Ilex paraguariensis (leaf)

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Ilex paraguariensis A. St.-Hil.   Aquifoliaceae  
Standardized common name (English): mate

Botanical Voucher Specimen

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Ilex paraguariensis Kew imageBarcode=K000588521 244366.jpg
Source: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[1]

Ilex paraguariensis Kew imageBarcode=K000588522 244367.jpg
Source: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[2]

Ilex paraguariensis Kew imageBarcode=K000588523 244368.jpg
Source: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[3]

Ilex paraguariensis var. paraguariensis Kew imageBarcode=K000588520 244365.jpg
Ilex paranguariensis var. paraguariensis
Source: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[4]


Ilex paraguariensis var. vestita Kew imageBarcode=K000588526 244373.jpg
Ilex paraguariensis var. vestita
Source: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.[5]

Organoleptic Characteristics

[Ilex paraguariensis ...] a balsamic odor and bitter taste, and are usually at first disagreeable to the palate.

Source: United States Dispensatory (1918) [6]

Macroscopic Characteristics

Microscopic Characteristics

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Ilex paraguariensis - Alkemist Laboratories.jpg
Lower epidermis showing actinocytic stomata observed at 400x with Acidified Chloral Hydrate Glycerol Solution.
Source: Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories[7]

Ilex paraguariensis-1- Alkemist Laboratories.png
Epidermis showing thick cell walls observed at 400x with Acidified Chloral Hydrate Glycerol Solution.
Source: Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories[8]

High Performance Thin Layer Chromatographic Identification

AP-LOGO-Laboratories Crop - Copy.jpg
Ilex paraguariensis HPTLC ID - Natural Product Reagent + PEG UV 365 nm

Yerba Mate (leaf) (Ilex paraguariensis)

Lane Assignments Lanes, from left to right (Track, Volume, Sample):

  1. 2 μL Caffeine ~0.1% in CH3OH
  2. 3 μL Ilex paraguariensis-1 (leaf)
  3. 3 μL Ilex paraguariensis-2 (leaf)
  4. 3 μL Ilex paraguariensis-3 (leaf)
  5. 3 μL Ilex paraguariensis-3 (leaf)
  6. 3 μL Ilex paraguariensis-4 (leaf)
  7. 3 μL Ilex paraguariensis-5 (leaf)
  8. 4 μL Theobromine ~0.1% in CH3OH

Reference materials used here have been authenticated by macroscopic, microscopic &/or TLC studies according to the reference source cited below held at Alkemists Laboratories, Costa Mesa, CA. 

Stationary Phase Silica gel 60, F254, 10 x 10 cm HPTLC plates 

Mobile Phase ethyl acetate: glacial acetic acid: formic acid: water [10/1.1/1.1/2.4] 

Sample Preparation Method 0.3 g + 3 ml CH3OH sonicate/heat @ 50° C ~ 1/2 hr 

Detection Method Natural Product Reagent + PEG -> UV 365 nm 

Reference see Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals, Max Wichtl, 3rd ed., 2004

Source: Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories [9]

Supplementary Information


  1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  3. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  5. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  6. United States Dispensatory (1918)
  7. Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories
  8. Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories
  9. Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories
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