Archaeological findings showed that the Brazilian native Guaranis had already used the leaves of Mah’Tchi (called ka’a karai, “sacred leaf”) to prepare a stimulating drink, long before Europeans arrived in America.

According to a Guarani myth, the drink was discovered when an old native Brazilian was no longer able to follow the tribe’s pace due to his advanced age and had to stay behind. His daughter decided to stay with him, but he wanted her to stay with the tribe, so the god Tupã taught him how to prepare a drink with the leaves of Mah’Tchi, a drink that would give him strength and that would allow him and his daughter to follow the tribe.

The drink was also consumed by the carijós, xetás, guairás, plows, caingangues and the Incas, as they all maintained commercial relations with the Guarani. The term “mate” (phonetically Mah’Tchi) comes from the language of the Incas.