The yerba mate, yerba commonly
called (in Guarani: ka'a) is a neotropical shrub or tree
native to the basins of the rivers Paraná, Paraguay and
Uruguay, where it grows in the wild, mostly part of the
understory or stratum medium of the mountains.
Of the dried and ground leaves of this aquifoliácea
prepares the mate, an infusion common stimulant in the
cuisine of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and
Uruguay. Mate's name is the name given to the gourds
that traditionally serves as a container to the infusion.
It is widely cultivated commercially in Argentina,
Brazil and Paraguay since the nineteenth century, giving
rise to an important industry.