Curcumin versus Turmeric: Which is best for you?

More than 100 species of turmeric exist today, and one common feature is their yellowish-orange tint. Curcuminoids are the compounds that give this color to turmeric. Turmeric has three main curcuminoids, which make up the rhizome content, and out of these three, curcumin has the highest share. For example, the powdered turmeric spice for cooking has, on average, 1-3 grams of curcumin per 100 grams. Curcumin is turmeric’s bioactive element that treats people’s health conditions at the cellular level. The Latin name for turmeric is Curcuma longa. But what are the differences between curcuma longa, turmeric, and curcumin?

In this article, you’ll find the following in detail:

  • Curcumin versus Turmeric
  • Potential Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin
  • Health Benefits of Turmeric 
  • Curcumin may be more valuable than Turmeric for particular reasons.
  • Which is best?

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Curcumin Versus Turmeric

Turmeric contains a group of curcuminoids. The curcuminoid family includes three major components:

  • Curcumin
  • Demethoxycurcumin Bisdemethoxycurcumin (CDMC)

curcumin versus turmeric (turmeric curcuminoids)

“Turmeric” is a plant; curcuma longa and turmeric are essentially the same things, and curcumin is a compound found in both turmeric and curcuma longa. Curcuma longa is also known as Turmeric root.

curcumin versus turmeric

This may seem confusing because it’s easy to think that “turmeric” refers only to one thing: the spice you put in your food. But the word has two different meanings: it can refer either to this plant’s rhizome e (the underground stem) or its powdered form. And there are two plants with similar names! Curcuma longa is also known as Turmer c root (and has been used medicinally for centuries). It’s related to ginger but looks more like an orange than anything else, so if you’re looking at pictures of plants online or in person, don’t be surprised if they look slightly different from what you expect!

Turmeric is the rhizome of the plant Curcuma longa. Also, it is scientifically known as curcuma longa, which is a spice from the plant’s rhizome. So the untranslated form of Curcuma longa is turmeric.

Turmeric is a plant, and so is curcuma longa.

Their roots are used to make the spice called turmeric or curcuma longa. The root is also called turmeric, but you can’t eat it; only the rhizome (root) produces the spice. Every year, locals gather the Curcuma longa plants due to their rhizomes. They convert dry roots into a yellowish-orange powder known as turmeric. This is why turmeric is also called turmeric root powder or Curcuma longa extract.

Turmeric contains curcumin, but only in a meager percentage.

Around 3.5% of turmeric powder is curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric. Curcumin is the bioactive compound in turmeric, and it’s what gives turmeric its bright yellow color. It’s a member of the ginger family. Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) medicine practitioners have used it for thousands of years. Our predecessors used curcumin in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. These compounds have anti-inflammatory effects that may help treat both acute illnesses like colds or the flu as well as chronic diseases such as arthritis. Among these curcuminoids, curcumin possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory traits, exemplary for treating and preventing many diseases.

Potential Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Both Turmeric and curcumin hold antimicrobial and medicinal effects. Study after study shows that they may help people with heart ailments, osteoarthritis, and obesity.

  • Osteoarthritis: Primary turmeric compounds can reduce inflammation markers, relieving osteoarthritis symptoms.
  • Obesity: Both turmeric and curcumin can inhibit the inflammation connected to obesity and manage body fat regulation.
  • Heart disease: Both of them can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and the danger of heart issues.
  • Diabetes: Both act as refiners and maintain the blood sugar metabolic process. Also, these spices decrease the impacts of diabetes on the body.
  • Liver: Studies on mice showed that both were defensive against chronic liver disease by winding up bad oxidative stress.
  • Cancer: Still, research is ongoing; both may reduce the activity of the colon and other cancer cells.
  • Antifungal: Both obstruct fungal cells and, if used simultaneously with fungal medication, give good results.
  • Antibacterial: Both have potent antibacterial properties. They can inhibit the growth of many disease-causing bacteria in the first place.

What are the 20 Benefits of Turmeric?

Benefits of curcumin versus turmeric

Turmeric is not only proven to be suitable for improving the immune system but also potent medicine against arthritis, detoxification, and many more. Many active compounds in turmeric function altogether to support your body. Since turmeric contains curcumin, it isn’t easy to guess whether turmeric is the best or curcumin for its health benefits.

A study found that turmeric’s antifungal properties could inhibit fungal growth, as curdione in turmeric is best for inhibitory effect. In the same way, turmeric is better at repressing the growth of tumors and cancerous cells than curcumin.

