How Dirt Makes You Happy: Antidepressant Microbes In Soil

How Dirt Makes You Happy...

Did you know that there’s a natural antidepressant in soil?   It’s true.  Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues.  Lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar problems.  The bacterium found is soil called Mycobacterium vaccae  has been studied and shows a positive link to human health: it stimulates serotonin production, which makes you relaxed and happier.  The study verified they are found to mirror the effect on neurons that drugs like Prozac provide.

These antidepressant microbes in soil may be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt and they have no adverse health effects.  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 is fascinating, but not shocking, to the happy gardener.

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.  So get out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life!