Turmeric Powder Or Turmeric Tincture: Which Is Better?

Turmeric, prior to being used in diet, was used as a coloring agent and to prepare dyes.

Thereafter its medicinal properties were discovered and applied and then finally it became famous as a spice.

Today turmeric is a developing as a supplement.

More than turmeric, the focus is on curcumin as a supplement and this leads us to a question Should You Take Turmeric or Curcumin? Which is better? Another version of turmeric that’s been gaining importance is turmeric tincture.

Turmeric tincture is an extract of active compounds found in fresh turmeric prepared primarily in alcohol or glycerine.

So now that it is quite clear that turmeric tincture is a fairly optimized version of turmeric in terms of concentration of active ingredients, then arises this question Should You Take Turmeric or Turmeric Tincture? Which is better?

What bioactive ingredients are found in turmeric?

Before we get to which one you should be taking, let’s go over the active ingredients of turmeric.

First and foremost is the curcuminoids. These are a class of compounds that work as great antioxidants and also impart the orange-yellow color to it.

The three important curcuminoids are curcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin, and demethoxycurcumin.

Chemically curcuminoids are known as diarylheptanoids. There are other diarylheptanoids present in turmeric.
Apart from that, there are volatile oil components present in the rhizome. These are chemically known as terpenes.

These are also present in flowers and leaves. They contribute to the aroma of turmeric. Totally in Curcuma longa, there are 68 monoterpenes (31-98), 109 sesquiterpenes(99-207), five diterpenes (208-212), and three triterpenoids.

The essential oil (5% – 8%) obtained from rhizomes has α-phellanderene (1%), sabiene (0.6%), cineol (1%), borneol (0.5%), zingiberene (25%) and sesquiterpines (53%).

Ar-turmerone, alpha-turmerone, and beta-turmerone are major ketonic sesquiterpenes of essential oils, and these compounds may account for at least 40% of essential oils of turmeric rhizomes.

Ar-turmerone in turmeric has been identified with many therapeutic properties.

What are the advantages of taking turmeric tincture?

Here are a few advantages of turmeric tincture over turmeric powder preparations:

1. Stability of curcumin

Turmeric tincture prepared in alcohol provides a good ratio of curcumin and volatile compounds.

Stability of curcumin is best in the alcohol extract. Curcumin is fairly stable in alcohol compared to its composition in powder- that is in the combination of curcuminoids.

2. Curcumin content

Research papers show that curcumin content for alcohol extract of turmeric is 10.23% whereas is 3.5% in average turmeric powders. That does not mean the amount of curcumin in milligram is more in alcohol extract of turmeric.

However, for a given dose or equal amounts of the two, alcoholic turmeric extract will provide you with more curcumin.

3. Essential oils content

Essential oils constitute 1.5 to 5% of the rhizome content and this concentration is reduced when making ground turmeric.

However, the alcohol extract of turmeric is rich in volatile oils. Apart from being therapeutic, these compounds ensure good bioavailability of curcumin.

4. Convenience

One important advantage of turmeric tincture is convenience.

You can carry it while traveling. You have to take a fairly small dose and still reap therapeutic benefits.

Also, it masks the bitter pungent taste of turmeric and you can include it in your drinks.

Also, chances of adulteration are rare compared to turmeric powder.

What are the advantages of turmeric powder or fresh turmeric over turmeric tincture?

After learning about turmeric tincture’s advantages you must be thinking of it an excellent alternative to turmeric powder or fresh turmeric. But here is what you will be missing.

1. The nutritional content of turmeric

Turmeric contains 69.4% carbohydrates, 6.3% protein, 5.1% fat, 3.5% minerals, and 13.1%. moisture.

It contains vitamins like B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. 2 teaspoon of ground turmeric provides with 4% dietary fibre.

2. Vital minerals in turmeric

Turmeric is a rich source of minerals. 2 teaspoon of turmeric provides you with 17% manganese, 10% iron, 3% copper, 3% potassium. It also provides you with calcium, phosphorous, selenium, sodium and zinc.

You can cook with turmeric powder and include it regularly in your diet which isn’t possible with turmeric tincture.

3. Free from organic solvents

Organic turmeric powder has been through very little processing and unadulterated. It is free from organic solvents and is an excellent option if you can’t tolerate the taste of concentrated alcohol.

4. Bioavailability of curcumin

The per dose concentration of curcumin with turmeric powder is less in comparison with turmeric tincture. So yes you have to take sufficient amount to receive a good amount of curcumin but then its bioavailability can be enhanced with oils and black pepper.

There hasn’t been much research on curcumin’s bioavailability in turmeric tincture though it can be handled by black pepper consumption.

