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Less Morning Stiffness, Fewer Sinus Problems: Unexpected Benefits of Yerba Mate...

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Less Morning Stiffness, Fewer Sinus Problems: Unexpected Benefits of Yerba Mate...

Old 06-17-18, 08:32 AM
  #1  
BobbyG
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Less Morning Stiffness, Fewer Sinus Problems: Unexpected Benefits of Yerba Mate...

I tend to be skeptical of health claims in regards to herbs, organics, etc., but I wanted to share a couple of unexpected benefits I reaped after switching to Yerba Mate from Coffee.

I've been drinking coffee since I was 14. I need the caffeine. Except for three months in 2001 when we had to take in our young grand-kids for a few months. I thought weaning off caffeine would help with the stress of the kids, and of the situation that caused us to take them in...it didn't and I felt less alert.

Like many of us over 50, I have become less tolerant of strong, acidic coffee. Even with the less satisfying milder blends of coffee, I have had more bouts of acid reflux.

I've been performing in an improv theater troupe for a few years, and before shows and practice I like to have a cup of coffee or a small bottle of caffeinated soda. One night before practice I found myself uncharacteristically in a health food store. I stumbled upon Yerba Mate in a bottle. Like Iced tea, but with caffeine equal to Mountain Dew.

You can google it, but the short story is Yerba Mate is a caffeinated, tea-like beverage made from a south american plant in the holly family.

What I noticed is that the caffeine fix came on a little more slowly, but lasted longer.

After a few more weeks, and wishing to avoid the acid reflux from drinking coffee I decided to try substituting the Yerba Mate for coffee.

After some research I bought a small package of Guyaki brand loose leaf Yerba Mate. It is not the traditional method of preparing it or drinking it, but it's popular here in the States because you can make it the same way you make coffee...and it measures like coffee, and it is less bitter than the traditional forms of Yerba Mate (and it comes without twigs and stems).

I put two scoops of coffee in my 5-cup coffee maker, so I put two scoops of Yerba Mate leaves in the filter basket. I pour in the water and wait. It looks like mid-strength tea, but a little cloudy. It tastes like mid-strength tea, but less "tannic", less "dry".

I bought some for the office, too.

After two weeks I had had no bouts of acid reflux.

And then last Tuesday I rode in to work past a quarter mile of city crews mowing grass and trimming weeds. This always inflames my sinuses. I prepared for the tightening of my sinuses an the watering of my eyes...and...and...nothing. I rolled into work and looked up Yerba Mate again. One of the supposed health benefits is better control of sinus allergies. Well, it seemed to work for me.

I immediately called a friend in his 60s who has been having a difficult year with his sinus allegies and told him about my experience. I didn't promise him anything. But he said he would try it.

He called me yesterday (Saturday). He said he went to the store and bought some right after I called him and substituted it his coffee, and it seemed to be working for his sinus allergies.

Then he asked me how I had been waking up in the morning, because the last two days he woke up without stiffness. He still had his usual sore back and hips, but no stiffness. It was then I realized my back and knees had not been stiff upon waking all week! Apparently the anti-inflammatory claims for Yerba Mate have held true for both of us.

Yesterday I did some heavy lifting and this morning I was a little sore, but not stiff.

I am thrilled!

I suppose medicines and especially herbal remedies are like bike seats...one size does NOT fit all, and what works for some, doesn't work for others. But I wanted to share my experience with Yerba Mate in case it can help others as it helped me, and especially my friend who has far worse allergies and stiffness than I do.

Don't let all the hippy-dippy, new-age, psuedo-spiritual mumbo jumbo dissuade you. You don't need to drink it with a straw from a gourd. Just make it like coffee.

Remember, Yerba Mate contains caffeine, and unfortunately there is no decaffeinated alternative for those adverse to caffeine.

