Most people would agree that picking your nose is frowned upon. And eating the contents it, well, just a bit gross.
But nose-picking is not a rare thing to see, particularly by children – we either grow out of our nose-picking ways by adulthood or simply do it in private (on most occasions).
According to a study, however, we should in fact be eating our bogies and encouraging our kids to do the same.
The reason is that bogies actually have an array of health benefits – and they could be particularly important for growing children.
The study found that snot contains salivary mucins which forms a barrier against cavity-causing bacteria, Kidspot reports.
Researchers are even now looking into a way to create synthetic mucus that could be made into chewing gum or toothpaste to provide the same benefits.
What’s more, there’s evidence to suggest the mucus in snot could defend against respiratory infection, stomach ulcers and HIV.
Austrian lung specialist Prof Friedrich Bischinger believes people who pick their noses are healthy, happier and probably better in tune with their bodies than others.
“And eating the dry remains of what you pull out is a great way of strengthening the body’s immune system. Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do,” he said.
“In terms of the immune system, the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine.”
He believes we should do away with the social stigma around nose-picking and says parents should actually encourage their children to do so.
This is despite previous reports and advice from doctors claiming picking your nose can result in bleeding and actually encourage germs.