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What’s the Difference Between Turmeric and Curcumin?

The Difference between Curcumin and Turmeric

There is much confusion over the difference between turmeric and curcumin. We’ve all heard that turmeric can be good for us, so where does curcumin come from and how is it related to turmeric?

Turmeric is the bright yellow spice that comes from the turmeric plant (curcuma longa) and is widely known for its culinary uses in Indian curries. The rhizome of the turmeric plant is what has been traditionally used in both Indian and Chinese cultures.

Turmeric contains phenolic curcuminoids that give turmeric the yellow colour. The main and most significant curcuminoid is curcumin. It is curcumin, the active compound of turmeric that provides all the health benefits of turmeric.

What are the Health Benefits of Curcumin?

Curcumin has received a huge amount of attention and has basically been touted as beneficial for a wide range of things; whilst it certainly has some great benefits to health, it’s important not to get caught up in the hype. Curcumin has shown the most benefit for its use in the management of mild osteoarthritis. It may provide symptomatic relief from mild osteoarthritis as it may reduce the associated joint inflammation and joint swelling and pain. It may help to increase joint mobility in mild osteoarthritis. Curcumin is also an antioxidant.

Not all curcumin supplements are created equal. It is well-known that it can be difficult to absorb curcumin from turmeric and it requires very high doses of turmeric to gain the benefits of the curcumin. Traditionally turmeric was combined with a fat to make the curcumin component more bioavailable. Consuming turmeric in its traditional way will provide antioxidant support, however to gain the other health benefits you will need a highly absorbable curcumin supplement. Currently it can be difficult to compare curcumin products as they may express different constituents on the label which cannot be compared to each other. It is like comparing apples to oranges.

If you are unsure if curcumin is suitable for you, call our qualified team of naturopaths for more information or speak to a qualified health professional.

What’s Special about Meriva Curcumin?

Curcumin products have previously had poor bioavailability, requiring high doses to get results. Curcumin Anti-inflammatory Pain Reliever uses a proprietary phospholipid base to improve the absorption of the curcumin.

Meriva is the patented Curcumin Phytozome technology we use at Australian NaturalCare. Meriva contains all three curcuminoids (the active ingredients naturally present in turmeric) in the same proportions found in nature. The phytosome delivery system transports the three fundamental curcuminoids in a phospholipid formulation which helps enhance the absorption and bioavailability of the curcumin. What this means is it mimics the absorption of a fatty meal. Traditionally, in the Indian diet, turmeric is mainly consumed in an oily solution that increases the absorption of curcumin, for example golden milk that is turmeric powder mixed with milk and coconut oil or ghee, plus other delicious spices and flavours. Meriva Curcumin phytosome has sought to create this dietary habit into a supplement.

Try out our delicious and healthy turmeric-coconut gummies!


Turmeric-Coconut Gummies (makes 12)


¼ cup water

2 tbsp gelatin powder (high-quality grass-fed)

1 cup coconut milk

3 tbspn honey (alternatively maple syrup or rice malt syrup)

1 tbsp turmeric powder (high-quality, organic)

1 tspn ginger powder

Pinch of black pepper


  1. In a large bowl place water and sprinkle with gelatin until it starts to bloom, set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, add coconut oil, honey, turmeric, ginger and pepper and heat on a low heat for 5 minutes, whisk to combine.
  3. Slowly add the coconut milk mixture to the gelatin and whisk to combine, make sure to remove any lumps.
  4. Pour through a sieve into a mould and leave in the fridge for 3 hours or until set.
  5. Once set cut into bite-size squares.
  6. Store in the fridge in an airtight container, consume within a week.