Last update: Aug. 17, 2016


Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Tree, bush. The dried leaves in infusion (social consumption of mate) are used. Widely consumed in Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, southern Brazil, Bolivia and Chile.
It contains alkaloids, xanthines (caffeine 2%, 0.2% theobromine, theophylline 0.05%), tannins, flavonoids.
Attributed properties are: mood stimulant, diuretic, bronchodilator, vasoconstrictor.
Indication by the Commission E of the German Ministry of Health: physical and mental fatigue.

It should not exceed the amount equivalent to 300 mg of caffeine a day (200 cc = 50-100 mg) during lactation. Average ingestion of Yerba mate by consumers is around 100-200 mg of caffeine a day, though it can reach 1 gram daily. It was published neonatal abstinence syndrome following chronic maternal consumption of mate.

At last update, there were not found published data on excretion in breast milk but it is known that xanthines are excreted in breast milk; however and since there is no proof of their effectiveness as galactagogue, it seems prudent not to increase but instead moderate the intake during lactation.
A best galactagogue is a frequent and on-demand breastfeeding together with a proper technique.

Precautions with herbal teas:
1. Make sure that you get them from reliable sources: poisoning may occur by a confusion with other plant which is toxic (Hsu 1995), poisoning from heavy metals and food poisoning due to contamination with bacteria or fungi.
2. Avoid large doses. "Natural products” are not good by themselves in any amount: many plants contain active substances where from many pharmaceutical products of the traditional Phamacopeia have been obtained and hence may be a cause of poisoning if consumed in inappropriate quantity or duration.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Mate is also known as

Mate in other languages or writings:


  1. ABM: Brodribb W. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeed Med. 2018 Jun;13(5):307-314 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Mannion C, Mansell D. Breastfeeding self-efficacy and the use of prescription medication: a pilot study. Obstet Gynecol Int. 2012;2012:562704. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. ABM. Academy Of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of galactogogues in initiating or augmenting the rate of maternal milk secretion (First Revision January 2011). Breastfeed Med. 2011 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. ABM. Comité de Protocolos de la Academia Médica de Lactancia Materna. ABM Protocolo Clínico #9: Uso de Galactogogos para Iniciar o aumentar la tasa de secreción de Leche Materna. Breastfeed Med. 2011 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. EMA. Community herbal monograph on Ilex paraguariensis St. Hilaire, folium. Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  6. Martín I, López-Vílchez MA, Mur A, García-Algar O, Rossi S, Marchei E, Pichini S. Neonatal withdrawal syndrome after chronic maternal drinking of mate. Ther Drug Monit. 2007 Abstract
  7. Pepino MY, Mennella JA. Advice given to women in Argentina about breast-feeding and the use of alcohol. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2004 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Hsu CK, Leo P, Shastry D, Meggs W, Weisman R, Hoffman RS. Anticholinergic poisoning associated with herbal tea. Arch Intern Med. 1995 Abstract
  9. Vázquez A, Moyna P. Studies on mate drinking. J Ethnopharmacol. 1986 Abstract

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