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Use and Origin of Yerba Maté*


INFUSIONS from vegetable products are common throughout the world, but the particular infusion with which this address deals is that procured from the leaves and shoots of the Ilex paraguayensis, a shrub indigenous to Paraguay and to southern Brazil. After a process of drying, aided by fire, hot water is poured on the broken or powdered leaf, and the infusion is imbibed through a tube of silver or of native bamboo. From the centre of its origin it spread rapidly, like all valuable food products, to the Argentine, Chile and Peru, and, especially since the War, when many South American contingents were engaged, it has become more familiar in Europe than formerly.

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