What Is the Difference Between Turmeric and Curcumin?

What Is the Difference Between Turmeric and Curcumin

You may probably hear many people talking about turmeric and curcumin. Some are even confused about the two and used them interchangeably in the same statement. But what is exactly their difference? Are they almost the same thing and do they provide the same benefits?

To briefly explain before we go on to the more detailed part, turmeric is a spice commonly used throughout the world, most especially in Asia, as a primary ingredient in curry dishes. Because of its significant yellow color, it is also sometimes referred to as Indian Saffron. But the reason for its popularity is its wide significant health benefits. 

Curcumin, on the other hand, is the key active ingredient of turmeric. The two are frequently mentioned together because curcumin is derived from turmeric. 

This blog will enlighten you about the key differences between turmeric and curcumin, their potential health benefits, and an introduction to a well-loved tumeric curcumin supplement.

Differences between turmeric and curcumin


Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a natural herb that’s part of the ginger family. This is also one of the reasons why people see turmeric as ginger. Especially if you bought it fresh, it looks very similar to a ginger root, but with a more vivid yelow color.

The roots of the turmeric are traditionally used to make spices as cooking ingredient or herbal drinks, and some are sold in jars. In some Asian countries like India, turmeric is used as a treatment for inflammation, digestive issues, and skin conditions.

Turmeric consists of various plant substances. But one group, called curcuminoids, has the most dominant health-promoting properties.


Curcumin is a natural component within the plant’s roots that produces its bright yellow color, known as the carotenoid - a compound that is also a powerful antioxidant.

Curcumin, in its own right, is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antimicrobial, and antioxidant effects.

Which is better between the two?

What Is the Difference Between Turmeric and Curcumin

If curcumin comes from turmeric, does it mean that turmeric is better?

There isn’t an exact answer to this since there are arguments on both sides. Some researches say that it’s better to get your nutrients directly from whole foods because some nutrients that are present in them will greatly impact as to how your bodies absorb them.

A simple scenario to this is like eating fruits. Some fruits are best eaten as a whole, including their skin, like apples, grapes, berries, and cherries, instead of drinking them as fruit juice. This is because the body simply responds to the fruit’s sugar differently depending if you consumed them as a whole fruit or take them in liquid form.


Turmeric root is mostly dried and powdered. This kind is what you’ll commonly find in stores and spice racks.

Although, there is also an elixir turmeric extract that is made from shredded turmeric roots, which can be used as edible solvents for wellness teas or other herbal blends.


Curcumin extraction is more complicated than turmeric extraction. Curcumin is extracted and isolated through a process called chromatography

This means that you can fully get a 100% curcumin from a turmeric supplement, while a turmeric extract can only have up to 95% of curcumin, and 3% of the root’s powder.

Some experts also stated that an extracted curcumin carries more antioxidant compared to the powder. Yet, this is also arguable because certain curcuminoids present in the powder exhibits strong antioxidant activities.

Which one can be easily absorbed by the body?

What Is the Difference Between Turmeric and Curcumin

The truth is, neither the turmeric nor the curcumin is easily absorbed by the body without the help of oil or fat.


A turmeric root comprises natural oils that help with the body’s absorption. It can also be incorporated with additional oil when being used for cooking.

Turmeric powder nowadays is also added into lattes (turmeric lattes), because some people believed it’s a better way of consuming it since milk has natural fats.


Curcumin that comes in supplement form is also blended with essential fatty acids such as fish oil, but becomes more effective when black pepper is included.

Black pepper has a compound called piperine, which helps keep the turmeric compounds in their best quality for digestion process for them to stay longer in the body.

Some curcumin supplements include Bioperine® to increase the turmeric supplement’s bioavailability by 2000%, therefore strengthening more of its effectiveness and potency.

Health benefits of turmeric and curcumin

Health benefits of turmeric and curcumin
  • Combats the discomfort caused by arthritis and joint pains
  • Boost immune system function by protecting the body against free radical cell damage and reducing oxidative stress
  • Helps stabilize blood pressure and prevent hypertension
  • Regulates cholesterol by lowering triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels
  • Reduces IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), indigestion, constipation, and bloating
  • Aids in liver detoxification by helping eliminate toxins & unwanted waste from the body, and stimulating bile production
  • Helps reduce bacterial growth, fights free radicals, and combats inflammation to support a healthy thyroid condition
  • Helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease through the help of curcuminoids, which can reduce neuroinflammation and plaque buildup on the brain
  • Helps reduce oxidative stress and neurotoxicity that are linked to Parkinson’s disease
  • Boosts DHA synthesis to improve cognitive function and overall mental health
  • The curcuminoid has anxiolytic and antidepressant effects because of its potent to regulate dopamine and serotonin levels, therefore assisting in reducing anxiety and depression
  • Decreases the likelihood of asthma and allergy attack through turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties

To conclude:

Turmeric powders and supplements provide a whole-foods approach by maintaining the root’s nutrients. While curcumin supplements give an isolated form from turmeric’s most active compound. In whichever way you look at their differences, the health benefits are here to stay.

Although turmeric and curcumin offer a wide array of health benefits, it can be difficult to extract or incorporate the two to one’s everyday diet. Most people, especially those who are experiencing arthritis and joint pain, or those who are not fond of the turmeric curcumin taste, prefer to take supplements instead.

The best turmeric curcumin supplements have the combination of turmeric and Bioperine for maximum absorption.

Purely Optimal’s Turmeric Curcumin -  keeps you healthy from the inside out so you can live and enjoy life’s best moments

Our Tumeric Curcumin contains the following ingredients to give you the best value and maximum health benefits: 

Purely Optimal Turmeric Curcumin
  • Mega dose of 2000mg turmeric root extract - for healthy joints and cartilage, not to mention the highest available in the market
  • 95% standardized curcuminoids - that helps with flexibility and reduces pain, especially from arthritis
  • BioPerine and black pepper - for maximum absorption
  • 2400mg of potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant blend - for joint support and overall health
    • Organic ginger root - to help manage cholesterol levels
    • White willow bark - for pain relief and comfort
    • Quercetin - to strengthen the body’s defenses
    • Rosemary leaf - for an antioxidant boost
  • Boswella serrata - as a potent anti-inflammatory

There’s no limit to what you can do when you’re free to move. Get our Turmeric Curcumin supplement now for your best defense against inflammation so you can start freeing yourself from achy joints!

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