Curcumin vs. Cumin

What is the difference between curcumin and cumin? Two compounds that have been receiving a lot of attention…

What is the difference between curcumin and cumin?

Two compounds that have been receiving a lot of attention in relation to dietary intake are curcumin and cumin. This is because of the increase in the number of cancer patients that has occurred in the past number of years. People have always used spices as home remedies for various ailments, but it is only recently that studies have revealed the positive effects that curcumin and cumin have on this disease.

Confusion often arises because of the interchangeable manner in which people use the terns “herb” and “spice”. They are different though. A herb is a plant that dies at the end of the growing season and that does not produced woody tissues or ones that are persistent. Examples of herbs are parsley, thyme and coriander. A spice, on the other hand, is the specific part of the plant, such as the seed or the root, which is used for flavoring in recipes. Ginger, cumin, and turmeric are examples of spices.

What is cumin?

Cumin is a spice that grows in hot climates. The seeds, called cumin, look somewhat like caraway seeds but they are boat-shaped and are have a lighter color. They do have to be roasted before they can be ground into powder for use in curries, stews and grills. This spice is commonly used in the preparation of Indian cuisine, as well as that of Mexico and the countries of the Middle East.

Some of the health benefits that have been found in cumin are relief of heartburn, nausea and diarrhea because of the pancreatic enzymes that it produces. It also has properties that eradicate free radicals that cause cancer in the body. It also fights cancerous cells that exist because it increases the level of detoxification in the liver.

What is curcumin?

One of the spices in turmeric that has anti-cancer properties is curcumin. This has been used for hundreds of years in India as an antibiotic for aiding the healing of cuts and wounds. It has exceptional healing power and when mixed with milk it can be used as a pain killer. It is also a remedy for treating sprains.

This spice has been a staple in Indian kitchens and the low numbers of people in this country that have developed cancer of the esophagus is being attributed to the use of this spice. It is known by the chemical formula of C21H20O6 in scientific circles and is bright orange in color. There has been a tremendous amount of research carried out on curcumin and the results have shown that it has anti-tumor properties. Other properties found in this spice include anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and anti-ischemic. It has also been proven effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s. For cancer patients it has proven to inhibit the growth of the cancerous cells  and has been especially productive in reducing breast cancer cells.


  1. Curcumin is a spice, but cumin is a seed.
  2. Both have properties that can prevent and treat cancer.
  3. They have both been used in alternative medicine to treat a variety of illnesses.


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