The key difference between curcumin and turmeric is that the curcumin is the main biologically active photochemical compound of turmeric while the turmeric is a plant scientifically named Curcuma longa.
Turmeric is the common name that we use to refer to the plant; Curcuma Longa. It is a popular plant in medicine as well as in cosmetic industry. Besides, it is one of the main spices in our meal. Moreover, turmeric provides many health benefits to us. All these properties of the turmeric are due to its active compounds. Accordingly, curcumin is the main active compound of the turmeric. Similarly, the characteristic yellow colour of the turmeric is mainly due to the curcumin. Furthermore, curcumin is the active compound that is responsible for all the medicinal properties of the turmeric.
What is Curcumin?
Curcumin is the main biologically active photochemical compound of turmeric. It is a polyphenolic compound that belongs to chemical family curcuminoids. In fact, it is the main compound that gives turmeric powder its characteristic yellow colour since due to the presence in high amount.
Moreover, curcumin is the compound that is responsible for all the medicinal properties of ground turmeric. It also possesses antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer properties. Not only that, curcumin is a potential anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour compound. Besides, it is one of the best sources that have the potential to provide cure against scores of ailments and diseases such as allergies, wounds and burns, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and many other diseases and illnesses. Due to its amazing and excellent health benefits, it is no surprise that turmeric has been called a spice for life. Furthermore, curcumin is often used as a colouring for foods and cosmetics.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice and a medicinal plant of the plant genus Curcuma. The scientific name of the turmeric plant is Curcuma longa. It is a flowering plant that belongs to the ginger family; Zingiberaceae. Moreover, this plant is a rhizomatous, herbaceous, and perennial plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
Since the time immemorial, many cultures around the world used turmeric for seasoning and giving an appetizing colour to their curries. Furthermore, mankind used turmeric in traditional medicine since they were aware of the health benefits of turmeric and its extraordinary powers as an anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant agent. When preparing turmeric powder, both the roots and the stems of this plant are useful. Furthermore, it is a popular ingredient in every type of curry in various cultures.
As a result of more than 5000 researches conducted on turmeric and its active compounds, scientists concluded that curcumin is perhaps the most potent and powerful antioxidant, an anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory compound known to man in a natural form. Though eastern cultures have used turmeric extensively because of its health benefits for thousands of years, its medicinal properties are coming to light now, because of extensive research conducted on the effects of curcumin. In fact, turmeric has proved its health benefits through its application in many diseases being anti-inflammatory, antifungal, anticancer, antibacterial, and anti-allergenic.
What are the Similarities Between Curcumin and Turmeric?
- Curcumin is a compound that is found within turmeric.
- Turmeric contains a high amount of curcumin since it is the main active compound of turmeric.
- Also, the bright yellow colour of turmeric is due to the curcumin.
- Furthermore, curcumin is the substance that gives the turmeric its numerous health benefits.
What is the Difference Between Curcumin and Turmeric?
Curcumin is the main biologically active compound of turmeric while turmeric is a plant that belongs to plant family Zingiberaceae. Thus, this is the key difference between curcumin and turmeric. Curcumin gives a yellow colour to turmeric. Furthermore, all the properties of turmeric are due to the main compound curcumin. Turmeric powder adds colour and taste to our curries and other foods while curcumin is the chemical which is actively responsible for all those benefits.
Summary – Curcumin vs Turmeric
Curcumin is a naturally occurring main active compound found in the spice turmeric. Turmeric, on the other hand, is the plant which is scientifically known as Curcuma longa. Hence, this is the difference between curcumin and turmeric. Turmeric powder is the crushed form of roots and stems of turmeric plant. However, the characteristic yellow colour of the turmeric powder is due to the curcumin. Besides, chemical curcumin belongs to the chemical family curcuminoids while the plant turmeric belongs to the plant family Zingiberaceae.
1. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Turmeric.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 3 Dec. 2018. Available here
2. “Curcumin.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Available here