Turmeric Powder VS Pills – Which Is Better?

Let's compare Turmeric Powder VS Pills.

As of the moment, both are the most common forms of turmeric available in the market.

But which of them is better in the main aspects?:

  • potency and concentration
  • side effects
  • ease of use and price

With that, we're going to discuss each type of turmeric in detail.

In that way – you can choose the one that suits your needs best.

Note: This article includes references and studies on turmeric powder and pills.

Turmeric Powder VS Pills? (In A Nutshell)

Firstly – we compared turmeric powders and pills from several points of view:

  • potency and strength
  • clinical studies and research
  • side effects
  • price

Shortly, each form scored better in 2 different chapters.

With that, you might think that they are pretty much equal.

Well, that's partly true – but to be honest, turmeric pills are way better.

That especially when it comes to addressing pain and symptoms related to inflammation.

So if you're curious, here are the reasons why:

  • pills' curcumin is way higher than the one from powder
  • are more potent and concentrated
  • are designed to work efficiently internally
  • have a lot of research and studies behind

Additionally – most high-quality supplements are already loaded with absorption boosters.

On the other hand – the powder usually comes alone, so it's harder to be absorbed completely.

Not to mention that pills are more convenient to take, especially if you're always on the go.

Now, if you only want to use turmeric topically or for cooking, the powder would be a good fit.

But if you're need turmeric for more serious health concerns – the pills are clearly better.

Just find a high-quality supplement, like our #1 recommendation Turmeric Curcumin Plus.




#1 – Potency & Strength – WINNER: Pills

As we all know – turmeric has several benefits, especially for pain and inflammation.

So that's mostly why this vibrant yellow spice became so popular.

Now – you can find turmeric products in different forms.

But as I mentioned, we're going to focus on powder and pills:

  • how they are produced
  • the major compound from each
  • the benefits of each form

If you want a quick answer, turmeric pills are stronger and more potent.

In pills, turmeric is formulated to directly target certain health issues (unlike in its powder form).

With that, let me further explain each version below.

1. Powder

Firstly – turmeric powders are easy to make or find:

  • either clean, dry and grind your turmeric root thoroughly
  • or buy a ready-made powder in a local shop

Now – the active compound in turmeric is called curcumin [1].

It's its most studied substance, due to its anti-inflammatory activities.

Also – it has a lot of positive benefits on conditions like [2]:

  • joint pain and arthritis
  • digestive issues
  • inflammatory acne
  • insulin resistance
  • allergic inflammation

With that, expect to find this compound in all turmeric products.

But the curcumin content in powder is neither too high (nor too optimized).

So if you've been meaning to get it through powder, don't count on that.

Another factor is the poor bioavailability of curcumin [3].

It's eliminated easily before it can even reach the stomach and small intestines.

On the other hand – piperine from black pepper is known to boost its absorption.

But you can imagine that powdered turmeric doesn't have any piperine inside it.

2. Pills

On the other hand, the fastest way to get turmeric pills is by buying them.

The advantages of this version  are quite significant:

  • undergoes laboratory techniques, studies and trials
  • contains a higher and more potent concentration of curcumin
  • specially formulated for pain and inflammation
  • most high-quality versions incorporat absorption boosters in their formulas

As usual – the main active component is curcumin.

Its benefits include reliving the symptoms and inhibiting the development of :

  • arthritis and joint problems
  • IBD and digestive issues
  • resistance to insulin
  • acne caused by inflammation
  • inflammations produced by allergens

As I mentioned, curcumin alone can't be absorbed too well.

So it's way better to take it with an absorption booster like piperine [4].

The good thing is, most turmeric supplements already contain enhancers.

In this way – you can make sure that your body gets the full potential of the herb.

But of course, it's also important to check the quality of the pills you're going to take.


Overall – turmeric pills are stronger and more potent than the powder.

That's because they have been formulated with a higher level of curcumin in its purest form.

Additionally – an absorption booster is already part of the formula, which makes them more effective.

Meanwhile, turmeric powder only has a low concentration of curcumin.

So consequently, the effect is a lot weaker.



