Turmeric vs. Saffron

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Turmeric and Saffron is that the Turmeric is a Plant used as spice and Saffron is a flower and spice

  • Turmeric

    Turmeric (pronounced , also or ) is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking. The plant is a perennial, rhizomatous, herbaceous plant native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, that requires temperatures between 20 and 30 °C (68 and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered each year for their rhizomes, some for propagation in the following season and some for consumption.

    The rhizomes are used fresh or boiled in water and dried, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a coloring and flavoring agent in many Asian cuisines, especially for curries, as well as for dyeing. Turmeric powder has a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavor and earthy, mustard-like aroma.Although long used in Ayurvedic medicine, where it is also known as haridra, there is no high-quality clinical evidence for using turmeric or its constituent, curcumin, to treat any disease.

  • Saffron

    Saffron (pronounced or ) is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and colouring agent in food. Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight, was probably first cultivated in or near Greece. C. sativus is probably a form of C. cartwrightianus, that emerged by human cultivators selectively breeding plants for unusually long stigmas in late Bronze Age Crete. It slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.

    Saffron’s taste and iodoform or hay-like fragrance result from the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal. It also contains a carotenoid pigment, crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Its recorded history is attested in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical treatise compiled under Ashurbanipal, and it has been traded and used for over four millennia. Iran now accounts for approximately 90% of the world production of saffron.

  • Turmeric (noun)

    An Indian plant, Curcuma longa, with aromatic rhizomes, part of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

  • Turmeric (noun)

    The pulverized rhizome of the turmeric plant, used for flavoring and to add a bright yellow color to food.


  • Turmeric (noun)

    A yellow to reddish-brown dye extracted from the turmeric plant.



  • Saffron (noun)

    The plant Crocus sativus, a crocus.

  • Saffron (noun)

    A spice (seasoning) and colouring agent made from the stigma and part of the style of the plant, sometimes or formerly also used as a dye and insect repellent.


  • Saffron (noun)

    An orange-yellow colour, the colour of a lion’s pelt.

    “saffron yellow”

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  • Saffron (adjective)

    Having an orange-yellow colour.

    “The saffron robe of a Buddhist monk.”

  • Saffron (verb)

    To add saffron to (a food), for taste, colour etc.

    “saffroned water, saffroned rice.”

  • Saffron (verb)

    To give a saffron colour to (something).

  • Saffron (verb)

    To dye (a fabric, garment, etc.) with a saffron-based dye.

  • Saffron (verb)

    To embellish.


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