Most gardeners know that digging in the dirt makes them happy and some call it therapeutic. Now, scientists have identified soil microbes that have been found to have similar effects as antidepressants on the brain without the side effects and dependencies when using medication such as Prozac.
For centuries natural remedies have been around to include cures for physical as well as emotional conditions. Now modern scientists are trying to unravel what ancient healers knew. This includes a verifiable link between soil microbes and human health. There is a bacteria in the soil known as Mucobaterium vaccea and has been shown to mirror the effects drugs like Prozac on our nervous system. The bacteria may stimulate the production of serotonin, a substance in the brain that makes us feel relaxed and happier. The lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety and other medical conditions. Studies have shown that while working in our gardens we inhale and touch the bacteria where it enters our bloodstream, similar to how we may pick up a common cold. Once in our bloodstream it increases our serotonin levels, making us feel happier with the effects lasting up to 3 weeks. So, get out and dig in the dirt, it may just improve your mood.
Don’t believe us? Check out this article by Gardening Know How.