#2 – Clinical Studies & Research WINNER: Pills

Let's focus on the research and studies about turmeric powder and pills.

To be exact, here are the key points that we're going to talk about:

  • applications and uses
  • ease of use and effectivity

At first look, the powder form seems to be more versatile in terms of the ways you can use it.

But the pills are still better, since they are more convenient and potent at the same time.

1. Powder

Now that we know how turmeric powder is produced, it's time to list down its uses:

  • food coloring
  • culinary spice
  • skincare ingredient
  • natural dye
  • topical remedy ingredient
  • beverage flavoring
  • ayurvedic medicine

As you can see, there are a lot of ways where you can use turmeric powder.

It's mostly due to its strong color and rich taste, which makes it quite versatile.

So in terms of use, it's surely better than pills.

However – since its curcumin content is relatively low, it won't be that potent.

In other words, you would most likely just enjoy powder as it is (with no expectations).

2. Pills

Meanwhile – turmeric pills have lots of advantages on their own:

  • convenient and comfortable to take
  • designed to work internally
  • its curcumin content is optimized to its full anti-inflammatory potential

Additionally – a turmeric supplement doesn't have a strong aftertaste, unlike powder.

Well – that makes it appealing for people who are not fans of ginger-like aroma.

Besides taste-wise, its curcumin levels are more effective.

So taking it without a lot of effort while reaping better benefits makes it the best option.


To sum it up, turmeric powder has more varied ways to use it.

Sure – it's an all-around ingredient, but lower your expectations.

That especially if you want to use it as an anti-inflammatory remedy.

If that's your main purpose, better stick to turmeric pills – since they are more concentrated and pure. 



#3 – Side Effects – WINNER: Powder

As always, we're also going to run through the potential side effects of each version.

But to be honest, the winner is quite obvious here.

Well – turmeric is considered safe for consumption (in general)

But between the two, the powder is much safer than pills.

Let me discuss below the reasons for my conclusion.

1. Powder

Turmeric powder is probably the safest form of turmeric.

That's because you consume it purely – just like any fruit or vegetable.

Plus, the chances of side effects are very slim.

Still, here are some of the drawbacks and potential side reactions of this form:

  • allergic reactions
  • bad taste/aftertaste
  • stomach ache
  • urge to vomit
  • teeth stains [5]

Now – all of the points listed above are related more to turmeric's taste and color.

Honestly – turmeric powder doesn't go into the lab for further processing (most of the time).

So it's pretty organic in general.

The most common way to prepare it is by cleaning, drying and grinding in food plants.

Well – the worst thing that can happen is food poisoning because to contamination.

But you can always avoid that by choosing reliable brands.

Overall – turmeric powder has a very low chance of side effects, which is decent enough for its low potency.

2. Pills

The version of turmeric with a higher risk of adverse reactions is the pills.

Pills are made in the laboratory and the formulations vary from one brand to another.

Also, turmeric supplements are more concentrated (compared to powder).

So if you're curious, let me list down some of its potential secondary reactions:

  • gastrointestinal problems
  • allergic reactions
  • blood thinning
  • nausea or dizziness

Previously – I talked about the possible side effects of turmeric.

As I said there, that it can't directly thin the blood.

But it has the potential to induce platelet aggregation [6].

So you shouldn't take it with anticoagulant medications without consulting your doctor.

The rest of the adverse effects above appear very rarely.

Now – the major factor that you need to consider is curcumin's dosage in the formula.

If you're scared of its side effects, it's best to choose a supplement with a low dose and to gradually increase it.

In that way, your body can adapt more easily. But turmeric doesn't cause any side reactions in most of its users.

So I would say you're on the safe side.


Overall – the herb turmeric is generally safe.

So no matter what form it comes in, side effects aren't too common.

But between powder and pills, the powder is safer (since it has a lower curcumin content).

Plus – it's consumed mostly as food or beverage, which we all know are rather safe.



#4 – Price – WINNER: Powder

For the last category, let's compare the price of turmeric powder and pills.

If you're actually quite observant in your surroundings, you probably know the answer already.

Well – turmeric powder is more affordable than pills.

