The Difference Between Turmeric Spice & Supplements

August 22, 2019 3 min read

It’s totally normal to first assume that adding a bit of turmeric powder to your meals each day may be sufficient enough to reap the powerful health benefits of turmeric.

However, the truth is that there is a significant difference between adding a pinch of turmeric spice to your meal at dinnertime and using turmeric supplements for powerful wellness support.

It's important to remember that clinical studies on turmeric are almost always conducted using turmeric extract with a high curcumin concentration (or curcumin alone). These studies are rarely centered around the use of turmeric powders or dried herbs. There are many good reasons for this!

Let's dig a bit deeper into these key difference and what you need to know in order to get the most out of your turmeric journey...

Turmeric Spice & Supplements

Here are some key differences between
turmeric supplements and herbal spices

🔸  1. Curcumin content

Curcumin, the main active compound found in turmeric, is where turmeric gets its antioxidant and wellness-boosting superpowers from! The average generic turmeric powder is believed to only contain around 3% curcumin, compared to upwards of 95% std. curcuminoids in many turmeric extracts (like our Turmeric Complex). This means that turmeric seasoning can offer some general health support and flavor, but when targeting a specific health goal, a concentrated dose of curcumin is always the way to go!


🔸  2. Potency

Dried turmeric naturally loses its potency over time the longer it is stored. Not only this, but turmeric extracts have been found in some studies to be far less likely to be contaminated with traces of heavy metals, such as lead, or filth such as rodent hair or insects parts often found in generic powders. That's why it's so important to choose a high-quality turmeric supplement that is GMP-certified and that includes independent lab testing for any trace contaminants. 


🔸  3. Absorption

Turmeric is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream and passes through the body quickly. Quality supplements can make all the difference by providing concentrated doses of curcumin that have been carefully and consciously designed to allow for maximum absorption (and maximum benefit!). 


🔸  4. BioPerine®

Here at Primal Harvest, we use BioPerine® in our Turmeric Complex, a patented black pepper extract that has been clinically proven to increase the absorption of several key nutrients. One clinical study demonstrated BioPerine® to increase absorption of curcumin by 2,000%.

Out of 14 well-known turmeric supplements chosen at random for a study by Consumer Lab, only 2 of the supplements contained BioPerine®.


🔸  5. Correct daily dosage

Curcuminoids only comprise a small portion of turmeric's components. The easiest and most effective way to ensure that you are getting exactly the ideal recommended daily dosage of 400mg per serving of curcumin is by choosing a high quality, potent turmeric supplement. Be sure to look for clear labelling that lists the exact breakdown of this ratio for optimal potency.


🔸  6. Considerations

Don't forget! Not all turmeric supplements are created equally. One analysis conducted in 2013 discovered one well-known supplement brand selling turmeric "herb" (not extract) pills containing only 3 mg  of curcuminoids per capsule. Always be on the lookout for deceptive marketing or false advertising using misleading labelling.


We believe that knowledge is power when it comes to choosing the best turmeric curcumin supplements to compliment your lifestyle. That’s why we formulate our Turmeric Complex with only safe, natural, and plant-based ingredients that abide by our high-quality standards.





Jennifer Sluzewski
Written by
Jennifer Sluzewski

Writer and Content Creator for Team Primal Harvest
As a former JMU Duke and graduate of the School of Media Arts and Design, Jennifer has been a writer and editor for multiple brands and publications over the past eight years. Currently residing in NYC, she can often be found in a coffee shop, yoga studio, or planning her next travel adventure!