Ethnie teas have been used for centuries to treat diseases. The objective of this study was to determine the total polyphenol content, antioxidant, and human DNA anti-topoisomerase II activities of ethnic teas Ardisia sp., mate (Ilex paraguariensis) and roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa L). Total polyphenols were determined by using gallic (GA), chlorogenic (CH), and protocatechuic (PCA) acids as standards. Polyphenols in ardisia species ranged from 21-72 mg equivalents (eq) GA/g dried leaves and revealed the presence of epicatechin gallate, proanthocyanidins, kaempferol, naringenin, and ardisin, with the highest topoisomerase II catalytic inhibition. Mate tea contains caffeoyl derivatives (204-364 mg eq. CH/g), which are significantly different depending on their origin (P<0.001). PCA (33-60 mg eq./g) and anthocyanins were present in roselle tea. Mate tea presented the highest antioxidant capacity. Ethnic teas possess compounds with potential health benefits.