Russian Fever medicine

Alexander is a 20 year old student at USC. He is currently a freshman, and is old for his grade because he spent an extra year in Russia, where he grew up his entire life. He said life there was very different and while he is good at English, he still struggles slightly as he is very new to the country. I asked him about any specific types of folk medicine that they used and this is his reply:

When people have fever or sore throat, they rub vodka on their chest and back, and eat garlic to prevent fevers.”

Alexander said this was a very normal thing to do, and that it actually helped him whenever he got sick. He said that it is a very normal thing for everyone to do. I have never heard of this method of folk medicine and so I was surprised when he told me. There is also a Russian stereotype in the US that all Russians use vodka for everything, so I think that this example is humorous, but fascinating nonetheless.