The most common use of saffron is culinary, but it is a rare, exotic spice that can cost as much as $10,000 a pound. Saffron is also a medicinal herb that is used to treat depression. It is also being studied as a cancer treatment, as of 2015.
Saffron is so expensive because of the process of harvesting it. Each thread of saffron comes from the stamen of a crocus and is harvested by hand. It takes more than 150 flowers to produce just one gram of saffron. The most classic use for saffron is in dishes made of rice, but it also works well in desserts since it mixes well with vanilla.