No, we’re not talking about the type of high cannabis or psychedelics might provide. We’re talking about being high on life, feeling good and warding off depression and other lower states of feeling. That’s what new research is saying about dirt!
With a plethora of pills on the market today to help ease and eliminate depression, it can seem defeating to feel like we live in a world where holistic remedies are buried beneath synthetics. However, soil microbes may be on your side, as they have been found to have similar effects on the brain as Prozac, minus the side effects and potential of chemical dependency.
How Dirt Can Make You Happy
Long before modern medicine came to be, natural remedies were used to cure mental and emotional issues. But while ancient healers may not have always had the scientific resources to understand why some things worked, modern scientists can now help further connect the dots.
Soil microbes and human health have now been positively linked through research. The natural antidepressant in soil is called mycobacterium vaccae, which scientists have discovered mirrors the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide.
Studies Conducted On Cancer Patients Explain How This Works
During studies conducted on cancer patients, a better quality of life and less stress were reported as a result of the bacterium found in soil stimulating serotonin production. Too little of this monoamine neurotransmitter has been found to cause depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and bipolar problems.
It’s an interesting yet all-too familiar concept, since you’ll often find avid gardeners claiming that working with their landscape is their “happy place,” where they can let go of stresses and boost their mood naturally. As with many natural remedies, free from harmful side effects, science weighing in only validates what many people have already recognized instinctually.
How Dirt Might Improve Cognitive Function
Mycobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil may also help to improve cognitive function, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis by boosting levels of cytokine, which, in turn, promotes the production of higher levels of serotonin.
To put this theory into practice, bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats, with results showing an increase in cognitive ability, a reduction in stress, and an improvement in concentration on tasks in comparison to a control group.
Gardeners may reap the benefits as they inhale the bacteria, get it on their hands, and even into their bloodstreams through an open wound or other pathway for infection. It’s been found that the natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can last up to 3 weeks.
While there are plenty of reasons getting outside and playing in the dirt is good for you, this is just another reason to add it to the list!
So How Can You Benefit?
Get outside and play int he dirt. Plant some vegetables, flowers or bushes in your yard to not only increase your mood but also to feed yourself or beauty up your yard!
You can also try walking barefoot on soil. This is called earthing and has a ton of benefits on it’s own.
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