Other Health Benefits It May Have:

  1.  Curcumin and turmeric extract pills improve IBS symptoms, especially abdominal pain and life quality. 
  2. Turmeric can help those with autoimmunity and the thyroid, reduces whole-body inflammation, heals the gut, and detoxify heavy metals from the body.
  3. Turmeric is a pinned essential skin-whitening ingredient cited in Ayurveda. It reduces dark patches and imparts glossy skin. 
  4. Curcuma aromatica is a fellow of the genus Curcuma belonging to the home Zingiberaceae. It is mainly used for skin health and dark circles to reduce inflammation.
  5.  Turmeric essential oil is antimicrobial and anti-fungal, which can resist bacteria or fungal infections when taken internally or applied topically on your skin. 
  6. Turmeric paste is a good remedy for wounds and skin irritations thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects

Curcumin may be more valuable than Turmeric for particular reasons.

Curcumin’s potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects can heal wounds through its antibacterial effects. Likewise, the researchers concluded that turmeric and curcumin might decrease blood su ars in type 2 diabetes.

curcumin versus turmeric effects

An animal study affirmed that curcumin was better at reducing diabetes indicators. This bioactive compound notably lowers inflammatory markers such as tumor necrosis fac or interleukin 6, which triggers diabetes type 2. But curcumin is poor in absorption. Combining it with black pepper can also ensure absorption by 2000 times. In short, curcumin s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory impacts can be treated against diabetes or osteoporosis.


  1. Radicular back pain is one of the common causes of lower back pain. Researchers observed that curcumin alleviates radiculopathy by reducing neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, and nociceptive factors.
  2. Combined with zinc lozenges, it has been shown to reduce symptoms such as cold & flu, coughing, sneezing, and sore throat within 24 hours.
  3. In recent decades, curcumin has enticed researchers and revealed a wide range of properties relevant to depression and anxiety pathophysiology.
  4. In the past few decades, curcumin’s ability to impact chronic inflammatory diseases such as metabolic syndrome, arthritis, and cancer has been studied widely, along with increasing claims about knowing its role in exercise-linked muscle pain.
  5. High cortisol levels may harm the immune system, and some research suggests it can reduce cortisol levels.
  6. It positively impacts cognitive symptoms like memory problems, focus, and concentration. Further, it may help improve memory problems, stress, and attention span in people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). 
  7. Curcumin may satisfy people with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis when used with a prescription.
  8. Reliable evidence shows that oxidative stress, free radicals, and cerebral deregulation caused by abnormal inflammatory reactions contribute to Dementia. Curcumin, an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and lipophilic action, enhances cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer’s. 

The Potential of Curcumin in Skin Disorders

curcumin versus turmeric


Your body cannot absorb curcumin alone because it is notorious for poor bioavailability. The optimal curcumin effect on pain and inflammation depends upon the supplement’s concentration and bioavailability. Taking curcumin with black pepper speeds up recovery. Piperine in black pepper ensures curcumin absorption in your body very well. So while choosing curcumin supplements, be sure the product has black pepper. Read the product label first while making a buying decision.

Curcumin+piperine is beneficial in the case of the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Trauma
  • Gastritis
  • Ulcerative colitis and many other diseases linked to pain and inflammation
  • Cardiovascular pathologies
  • Clogged Arteries 
  • Obesity
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Memory and focusing problems

Safety Profile: Curcumin has shown safe in six human trials and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity.  The FDA finalized that curcuminoids used as antioxidant and flavoring agents greater than 20 mg/serving in foods are safe.


Which is best?

It is not conclusive whether it is best to take curcumin or turmeric supplements, turmeric root powder, or curcumin alone. The thing that matters is the turmeric curcumin dosage. While choosing a supplement, buy a clinically tested formula with enough bioavailability capacity.

  • For joint arthritis, turmeric extracts with 1 gram of curcumin per day benefit after 8–12 weeks.
  • To reduce cholesterol levels, 700 mg of turmeric extract can aid twice daily.
  • 2.4 grams of organic turmeric with nigella seeds daily decreases waist circumference and inflammation.
  • Six grams of curcumin and 60 mg of piperine in three doses minimized muscle damage in athletes.
  • Hence, turmeric or curcumin supplements with 1–6 grams of curcumin per day could be beneficial for health. In higher doses, it can disturb the digestive system.


In summary, curcuma longa is a plant that contains both turmeric and curcumin. Turmeric is the name given to the root of this plant when it is dried and ground into powder form. Curcumin is one of the compounds found in turmeric that has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcuminoids are another compound found in turmeric and curcuma longa; these chemicals also have health benefits but are not as well-researched as their counterparts (curcuminoids).

Taiba Tariq

Taiba Tariq is a healthcare nutrition hobbyist, enthusiastic about researching healthcare & skincare news while analyzing the latest and science-backed evidence about nutrition, skin care, and supplements. She wants to help people regain their beauty, health, and well-being through natural means.

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