Kombucha Yerba Mate extracts show potential for skin health benefits

Data published in Scientific Reports​ (a Nature​ journal) showed that Kombucha-fermented Yerba Mate yielded a range of bioactives, including polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid or caffeoyl derivatives, plus xanthines and flavonoids.

The extracts were found to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, reported scientists from the University of Information Technology and Management in Rzeszow and the Medical University of Lublin.

These properties are “extremely important in the context of healthy skin appearance and prevention of various skin imperfections”,​ they wrote.

Kombucha & yerba mate

Kombucha is typically defined as a fermented tea, whereby firms brew tea, add sugar, and then ferment the mixture with a kombucha culture or ‘SCOBY’ (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), which creates, among other things, carbon dioxide (explaining why kombucha is a bit fizzy), alcohol, acetic acid (explaining the slightly sour, vinegary taste) and other organic acids such as lactic acid, propionic acid, glucuronic acid and gluconic acid.

While the majority of kombucha is carried out using green or black tea, the researchers behind the new study examined the impacts of using a kombucha culture to ferment yerba mate (Illex paraguariensis​), a tea-like drink traditionally consumed in South American countries by pouring boiling water onto a high concentration of leaves. The active ingredients of the beverage include polyphenols and caffeoyl derivatives, such as caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and different forms of dicaffeoylquinic acid. Yerba maté also contains phytosterols and saponins.

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