With that, let's further discuss the factors down the line.

1. Powder

Firstly – I will give you the lowest and the highest possible price of turmeric powder on Amazon:

  • the lowest price is around $3
  • you can buy it for as high as $100 for bulk (as of the moment)

Typically – you would get a higher discount when you buy in bulk.

Well, that's really how it goes if you buy any type of ingredients.

So what are the reasons why this form is way more affordable?:

  • doesn't require laboratory tests or studies
  • there's no fee for researchers/professional lab analysts (not really needed)
  • powder is not sensitive in terms of equipment needed for the process

As you can see, the manufacturing process of powder is much lower than that of pills.

With that, it's normal for it to have a lower price tag.

2. Pills

Before I share my thoughts on this part, let's first look at its varying prices:

  • the most affordable one I found is around $7 /bottle
  • $115 per bottle is the most expensive one (at this time)

Well – the main reasons why turmeric supplements are more pricey are just the opposite .

In order to produce them, brands need to undergo specific steps that require more skills and people.

Not to mention the equipment, research and facilities that add up to the total cost.

Now – these are the assurance that you would get the purest version of curcumin.

Also – most high-quality supplements already have absorption boosters.

To sum it up, you're actually paying for the convenience, safety, quality and efficacy of the pills.

So in reality – you're really getting your money's worth.

Lastly, there are a lot of choices when it comes to turmeric pills, so you can find one that will suit your budget.


Overall – if we're only going to look at the price tag, turmeric powder is more budget-friendly than pills.

But it won't be potent as a source of curcumin.

If you don't mind that – then go ahead and purchase turmeric powder.

However – if you really need turmeric in its best version, spend a few more dollars on turmeric pills. 



#5 – Top Product

Now – if you're looking for a great turmeric supplement, I have a recommendation for you.

The product I'm talking about is Turmeric Curcumin Plus:

  • designed for inflammatory pain and other health problems
  • contains a very high level of curcumin (95%)
  • also has BioPerine (the best version of piperine) as an absorption enhancer
  • comfortable and convenient to take on a daily basis
  • minimal chances of causing side effects
  • very low price for its amazing potency
  • a lot of customers that swear by it

At this point, you already understand why pills are a much better option.

As long as they come with an absorption booster, they are really worth it.

Not to mention that they are designed to work on the inside.

That's why they improve health issues related to inflammation so well.

Overall – I highly suggest Turmeric Curcumin Plus, since it's the best supplement in this category.



My Verdict – Powder Or Pills?

Short answer: Pills – they are clearly superior from all points of view:

  • contain a higher amount of curcumin (turmeric extract)
  • more concentrated and potent
  • a lot easier to take
  • optimized to directly target inflammation

You might be wondering why pills are the winner, since the powder also has some advantages.

Well – powder is only better since it's more affordable and versatile.

But the pills are clearly superior in terms of potency and results for pain and inflammation.

So if I were you, I would just go straight a supplement.

It requires less effort while at the same time, it's stronger and more effective.

Just look at the Turmeric Curcumin Plus:

  • potent but safe dose of curcumin (around 95%)
  • contains and absorption booster (BioPerine)
  • easy and comfortable to take daily
  • minimal chances of causing adverse effects
  • very good price tag for its high quality
  • proven and tested by a lot of people

Overall – there's nothing wrong with consuming turmeric powder.

Especially if you find it useful and appetizing due to its taste and color.

However – don't expect it to help your pain and inflammation too much.

If that's your goal, you should clearly go for the pills instead.

best turmeric


1 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/-pmc/articles/-PMC5664031/

2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/-pmc/articles/-PMC5664031/

3 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/-pmc/articles/-PMC6770259/

4 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/-9619120/

5 – https://www.frontiersin.org/-articles/10.3389/-fnut.2022.1040259/

6 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/-10484074/



Written by 

Paula has a background in Chemistry and continues to pursue further studies in it. She loves searching for the best products in the market that will give excellent benefits to the human body and share them with you.

Fact Checked by Oltea Roman, Pharm. D.

Last updated: June 21, 2023

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