Monday, July 11, 2011

It's in the Dirt

Dirt is healthy. I always thought so. According to the Therapeutic Landscapes Network:
...A strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been found to trigger the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. And on top of that, this little bacterium has been found to improve cognitive function and possibly even treat cancer and other diseases. Which means that contact with soil, through gardening or other means (see Elio, above), is beneficial. How did this discovery come about? (Read entire article.)
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3 comments:

boinky said...

Yes, dirt is "clean" unless your soil contains tetanus spores or anthrax spores...

Genty said...

What an interesting post. I never use gloves when gardening, just put up with broken nails and rough hands. I just have to feel the soil in my hands. (Yes, tetanus jab up to date.)

Before the advent of washed and "treated" veg, the soil had to be washed off at home but I suppose some of it remained along with the beneficial bacterium, on salad veg at least.

Alexandra said...

How interesting! I always found gardening relaxing, but I had no idea there was a biochemical reason. I don't use gloves either unless I'm pulling down tough vines.