Echinacea in Saluda: A Magnet for Butterflies and Health Benefits

EchinaceaAlso known as the American coneflower, Echinacea is abundant in our garden at the Orchard Inn in Saluda, North Carolina. When you visit our charming and elegant bed and breakfast near Asheville, you’ll find picturesque sights, comfortable hospitality and beautiful Echinacea. It’s a magnet for butterflies and has amazing health benefits.

Echinacea is a perennial plant that lasts for years and years. When mature, it is about 1 to 2-feet tall and has purple to pink flowers. A seed head or cone is in the center of the flower and is also spiky and dark brown to red in color. Butterflies flock to the plant, as they are attracted to the pollen in the colorful flowers. The sweet nectar in the flower is hard to resist for the butterflies. They visit our garden just to drink from the coneflowers.

Butterflies add beauty, while the purple coneflowers serve as a source of nectar and pollen. The wildflower blooms in early to mid-summer and is left intact for winter, providing a seed source for overwintering birds.

In addition to butterflies, Echinacea serves as a magnet for health benefits. Three species of Echinacea are used as herbal remedies, including Echinacea angustifolia, a narrow-leaf coneflower, Echinacea pallida, the pale purple coneflower, and Echinacea purpurea, the eastern purple coneflower.

There is a complex mix of active substances in Echinacea, some antimicrobial. Others are believed to be beneficial to the immune system. Many plants contain phenols, which have high antioxidant properties that are good for health.

Scientists from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy have reviewed many studies on whether or not Echinacea has an effect on reducing the symptoms of a cold. Their conclusion was that Echinacea can reduce a person’s chances of catching a cold by approximately 58-percent. Additionally, they believe it can reduce the length of time a cold lasts by 1.4 days.

It is used all over the world to treat infections and illnesses, including but not limited to: acid indigestion, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, dizziness, diphtheria, gum disease, migraines, malaria, pain, the flu, tonsillitis, and rheumatism.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Native Americans are thought to have used Echinacea for more than 400 years as a general “cure all.”

There are many different ways to take it. Scientists suggest 1 to 2 grams of dried root or herb as tea, 2 to 3 mL of standardized tincture extract, or 6 to 9 mL of expressed juice. You can also do 300 mg of standardized, powdered extract, 15 to 23 drops of stabilized fresh extract, or 20 to 90 drops of tincture.

Now that you know more about Echinacea in Saluda and how it is a magnet for both butterflies and health benefits, come see its beauty in person! Reserve your stay now at the Orchard Inn, the perfect Asheville area bed and breakfast to make your stay truly special. In addition to our nine guest rooms in the main building, there are five cottage suites that are complete with fireplaces, whirlpool baths and private decks. Download our Vacation Guide here to find out more about the area!