Monthly Archives: March 2011

Dirt & Health

Dirt & Health

Don’t worry, be happy – but only in your garden…

Here’s a quote well worth pondering:

“When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

It seems like Emerson was onto something and that the saying, “As happy as a pig in mud,” has more substance to it than meets the eye.  After all, have you ever seen a depressed gardener?

Science is now proving Emerson right  in unexpected ways.  For starters, here’s a report with the fascinating title:  “Breathing Soil Bacteria Makes You Smarter”.  It’s a blog post about a scientific research article published in Physorg.com.  It would appear as though breathing in / eating a common soil bacterium, Mycobacterium vaccae, induces neuron growth and the secretion of the feel-good hormone serotonin.  Mice that were given these bacteria to eat, performed TWICE as well as their control counterparts in navigating mazes and displayed far less anxiety in the process.  Another aspect of the study looked at the improved immune response evidenced by the “infected” creatures.  It looks like the immune response triggered by the immune system is the cause of the beneficial effects.

You can read more about this research here:

http://www.good.is/post/breathing-soil-bacteria-makes-you-smarter/

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18082129/ns/health-livescience/

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jul/raw-data-is-dirt-the-new-prozac

So, to be healthier, smarter and happier, spend time outdoors, grow your own veggies (there’s a lot of satisfaction to be had in seeing your hard work bear fruit in a matter of weeks or months) and get some sun on you while you are at it.  It beats seeing a shrink.

There’s nothing quite like biting into an organically grown worm…

All the best!

Frank

PS I now offer a selection of top wellness products on my website www.integrow.co.za , in case you’re interested.