Citation: I.B. Surprised. "Not Mind-Altering: An Experience with Yerba Mate (exp39559)". Erowid.org. Mar 1, 2006. erowid.org/exp/39559
I lived in Santiago, Chile from 2000 to 2002. In South America, Mate is used by all Argentines and nearly all Brazilians. It is also quite popular in Chile, however not as much as in Argentina. They basically add hot water to a special cup that holds the loose herbs. A filtered straw is used to suck up the water without getting any nasty bits of dried leaves in your mouth (although sometimes you do anyway). Sugar is added by preference. Mate has an acquired taste, it is very bitter. Hot milk is also used in place of water by some.
Over my 2 years in Chile I drank much mate and collected much of the paraphanalia (cups and straws.) I did not find it mind-altering. I have had several cups in one small time period and never felt anything other than what I might feel if I downed a couple mountain dews. I still enjoy mate whenever its snowing or bitterly cold out!
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