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BR  BRAZIL
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AR  ARGENTINA
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Boat Trip and Safari
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PY  PARAGUAY
Bertoni Museum
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Museum and Zoo
Ciudad del Este city
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Natives
Nov, 14/2019
11:17am
(GMT -3)

Flora

Mate Tea (Yerba Mate) 
 
Mate became the most common ingredient in household cures of the Guarani, and remains so to this day. In current practice in modern Argentina and Paraguay, mate tea is made from the leaves of the "Ilex paraguayensis" tree steeped in hot water. Actually, a large quantity of ground leaf is first soaked in cold water, then the hot water is added, over and over again, until all the beneficial qualities have been extracted. In between each addition of hot water the tea is ingested through a special wood or metal straw, called a bombilla, which filters out the leafy material. It is also used as a cold beverage. Certain rituals of mate use in South America are extremely unsanitary from a hygienic perspective. Often, the bombilla is passed from one individual to the next around a circle. This, and associated ritualistic practices, represent aberrations of the yerba mate tradition that crept in over the centuries.
 

Yerba Mate in the legends of the Guarani Natives

There is an old Guarani Native legend that explains the origins of the Guarani in the Forests of Paraguay. According to the legend, the ancestors of the Guarani at one time in the distant past crossed a great and spacious ocean from a far land to settle in the Americas. They found the land wonderful yet full of dangers; through diligence and effort they subdued the land and inaugurated a new civilization. The Guarani tribes worked the land and became excellent craftsmen. They looked forward to the coming of a tall, fair-skinned, blue eyed, bearded God (Paí i Shume) who, according to legend, descended from the skies and expressed his pleasure with the Guarani. He brought religious knowledge and imparted to them certain agricultural practices to be of benefit during times of drought and pestilence as well as on a day-to-day basis. Significantly, he unlocked the secrets of health and medicine and revealed the healing qualities of native plants. One of the most important of these secrets was how to harvest and prepare the leaves of the yerba mate tree. The mate beverage was meant to ensure health, vitality and longevity.



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 Subtropical rain forest

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