The Most Expensive Herb In The World

Written by: Export Herbs

Saffron is the most expensive herb or spice in the world. It is derived from the stigmas of the purple saffron crocus flower and it can take between seventy thousand and two hundred and fifty thousand flowers to make one pound (0.45 kilgrams) of this spice. Furthermore, the flowers need to be individually handpicked in the autumn when the flowers are fully open.

It is not surprising that the use of Saffron goes way back to Ancient Egypt times when it was used as dye and in perfumes. It was also used as a drug and of course, for food preparation.

Saffron is mostly imported from Iran and Spain, which are the two best producers. Egypt, Morocco, Turkey and Kashmir also export the herb.

This herb, or spice, is used in Indian, European, Persian, Arab and Turkish cuisines. It is said to taste somewhat sweet and some have even expressed that it has a hay like taste to the tongue.


China and India use it as a fabric dye and also in their perfumeries, but both countries mostly use it in cooking. Italians use it in their risotto while South Asian countries use it in their biryani and meat dishes.

To top it all off, it also has medicinal uses. Modern studies have found that it has cancer suppressing results as well as immunemodulating and antioxidants. It can also help with mild depression. There are also a number of studies that have shown how Saffron were used on the eyes to reduce retinitis pigmentosa.

So why do we claim that saffron is the most expensive herb or spice in the world? It retails for approximately USD 6000 per kilogram, or USD 6 per gram. The good news is that one gram can go quite far when preparing for a dinner party for up to six guests. Culinary experts will say that there is simply no substitute, so don’t even compare.



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