Soil Helps Depression

Bonnie L. Grant
Tuesday, 9th December 2014

Soil is vital to life. It provides nutrients for plants and trees who in turn give us food and oxygen. Now, scientists have discovered it can help depression.

Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues. Soil microbes have been found to have similar effects on the brain and are without side effects and chemical dependency potentials. Learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in soil and make yourself happier and healthier. Read on to see how dirt makes you happy.

Natural remedies have been around for untold centuries. These natural remedies included cures for almost any physical ailment as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked but simply that it did. Modern scientists have unraveled the why of many medicinal plants and practices but only recently are they finding remedies that were previously unknown and, yet, still a part of the natural life cycle. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.
Soil Microbes and Human Health

Did you know that 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.

Serotonin has been linked to such problems as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems. The bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant in soil and has no adverse health effects. These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt.

Most avid gardeners will tell you that their landscape is their "happy place" and the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood lifter. The fact that there is some science behind it adds additional credibility to these garden addicts' claims. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant is not a surprise to many of us who have experienced the phenomenon ourselves. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

Mycrobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being investigated for improving cognitive function, Crohn's disease and even rheumatoid arthritis.
How Dirt Makes You Happy

Antidepressant microbes in soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which results in the production of higher levels of serotonin. The bacterium was tested both by injection and ingestion on rats and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress and better concentration to tasks than a control group.

Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it and get it into their bloodstreams when there is a cut or other pathway for infection. The natural effects of the soil bacteria antidepressant can be felt for up to 3 weeks if the experiments with rats are any indication. So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life. 

This article originally appeared at: www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm

Further resources

The Soil Will Save Us

Connect with nature in Sacred Earth Celebrations

Earth - so important they named a planet after it

Soil restoration: using plants to store nitrogen in the ground

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gardener |
December 10, 2014 - 6:59pm
this is interesting. Of course, we should try and separate this from all the other 'lifts' we get from exercise, being outside, etc. All this provides a neurobiological stimulus which if linked to an emerging understanding that microbes (cytokine)can also help is good news. Various gardening projects on both sides of the pond are also an indication that this is a way to overcome dependencies and certainly far more sustainable than prescription drugs.

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