Ask Charoula: "Herbs"


The Marvels of Turmeric!

Are Spices herbs?  You bet they are. And most of them are extremely powerful, not only because of their nature, but also because they are powderized and represent the herb – whether that is a plant or a flower or a seed etc.– in its highest concentration.

If there is one Herb that I cannot do without, be it in our kitchen or in the medicine cabinet, it is the almighty Turmeric! I love its taste, I love how it heats me inside, preventing colds as well as indigestion, and I love what it looks like—vibrant yellow/reddish color that warms me up even before I taste it!

I doubt there is anyone out there that doesn’t know what Turmeric is, but I thought I would write a little about it, since it is an herb we sorely need in the winter—for many of its wonderful qualities.

Turmeric is effective because of its natural compound: Curcumin.

Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.

  • As an anti-inflammatory, it is known to kill tumor cells, including cancer cells It is very effective in suppressing/curing Arthritic joints, from achy knees, shoulders, and hands, as well as spine issues.
  • As an anti-oxidant, it is effective against a large number of conditions, from:
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis, to Diabetes, Chest colds, and even Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. And, as already mentioned above, Cancer.
    • It is also helpful with Depression, Fatigue– and wounds of all kinds.
    • I must also add that Curcumin unclogs arteries and plaque build up, which of course is the known cause of heart attacks.
    • And it reduces the size of blood clots in the brain that cause strokes.
  • Pretty Amazing!!!


Antioxidants, mostly found in specific foods like fruit and veges, are incredible scavengers whose job is to cleanse the human system, and strengthen our Immunity. The way they accomplish this is by actually “scavenging” our entire system, beginning with the Gut, where our good bacteria mostly reside. Good bacteria consume antioxidants and this increases their numbers and ability to prevent/cure diseases.

  • Antioxidants also greatly contribute to anti-aging.
  • Turmeric, being a very strong antioxidant, highly contributes to this process, and is highly important in helping us live a healthier and longer life!


At our house, we use Turmeric almost daily, in our soups, stir fries (vegetable primarily: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots etc), omelets, and much more. We add two full rounded teaspoons in a meal for two, and because we always cook enough for a day or two (!), the two teaspoons are doubled or tripled!

And let’s not forget the famous meal that came to the West via the English conquerors of  the great country of India  in the late 19th C.: Curry, another frequent meal of ours. This meal of course includes a few other condiments like Cumin, Ginger, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cloves– but Curcumin remains the main ingredient in the spice mixture.

If you haven’t tried cooking your own Curry, try it some time, you will love it!

And in the meantime, just use Turmeric generously whether it is a Curry, or just a nice stir fry, or a bean/tomato soup!


For questions please email me at:

Charoula Dontopoulos
Certified Herbalist
Holistic Health Advisor
BC Polarity Therapy Practitioner

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