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Turmeric and curcumin – what is the difference?

Curcumin vs. turmeric. What is the difference between curcumin and turmeric?

I was among those who mixed those two. I will explain you now so that you wouldn’t mix it anymore.
Turmeric is the spice extracted from the root of the plant Curcuma Longa. Turmeric is very popular in India and Asia and it is used in many meals of their traditional cuisine. 

Curcumin is the most active component of the turmeric spice. It possesses a very powerful anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory effect.

In short, turmeric is a whole while curcumin is a part of the whole and quite a small part of it which doesn’t exceed five percents.

That’s why organic supplements producers try to augment the quantity of curcumin by extracting it from turmeric root. However, they face a serious problem – it becomes not very digestible. To increase the digestibility pepper extract and other enhancers (bromelein, bioperine, lecitin, etc) are added to curcumin supplements.

Some producers still produce the pure curcumin as this kind of curcumin is capable to stay in the large intestine for a longer period of time, hence it is effective for the intestines related pathologies.

How can we use this knowledge now?

Now we can choose the best curcumin supplements for ourselves.
If you want to use the turmeric spice as a prophylactic measure, then it is better to purchase just the turmeric powder and to add it to food. Or you can check my simple recipes with turmeric here. It will still be effective and together with pepper and other spices it will also be digestible.
If you need the turmeric to be highly effective, then pay attention to curcumin supplements.
If you need the curcumin for inflammatory bowel disease treatment, choose curcumin supplements without any pepper extract.


For any other cases, use the standard curcumin supplements with pepper or bioperine extract or any penetration enhancer.