What is Snot?
Snot is the slang term of nasal mucus. Mucus is the slippery secretion that is produced by nasal mucous membranes. These secretions typically contain water, glycoproteins, some inorganic salt, and antibodies or immunoglobulins that try to stop germs by killing them. The glycoproteins found in mucus are produced by goblet cells which are found in the mucous membranes.
But aside from the nose, mucus is also produced in other parts of the body particularly in “mucus membranes” located in the intestines, the stomach, and the eyes among various other parts. Much of the function of mucus in various parts of the body is to ward off infectious organisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It is even said that humans typically produce an average of liter of mucus everyday.
Mucus can also come from mixed glands which contain serous and mucous type of cells. The mucus produced by these glands are viscous and contain enzymes that have antiseptic properties. Mucus cells also help epithelial cells in various anatomical tracts in the body like the urogenital tract, visual tract, respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal tract. As for the snot or mucus in the nose, they function to help filter and stop microbes and germs from entering into the respiratory and digestive systems. When a person is exposed to germs, pollen, or dust for example, snot is actually produced by the nasal mucous membranes as a form of defense mechanism against possible illness or disease. And since snot may also contain immunoglobulins or antibodies, more of it will be produced by the mucous membranes if there are more irritating organisms that invade the nose.
One important thing about nasal mucus or snot is that it protects the lungs from being contaminated with foreign matter that may be harmful to it. When there is increased production of mucus, it is a strong indication that a person may have been infected by an illness and that many infectious organisms have already penetrated some parts of the body. People who have colds and flu usually have mucosal secretions indicating that the body is trying to protect itself from harmful organisms.