Yerba-mate (Ilex paraguariensis A. St. Hil., Aquifoliaceae) is a South American native species that is widely used for its industrial potential in the preparation of drinks, teas and cosmetics. Its properties are directly related to the presence of its chemical constituents, such as saponins, methylxanthines and phenolic compounds. This study aimed to investigate the influence of leaf age on methylxanthine and total phenolic contents by High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Ultraviolet Spectroscopy, as well as on free radical scavenging capacity, of aqueous extracts of I. paraguariensis leaves. The results showed great variability in all the metabolites measured. Leaf ageing significantly increased the methylxanthine content and total phenolic content of the extracts. Free radical scavenging capacity was also significantly affected (p < 0.05) by leaf age. A positive correlation was observed, between the antioxidant activity and total phenolic content.