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.

1 Answer 1


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, 2017 at 9:12
  • 1
    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, 2017 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.”. Aug 3, 2017 at 19:07

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