Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dirt and Depression

Just when I thought I was running out of reasons to convince people to go play in the dirt and grow some yummy food, an article on the positive mood-altering affects of a common soil bacteria was brought to my attention.

This Horticulture Magazine article describes a study done on cancer patients. The treatment involved exposing patients to a bacteria (M. vaccae) which affected their cancer symptoms and had the added benefit of affecting their depression. Basically, people who were exposed to the bacteria noticed changes in mood, cognitive function, and vitality. So go ahead- read the story, and then step outside for a little depression cure. Come on people, Let's Get Dirty!

Woman in her garden, Virgin Islands? (LOC)
photo by Jack Delano


  1. perhaps this is why my kids seem happiest when playing in the dirt :)

  2. It probably is! I used to do my algebra homework sitting in my garden. I was the top student in the class, and math is my worst subject. When I told my professor I do homework in the garden, he thought it was a no-brainer that I was his best student! He must have been a gardener....