Turmeric versus Curcumin – and The Winner Is!

Paul Burton
Paul Burton


A great deal of confusion exists among consumers wanting to distinguish between turmeric and curcumin. This brief article is intended to clear the air as concisely as possible.

Turmeric is a plant that is native to South Asia, and it is a member of the ginger family. The root of the turmeric plant is used to produce a spice that is commonly used in cooking and has a warm, bitter taste and a bright yellow color. The primary active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a polyphenol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric and is responsible for its bright yellow color and many of its health benefits. Turmeric contains a small amount of curcumin, only about 3% by weight. However, curcumin supplements are available that contain a much higher concentration of the compound, so it is possible to consume much larger amounts of curcumin through supplements than when using turmeric in cooking.

In summary, turmeric is a plant that is used as a spice, and curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric that is responsible for its health benefits. While turmeric contains small amounts of curcumin, it is also possible to consume much larger amounts of curcumin through supplements.

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