Gardening Soil Makes You Happy?
Here’s some science on why gardening soil makes you happy. I am not really convinced though. How about you?
Doctors increasingly accept that it is important that young children are exposed to dirt so that their immune systems can develop properly and they grow up with a proper resistance to a whole range of diseases. This I do believe; there is a huge body of scientific research that supports this contention.
What better way to get that exposure than by playing in the garden?
OK, but it has now been shown that the benefit goes way beyond that. Our relationship with dirt is complex.
Electron microscope picture of Mycobacterium vaccae
Is Garden Soil A Natural Antidepressant?
“……just might be if science has anything to say about it.
….there’s a natural antidepressant in soil! It’s true. Mycobacterium vaccae is the substance under study and has indeed been found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide. The bacterium is found in soil and may stimulate serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies were conducted on cancer patients and they reported a better quality of life and less stress”.
From Gardening Know How
It sent mice round a maze twice as fast as well!
Might do the same to us then. A giddying thought.
We don’t have to eat soil, we might be inhaling the bacteria as we garden and it might get in through cuts. The effects lasted about 3 weeks in mice, so perhaps the after-glow from a good days gardening that lasts for a few days has a soil component to it. Seriously.
Perhaps you are inclined to help create more awareness! Maybe join in the debate!
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Image: child in soil Soil Science Society of America