According to Wikipedia, curcumin was originally isolated from tumeric. However, I haven't been able to find why it was named curcumin or whether or not it cumin is currently known to contain it.


From the opening of the Wikipedia article on curcumin you presumably saw:

Curcumin is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

(emphasis mine)

As for the Curcuma genus:

The name comes from the Sanskrit kuṅkuma, referring to turmeric.

So, nothing to do with cumin - just a bit of a coincidence from turning "curcuma" into "curcumin".

  • In Arabic (and Hebrew) turmeric is called curcum... Probably also Persian – Carmi Jul 31 '17 at 9:12
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    And in german turmeric is called Kurkuma. Cumin supposedly stems from arabic "kammun" (which is a warm drink including cumin) or hebrew "kammon" (which is a little unclear, maybe refering to preservation/storage). – skymningen Jul 31 '17 at 10:04
  • Also worth noting the etymology of cumin: “cumin (n.) Old English cymen, from Latin cuminum, from Greek kyminon, cognate with Hebrew kammon, Arabic kammun.”. – ShreevatsaR Aug 3 '17 at 19:07

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