Have you ever wanted to know what the most expensive medicinal herbs are on the open market? Well you’ll be surprised to know that some of these herbs and spices are so expensive that they can rival gemstones and precious metals
Also if your looking for a profitable cash crop then this list will give you a good idea of what to plant in your garden for maximum return on your investment.
Most Expensive Medicinal Herbs
Saffron (Buy Online) is the world’s most expensive medicinal herb and it can cost $500 to $5000 per pound. Saffron is harvested from the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus Sativus). This flower is descended from “wild saffron” which is native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia.
The part of the crocus that is actually used as a medicinal herb is the stigma of the flower. The reason why saffron is so expensive is that each flower has only three stigmas, and the stigmas are carefully harvested by hand in an extremely labor-intensive process.
It can take over 20 hours to harvest one pound of saffron, and each pound of saffron is made up of the stigmas from over 75,000 to 80,000 flowers.
Saffron is primarily used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine where it imparts a golden yellow tone and an earthy flavor to a wide range of dishes. It’s also used as a dye in cosmetics to naturally enhance the color of red lipstick.
The medicinal properties of saffron have been known since the days of antiquity, and in the South-Eastern Mediterranean saffron was used to treat cough, colic, wounds, and scabies.
The primary active chemicals in saffron such as crocin, crocetin, and safranal are all being researched for their ability to treat and manage depression. And large doses of saffron can even act as a mild nervous system depressant.
Ginseng Root (Buy Online) is a highly sought after medicinal herb that’s native to the United States. True wild ginseng can be hard to find, but “wild-simulated” ginseng sells for $300 to $700 per pound on the open market.
Wild ginseng has been in decline in most of its native range thanks to over-harvesting due to its high-profit margin. “Wild-simulated Ginseng”, on the other hand, is grown as an understory crop in tree plantations and in native deciduous forests. This is the type of ginseng you’ll most likely see for sale and it’s very popular in the Asian markets.
Ginseng carries such a high price that a good year’s harvest can net a grower $40,000 to $50,000 per acre. However, ginseng takes up to 10 years to reach a marketable size, which is one potential downside to its high-profit potential.
Ginseng has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of health conditions. Modern clinical research studies have even found some evidence that ginseng can help prevent fatigue, enhance memory, alleviate menopause symptoms, and regulate the insulin response in people with mild cases of Type II diabetes.
Lavender (Buy Online) is a very popular flower that is used for its essential oils in soaps, lotions, and a wide range of luxury beauty products. A bouquet of lavender can sell for $10 and a one-acre planting of lavender will yield up to 12,000 bouquets per year.
Lavender is an easy plant to grow and it requires minimal care and maintenance. It can adapt to a wide variety of climates, but it does prefer to grow in sandy well-drained soil. Lavender also isn’t a heavy feeder, and it’s extremely pest and disease-resistant. It’s also a perennial plant that will live for up to 10 years when kept in a well-maintained garden.
In Germany lavender is primarily used to treat restlessness and insomnia. Also, lavender is used to a lesser extent to help alleviate intestinal discomfort and to treat the side effects associated with cardiovascular disease.
In the United States lavender is used for its aromatherapy properties, where it acts as a calming scent that can help control stress and anxiety. While lavender is not often consumed in the United States the National Institute of Health considers lavender as generally recognized as safe for human consumption.
Long Pepper (Buy Online) is a relatively rare spice that can sell for up to $45 per pound. It used to be commonly used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it fell out of favor when black pepper and chili peppers became available to the peoples of the European sub-continent.
Long pepper tastes like toned-down black pepper with earthy overtones that complement a wide range of savory dishes.
Long pepper is one of the most popular ingredients in a wide range of Ayurvedic medicines. Long Pepper has also been studied by modern researchers, and they have discovered it contains Piperlongumine, which is a chemical that stimulates natural cell death, and it has the potential to halt the spread of some cancers.
Dried Kaffir Lime Leaves
Kaffir Lime Leaves (Buy Online) is a unique herb that can sell for up to $35 per pound. The leaves are from the citrus hystrix tree, which is a wild lime that has a bitter taste and a strong fragrance.
The leaves are commonly added to South-East Asian food for their strong flavor. The citrus hystrix tree is primarily grown for profit in the US in California and Florida, and it’s also grown in India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia
The juice and rinds of the fruit have been used in traditional medicine in Asia. And the essential oils in the plant are used to treat head lice when used as a shampoo.
Care needs to be taken though when using Kaffir Lime topically since it contains Furanocoumarins which can cause severe skin inflammation.
Cloves (Buy Online) have been used as a medicine since the middle ages, and cloves can sell for up to $10 per pound.
Cloves are harvested from the tropical tree ‘Caryophyllus Aromaticus’, and they have a pungent aromatic scent that makes them sought after for use in a wide range of fragrances. They are also heavily used in Indonesia to make special “Kretek.” clove cigarettes.
Cloves also have a wide range of medicinal uses, and they are commonly used as a mild anesthetic to treat toothaches. Cloves also have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and cloves are also currently being studied to see if they can help reduce blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon (Buy Online) is one of the more common medicinal spices, and it can fetch a price of $6 per pound. Real Cinnamon comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree which is native to Sri Lanka, but it’s also grown in other tropical regions in India, Madagascar, and Indonesia
Real cinnamon is commonly called Ceylon cinnamon, and it is more expensive than Chinese cinnamon (Cassia). Most of the “cinnamon” you find in stores is Chinese cinnamon since it’s cheaper and easier for large companies to purchase on the global market.
Real cinnamon has been used traditionally for a wide range of ailments from curing the common cold, healing wounds, and removing freckles.
More recently cinnamon has been found to help control blood sugar, and in some studies, it has even been found to lower blood pressure.
Turmeric (Buy Online) can sell for up to $3 per pound and it’s readily available in most specialty markets. Turmeric is closely related to ginger, but it has a more intense flavor and a distinct deep red-orange color.
Turmeric has been used for centuries if not millennia in Asia and India as a spice, and it also has been used as a dye to color tapestries, carpets, and clothing.
Turmeric has been widely regarded as one of the most potent herbs in traditional medicine. And the modern medical community has just started to fully appreciate turmeric’s health benefits. The most important of which is turmeric’s strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.