5. Safety and long term use

Fresh turmeric or turmeric powder or dietary turmeric is safe for any duration and for any age group. Dietary turmeric is consumed by Asians regularly irrespective of any disease they suffer from or any medication they consume.

The same cannot be guaranteed with turmeric tincture for it is a fairly concentrated version and can’t be taken on the long term.

Should you take turmeric or turmeric tincture?

Turmeric tincture would be useful for chronic conditions of pain and inflammation like arthritis, for stomach upset, for mild depression and stress and also for metabolic health.

However, its use is beneficial for the short term. It is best to consult an herbalist about the dosage of turmeric tincture.

If looking for a preventive measure or if turmeric is a part of your daily life, I would suggest using turmeric powder as Golden Paste and also include it in cooking. Doses up to 8-12g of turmeric powder have been proven to be safe in studies.

For more details on the dosage of turmeric please read Turmeric 101: Beginner’s Guide To Health Benefits, Dosage and Precautions

In real life, dietary turmeric hasn’t been found to cause any side effects. So this is a safe option for long term use.

Conclusion

Turmeric tincture is a concentrated extract of curcumin and volatile oil compounds present in turmeric rhizomes. This makes it useful for chronic conditions and aids in immediate relief from pain.

Also, it is convenient to carry and consume.

However, turmeric tincture is not meant to replace ground turmeric or fresh turmeric. For cooking and long term use, turmeric powder is the best option.

Also, turmeric powder provides your minerals, vitamins and other nutrients in addition to medicinally active compounds.

Save

About the Author

Fazila (B.Sc Biotech. & Bioinformatics)

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 Comments

  1. I seem to be at a loss for how much Organic Turmeric Extract converts to how much powdered. I have the extract but don’t know how to convert the amount needed in recipes when it calls for one verses the other.

  2. Thanks for this info, i was trying to decide whether to buy some tincture today to help with a viral illness. I usually make a tea from turmeric, cloves, cumin, ginger, thyme and sage, sometimes with a bit of cinnamon thrown in there too plus a grind of pepper. It’s not always convenient though or i have run out of the fresh root and the powder makes the tea a bit gloopy. I am going to buy the tincture now just for times when i need a quick relief from pain or if I’m not at home. Great article!

  3. i take turmeric supplements that are expensive ., i wonder if taking turmeric organic powder instead would be as beneficial and less expensive . your suggestions are very appreciated

    1. Hi. This depends on what condition you are taking turmeric for. Organic turmeric has more to offer than just curcumin as provided by supplements. It is inexpensive compared to turmeric capsules. Turmeric powder can be used to take Golden Paste which contains black pepper and/or fats to help with the absorption.
      You can take Golden Paste. Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose gradually to 1 tsp 2-3 times a day over a few weeks. Best taken with food to avoid acid reflux. Avoid taking it at the same time when you take meds.
      http://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-turmeric-paste-or-golden-paste
      http://www.turmericforhealth.com/turmeric-recipes/how-to-make-golden-paste-from-raw-fresh-turmeric

  4. Good article. Where can I buy the tincture? I would be able to use it when I go away and have the fresh golden paste for home.

  5. Interesting that the powder has Vit K – folks taking coumadin should be advised that Vit K may effect its efficacy – from the NIH site
    “Blood clots are formed through a series of chemical reactions in your body. Vitamin K is essential for those reactions. Warfarin (Coumadin) works by decreasing the activity of vitamin K; lengthening the time it takes for a clot to form.
    To help warfarin (Coumadin) work effectively, it is important to keep your vitamin K intake as consistent as possible. Sudden increases in vitamin K intake may decrease the effect of warfarin (Coumadin). On the other hand, greatly lowering your vitamin K intake could increase the effect of warfarin (Coumadin). “

  6. Do both. I buy fresh root, simmer it whole for days on very low heat, pouring off liquid until most of the color is gone. I make ice cubes of this, and use the ice cubes in any dish that has water (soup, stew, rice). I also flavor those dishes with hot Madras curry (Sun brand). I especially put the curry on onions cooked in coconut oil, and add black pepper at the end. Don’t overcook this: you want the onion to be sweet and textured. The best of all worlds.

    The quercetain in onion makes turmeric more bioavailable, and so does the pepper. There’s also the yum factor: Try this.

  7. Great article and good to know you can use the powder at home and when going on a trip use the convenience of the tincture. That way you are not missing out on the benefits.

  8. Great article overall! Thanks for sharing. I do have to say I’m not in complete agreement with some of the observations regarding tincture over powders, as Future Pharm’s organic extract in particular has gone through rigorous testing and shows no such issues with long-term use. I believe it really has to do with personal preference and how each person reacts to whatever form of turmeric they’re taking.

    Love your articles and look forward to new ones. Again, thanks for the great info!

error: