Science | The sniffles
Ah-choo..! Excuse me; it’s that time of year again. The polite thing for me to do would be to blow my nose into a handkerchief, only to repeat the action a hundred times over to prevent an avalanche of mucus descending on my face. However, politeness may be doing us more damage that good. A blocked nose from the common cold is due to inflammation and swelling of the nasal blood vessels in response to infection. The continual blowing of your nose won’t aid the condition, as forceful, extended and repetitive blowing will project contagious mucus into the sinuses potentially causing secondary infections. The best solution to mop up the fluid with gentle exhalation through the nasal passage. While this is a seemingly unnatural action, science has other unusual techniques to try to keep colds at bay.
Not only will it shift some blockages, improve your mood and aid herd immunity, hormonal release during sexual activity can double your IgA concentration. IgA, an immunoglobulin antigen, aids your body’s defence to pathogens. One or two sexual encounters a week can boost the protein by 30 per cent.
Spice up your life this winter. Hot, aromatic dishes containing chilli, ginger and garlic have anti-viral properties that can boost your defence. Consumption of hot dishes also causes an increase in mucus production in the nasal cavity and throughout the whole digestive tract. Mucus bars the entre of pathogens to the cells’ surface reducing infection rates.
Not only are they cheaper, taster and boozier than other remedies, but unlike spraying solvents up your nose or gulping pills, there relaxing. Stress is a major contributor to infection. Steroids released in response to essay deadlines, financial woes and Christmas shopping suppress the immune system, increasing your likelihood of catching a cold.