Anyway, that's my experience with Yerba Mate...your mileage may vary.
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Old 06-17-18, 04:52 PM
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I've considered trying yerba mate and it's readily available now. But I've had no problems with coffee, which is my essential morning medicine. It enhances the effects of ibuprofen, antihistamines and decongestants to relieve the usual morning aches and congestion. Motivates me to get on the bike even when my body doesn't want to.
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Old 06-17-18, 04:55 PM
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Yerba mate is an acquired taste. I like it and I might pick up some more.
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Old 06-19-18, 07:08 AM
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I always go to the Mayo Clinic on things like this:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...e/faq-20058343
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Old 06-19-18, 07:18 AM
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The placebo effect. Yay
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Old 06-19-18, 12:20 PM
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As men age they should be so lucky to have more morning stiffness.
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Old 06-20-18, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by themp View Post
I always go to the Mayo Clinic on things like this:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-l...e/faq-20058343
The cancer potential seems to come from the traditional method of drying the leaves over a smoky fire, which also imparts flavor just like grilling meat. The type I am using is air-dried. As far as I can tell, it does not seem towork as a mood elevator for myself or my friend.
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Old 06-20-18, 04:28 PM
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I do not suffer from acid reflux, but I do suffer from nearly constant sinus allergies. A lifelong coffee drinker, I'll give the yerba mate a shot.
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Old 06-20-18, 05:28 PM
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Thread moved to Pills & Ills forum.
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Old 06-20-18, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
As men age they should be so lucky to have more morning stiffness.
I am 62 and I have no idea what you are talking about.
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Old 06-22-18, 11:34 AM
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I tried it after I read the OP's post. Tastes like brewed grass clippings.... Someone in Argentina must be having a good laugh!

Mild relief on my chronically inflamed sinuses (oh Houston...) lasted about 2-3 hours.

No adverse effect from drinking a second cup around 8 pm. Slept fine.

Felt more limber as well.

Possible negative, slightly elevated blood pressure, I will keep monitoring.

I will keep drinking a couple of cups a day and see what happens.
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Old 06-22-18, 12:25 PM
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Mate de coca saved my life one morning in Cuzco, back in the late 70s.
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Old 06-22-18, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Mate de coca saved my life one morning in Cuzco, back in the late 70s.
I'm thinking there must be a story behind that …
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Old 06-22-18, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I'm thinking there must be a story behind that …
Yes and, alas, it’s mainly about the ill effects of beer and altitude on the immature brain.

Of course there was also the beautiful French woman, the count with the monocle, the Mossad agents, and the trove of priceless pre-columbian artifacts, but they’re hardly germane to the subject at hand.
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Old 06-22-18, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
Mate de coca saved my life one morning in Cuzco, back in the late 70s.
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I'm thinking there must be a story behind that …
I'm guessing a Warren Zevon song and Hunter S. Thompson story may be involved here.

Regarding pain relief, caffeine has a known ergogenic effect that enhances NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen. That's been known for decades, which is why Excedrin and similar OTC analgesics include caffeine along with aspirin, acetaminophen or both. My usual breakfast is 600-800 mg ibuprofen and a couple of cups of coffee out of the French press.

Seems to help relieve some sinus pressure and pain, although not as effectively as good ol' Sudafed or generic pseudoephedrine, or ephedrine used in some asthma meds.

But now I'm curious enough about yerba mate to give it a try. After a frustrating experience dealing with my health network for chronic pain, I'm trying CBD since some friends swear it helped them. I can't tell any difference after only one day, but supposedly it takes awhile to be effective.

Anything to avoid the massive doses of ibuprofen the doctor suggested, or the massive amounts of alcohol some of my neighbors consume to cope with pain. And the clinic won't renew prescription pain meds beyond the initial 10 days after traumatic injury. Our pain management clinic has a three month waiting period for an appointment, which is only a consult and offers zero actual therapy. It can take up to six months just for the first anti-inflammatory injection treatment. This goes way beyond inefficiency and delves into the realm of bureaucratic absurdity.

It's no wonder so many of my acquaintances swear by woo such as essential oils for treating cancer or polio. I know they aren't idiots. Maybe they've encountered similar frustrations dealing with medical doctors, or they can't afford medical insurance so they're desperate to try anything.
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