Background: One of the trends in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food market is the
development of products with natural components, especially plant products. Besides being used as a
beverage, yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil.) has traditionally been used in folk medicine due
to its many therapeutic effects.
Objective: The present study aims to evaluate the yerba mate utilization profile in the pharmaceutical
and food industry by analyzing patent documents.
Methods: Patent documents were retrieved using Derwent Innovations Index database.
Results: Although the number of patent applications had remained almost constant throughout the
years, it has been increasing since 2008. The applicants are preponderantly companies and applications
are technologically concentrated in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, where
yerba mate has been used as a component for diverse products, including energy drinks, weight loss,
and anti-wrinkle preparations.
Conclusion: These data can serve to promote innovation and strategic planning, optimizing yerba
mate uses in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food supplements; therefore enhancing the aggregate
value of the plant culture.