Difference Between Turmeric Powder and Turmeric Extract

Turmeric, with its vibrant golden color and distinctive aroma, has been a staple ingredient in kitchens around the world for centuries. But did you know that turmeric is not just a flavorful spice? It also boasts a myriad of health benefits. Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or exploring the world of natural remedies, understanding the difference between turmeric powder and turmeric extract is essential.

What’s The Difference Between Turmeric (Powder) and Turmeric Extract?

Let’s start with turmeric powder. When you think of turmeric, this is probably what comes to mind. Turmeric powder is derived from the dried root of the turmeric plant. The root is first boiled, then dried and ground into a fine powder. This powder contains a compound called curcumin, which is the primary bioactive ingredient responsible for many of turmeric’s health benefits.

Curcumin is well-known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It has been studied extensively for its potential to reduce chronic inflammation in the body, which is believed to be a key contributor to various diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, and certain types of cancer. Some studies have also suggested that curcumin may have a positive impact on brain health, potentially reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline and promoting overall mental well-being.

While turmeric powder contains curcumin, its concentration is relatively low, typically around 3% by weight. This means that to experience the full benefits of curcumin, you would need to consume large amounts of turmeric powder, which may not be practical or feasible in everyday cooking.

This is where turmeric extract comes into the picture. Turmeric extract is a concentrated form of curcumin that is derived from turmeric powder. It undergoes a process that isolates and concentrates the curcumin, resulting in a higher percentage of curcumin content. This allows for a more potent and targeted delivery of curcumin’s health-promoting properties.

Turmeric extract is often available in the form of supplements, which are standardized to contain a specific percentage of curcumin, usually 95%. These supplements provide a convenient way to incorporate curcumin into your daily routine, especially if you’re looking to harness its potential health benefits.

However, it’s important to note that turmeric extract is not a magical cure-all. The effectiveness of curcumin can vary from person to person, and its absorption in the body can be limited. To enhance its absorption, it’s often recommended to consume turmeric extract with black pepper, as it contains a compound called piperine, which has been shown to increase curcumin absorption.

All in all, for those asking “is turmeric powder the same as turmeric extract”, the answer is no, they are not the same mainly due to a different curcuminoid content.


In summary, turmeric powder and turmeric extract both contain curcumin, the bioactive compound responsible for turmeric’s health benefits. Turmeric powder is commonly used in cooking and contains a lower concentration of curcumin. On the other hand, turmeric extract provides a more concentrated form of curcumin and is often available in supplement form.

Incorporating turmeric into your diet, whether through powder or extract, may offer potential health advantages, but it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements or making significant dietary changes.

So, next time you reach for that golden spice in your kitchen cabinet or consider trying a turmeric supplement, remember that both turmeric powder and turmeric extract can be powerful allies on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

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