How I Prevented a Sinus Infection Last Year

Lemons | Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar | Cayenne Pepper | Combine 1/4 cup ACV with a 1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper and one lemon wedge, squeezed. Mix with hot water and drink at least 5/7 days of the week out of a small mug.

Young Living Oils: Thieves and RC | Apply Thieves to the roof of your mouth each morning with the pad of your thumb. Hold for 30 seconds. | Apply RC to the insides of your nostrils and down the front of your neck. I use my pinky to do this.

Personal Humidifier | Fill to max water height, then add in essential oils. I always use thieves and rc, but add in others like tea tree oil or lavender.

Zyrtec | Nasacort | Mucinex | I take zyrtec every night and use nasacort in the morning and at night, one squity in each nostril. Mucinex I take as needed.

Ashley Brooke Designs Mug | Apple Cider Vinegar |  Cayenne Pepper

Okay first of all, let me say that I am NOT a doctor and aside my basic biology and chemistry classes I am not qualified to be one. I do however know how to listen to my body and research. This post is based on my personal experience, as well as my doctor's advice. Before you change anything about your diet or consumption, consult with your physician. 

I have had sinus infections at least once a year for as long as I can remember. The first time I can really pinpoint them truly affecting my life, was in middle school. I would get them around the same time EVERY year. Why do I know that? Because it usually came around the same time as All Region Choir tryouts. Convenient, right? It continued affecting my singing in high school; however, stopped then, as I did not continue my choral career in college, with the exception of a small group in my sorority. I do remember getting them in college though...my sophomore fall I was taking 18 hours of courses and had a double sinus infection during my final exams. They always come at the best times, don't they. Most recently, I had a sinus infection that returned THREE times in the winter of 2015. It was so bad that I had to get a steroid shot, twice! The latter time, being the morning of the day I got engaged. My mom was like "Lauren, get your booty to a Care Now and just get a shot. You cannot afford to feel this poorly, again and again". Luckily it made me feel better and you cannot even tell that I was pretty sick, in these photos!

As soon as 2016 hit, I knew I couldn't stand getting sinus infections anymore. At my current place of work, I am prone to more sicknesses than my first job, because more people have kids (or at least that is all that I could figure!) At my first job out of college I never even took a sick day. Here, I have had stomach viruses, colds, and of course, the dreaded sinus infections. I started looking up ways to help my body stay healthy, because not only do I hate getting SI, but I was getting married in the fall in did NOT want to have one on my big day. Here's what I did and I am proud to say that I did not get a sinus infection at all! I did lose my voice / have a little bit of congestion and coughing, around Thanksgiving; however, I did not have the sinus pressure, headaches, or discoloration that come with having an SI. Praise the Lord! Here's what I did. I'll let you know what I have been doing for a while and what I added, that I think made the difference!

  • Zyrtec - I have been taking Zyrtec every night, since middle school. I switch it up, just to make sure my body doesn't get used to it, but it is between the off brands and the brand name. I know there are other brands out there like Claritin, but they don't seem to work as well for me. My doctor recommended this for me and I notice a difference without it - think sneezing and itchy eyes.
  • Nasacort - I have been taking this nasal spray for a little over a year now! As a kid I took Nasonex, but got off of it for some reason. If you ever wake up and your nose feels swollen, but get better as you "wake up", then you need to try this out! My mom's doctor recommended it to her for this purpose and it works!! I used to think that waking up stuffy and it going away as the day went on was normal...it is not! I use this twice daily- once in each nostril in the morning, and once at night.
  • Mucinex - My doctor also recommended this to me in middle school, which is around the time when it first came out. I don't take this all the time, but I do take it at the first hint of stuff in the back of my throat (for lack of better wording)! This helps nip it in the bud and keeps it from worsening / getting infected. Instead of waiting to see if I will naturally get over it, I take action with this, as needed.

The next three I combine together for one drink, but they can be done separately! I put 1 TBS ACV in a mug, with cayenne pepper, and a lemon wedge, squeezed, with hot water. I drink this all the weekdays and occasionally on the weekend.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar - I started doing this about a year ago and haven't stopped. ACV has loads of benefits, just be sure to dilute it with water, before you drink it! It helps heartburn and acid reflux, promotes healthy cholesterol and blood sugar, can help in weight loss, because it is an appetite suppressant, has loads of antioxidants, can help absorption of your body's nutrients and those are just to name a few! I love starting my day out with this! Make sure you are buying organic, raw, and unfiltered ACV, though!
  • Lemon Water - Lemons have similar benefits as ACV. They aid in digestion and detoxification, help you feel fuller longer, due to Pectin, get you the Vitamin C that you need, boosts your energy and mood, and help promote healthy skin by repairing damage by free radicals. They are also supposed to help with joint pain, which what I need, with all my knee and hip issues! Lemon is always good on a sore throat, too! If you feel one coming on, reach for some of those shiny, yellow fruits!
  • Cayenne Pepper - This is the ingredient that make people look at me weird. In general, I love spicy things; however, it so much more than a flavor add! Cayenne pepper  can aid in upset stomachs, ulcers, and even coughs! It also has anti cold and flu agents, as it breaks up mucus! It has anti-fungal properties, can prevent headaches, is an anti allergen, aids in digestion, has detox support, promotes heart health, and is a joint pain reliever. And that's not even all! Research it for yourself, to find out if it is something you could add to your diet!
  • Essential Oils - My parents got me turned onto these about 2 years ago and I love them! I use quite a few, but I'm going to focus on two. Thieves and RC. I put Thieves on the roof of my mouth each morning and RC in my nostrils and down my neck. Theives is a combination oil, made of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary. People use it for promoting good health and immune systems, among other things like a perfume or even a cleanser! RC is made from Spruce, Cyprus, and three types of Eucalyptus oils. It is most known for respiratory support - it helps you breathe better!
  • Humidifier - This one kind of goes with the essential oils, as I use them together. Whenever I lost my voice this year, Nick and I were actually visiting his parents in California! His mom made me sleep with her humidifier and essential oils and it works wonders! Once we were back home, I bought my own and have been sleeping with it every night. I put Thieves and RC in it, after I fill it with water.
  • Sleep - This may seem silly, but starting in 2016, I started taking my sleep more seriosly, and listened to my body more. I am a go-go-go person, so this was hard for me, but so worth it! Sometimes this means skipping a workout or just taking it easy on a weekend. Your body needs sleep to repair itself and the less you get, the more apt you are to get sick. So, take that 20 minute power nap, but be sure to get your shut eye at night, too!
  • Hand Washing - So no, I didn't just start making hand washing a priority! (lol). However, I am more careful about it now. At work, I will wash my hands in the restroom, open the door with a clean paper towel, then use that same paper towel, to open the door to the break room, open the fridge, etc. It may seem weird, but you do not know where people's hands have been!! This is super easy to implement, so just do it!

Have you ever tried any of these things? Do you have an tricks up your sleeve? Let me know!! I will say that something else I have used before is a neti pot. They are good to do every so often, but especially good if you already have the sinus infection. They can clear you out pronto!! Since I have been taking more care of myself, I haven't used it in a while and don't see the need to use when when I feel so good! Stay happy and healthy, friends!

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