Try it when: You begin to notice a tickle.
How it works: This pungent bulb is thought to have “tremendous immune-stimulating effects” as well as antimicrobial (read: virus-fighting) and antibacterial qualities, says Finkelstein. So it may help the body to heal the infections that cause a sore throat while fighting the germs that cause the pain and the irritation. The compound that may be responsible for this is allicin, which is released when raw garlic is cut, crushed, or chewed. Finkelstein suggests microwaving one or two cloves for 10 to 15 seconds to decrease the intensity of the taste, then crushing them in a press and eating the garlic on a cracker. Do this once daily.
Good to know: Garlic supplements, which may be effective at lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, do not seem to help the immune system.