yerba Mate might cure colon cancer, or something

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I have, like, ten mates and bombillas laying around my apartment and about two bags full of yerba buried in a cabinet because, once, I spent four months in Buenos Aires and I guess I thought I was cool or something. Now I may have to go find all that stuff.

A recent University of Illinois study found that chemicals found in yerba mate actively destroy colon cancer cells, and this may be useful in treating cancer, and blah blah blah science here read this:

“The caffeine derivatives in mate tea not only induced death in human colon cancer cells, they also reduced important markers of inflammation,” said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I associate professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.


In the in vitro study, de Mejia and former graduate student Sirima Puangpraphant isolated, purified, and then treated human colon cancer cells with caffeoylquinic acid (CQA) derivatives from mate tea. As the scientists increased the CQA concentration, cancer cells died as a result of apoptosis.

“Put simply, the cancer cell self-destructs because its DNA has been damaged,” she said.

Yerba mate might still be dangerous if you’ve got heart problems, though, so be careful. Now when your friends wonder what that gross looking stuff you’re drinking is, tell them it’s your medicine.

This also works with whiskey.