I personally, have been drinking mate for ~ 6 years. I came across mate while learning about the use of herbs in Latin America. My grandparents are/were true Jibaro of Puerto Rico and knew a great deal of plants, which they used for food and medicine. I felt/feel the need to keep this tradition alive so I began to study herbs and kept on coming across mate and it’s use by herbalists of Paraguay as a catalyst for other herbal preparations.
Mate kept presenting itself to me in the herb shop and the Latin American grocery stores I frequented, like a “Drink Me” potion from the Alice in Wonderland story, so I introduced this herb into my diet. Knowing nothing of its true preparation, one day my lady gave me a Guayaki gourd and bombilla set as a gift. It was on and poppin’ after that! I consider this to be a turning point in my life. From this single act, my way of thinking, living, and eating slowly started to change as mate has become a huge part of my daily diet, and life for that matter. No bull.
As of late, I have been trying to truly introduce mate to my family after years of drinking it solo. There seems to be a shift in the consciousness of people everywhere in terms of their diet and medicine. Sick of modern medicine and conventional foods and such, people are looking to the past to see how things where done in the days of old. I believe this is the time to introduce yerba mate as people may be more susceptible to trying mate now more than ever.
I try to gently remind my family to “remember their Jibaro roots” and “rediscover the love for the land and the plants” as I try introducing mate. “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness” in my family. I offer a powerful plant/medicine that I believe to be beneficial to your life. It is your own choice to heed this call as I am perfectly content with drinking solo.
One day my familia will say, “Adio caraj! Este ‘loco’ tenia razon!”. (Dang! This crazy dude was right!”)