For the most part, snot is pretty disgusting. Even the mere word is enough to make most people cringe. However, in a recent YouTube video, the team at Gross Science explained that despite its bad reputation, snot is actually an important part of keeping our bodies healthy.
Snot, or as it’s medically known, mucus, is essentially a sticky bodily fluid that helps to keep our body moist and healthy. Although we associate it with the nose and mouth, mucus is made throughout the body, from the digestive system to the genitals. It’s really not as gross as you think, and is mostly water. Our nose alone makes about one cup of mucus a day, and that's when it’s healthy. Snot also works to trap invading pathogens that could potentially make us sick.
If a pathogen manages to get through the defense of our snot, you may become sick. And as anyone who’s ever had a cold before can attest, snot production hits the roof when we get a cold. This is because our bodies produce extra mucus in an effort to flush out this pathogen. However, despite what you might think, it’s not the snot that causes you congestion and general discomfort. In addition to helping to flush out the pathogen, our body also sends an influx of immune cells to the nasal passages to fight potential infections, and this can cause minor swelling.
So next time you have a running nose or a wet sneeze, try not to be grossed out and instead recognize your body is simply doing its job to ensure you are in peak shape.