Whenever I feel a cold coming on I take 2 capsules 3-4 times a day until the symptoms go away. I have used Zicam in the past but the cold would always come back as soon as I stopped taking it. The Echinacea seems to nip it in the bud. Usually I'll take it for two days before the cold is gone. Sometimes I'll take along with Vitamin C and fresh garlic. This plus rest and lots of fluids makes the cold go away. I'll definitely be keeping this stuff in my medicine cabinet from now on.