Try them when: Your throat is red and feels raw.
How they work: The powdered bark of the tree keeps your throat moist, which eases the discomfort brought on by inflammation. Try Thayers Sugar Free Slippery Elm Lozenges ($12.50, thayers.com), which are free of lactose. That’s important, says Finkelstein, because dairy ingredients may stimulate pain-inducing inflammation.
Good to know: Some slippery-elm lozenges are combined with vitamin C, which some studies have shown to reduce a cold’s duration, including scratchy throats. (Thayers lozenges fit this bill.) As with zinc lozenges, check with your doctor before using.