I have been taking Echinacea for over 11 years now. I've severe alergies to dust, polan and to cats. since one of my past co-worker introduced me to this herb, it really helps me a lot when I am suffering with my alergies. I only take this herb as needed.
I use echinasea at that first sign of a soar throat. I recently had a serviceman at my house. Immediately he started sneezing due to the cat. Buckets of liquid came out of his nose. I gave him a handful of echinacea. He came back on Monday. I said did you take allergy medicine. He said, no I am fine now because of the echinacea I had given him. This really works.
I started drinking Echinacea Plus tea and was very pleased at how much it helped with my cold/sinus probelems! Having said that, I was unaware of the side effects or interactions. At first I drink 3-4 cups a day for about 5 days then just started having 1 cup in the evening as a precaution. I started sneezing my head off every evening about the same time and the roof of my mouth would itch like crazy. Low and behold if you are allergic to ragweed, which I am, echinacea may not be something you want to take all the time. Also if you are on any medications, check the list of possible interactions. The echinacea also messed with my hormones!