Rights: The University of Waikato Published 18 October 2010 Download

Dr Joanna Kirman talks about snot. Although it seems disgusting, we learn snot is actually a good thing and is one of our weapons to fight disease. It is produced to clear the airways of infectious diseases and anything else that should not be there.


Snot is a fantastic thing that our body makes in response sometimes to infectious diseases, sometimes it will make it in response to things like an asthmatic response. So snot is produced largely by the airways, and it’s designed to basically mop up things that either aberrantly end up in our airway system, or when we’ve got infectious diseases, we make a lot of snot to try and clear the airways of that infection.

It’s sticky and it kind of collects things and then you cough it up and you can get rid of that infectious organism. It is a good thing – you might not think it at the time when your nose is blocked, but it is – snot is one of our weapons to fight disease.

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