Old as Dirt

Dirt is the one thing on earth we cannot live without. The fact the world is covered in 1 inch of topsoil and the fact it rains, means we can grow our own food, and the human species can survive.

But, did you know dirt can improve your mental health? Zoe Schlanger, with Quartz Magazine has a fascinating and in depth article about current research in this field. https://qz.com/993258/dirt-has-a-microbiome-and-it-may-double-as-an-antidepressant/

There are mircobomes in your common backyard mulch that have been found essential to our mental health. There has been shown a strong connection between our good bacteria in our guts, our immune system and our mental health.

I experienced a serious form of depression after the birth of my first child. I was diagnosed with Post Partumn Depression when my son was less than 6 months old. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but I felt like I was a candle whose wick had burned to the bottom and when the wick ran out, I would simply die. I wasn’t suicidal, but I did believe I was dying.

Could it have been caused by the change in my body from giving birth? Was there something that upset the microbiomes in my gut, which lead to me experiencing bouts of depression shortly after the births of my first child?

My doctor put me on medication and I stayed on that medication until I decided I wanted to get pregnant a second time. When I eventually got off the medication it was like I had been healed and I never had another problem. The depression I had experienced after the birth of my first child, never once resurfaced, and I never had another postpartum depression, even after the subsequent birth of my second child.

Previous generations were raised to think depression was something you could just simply get over. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, as they say.

As a child, I was constantly outside. I was either competing in a pool on swim team or I was riding horses. My life was constantly filled with hay, dirt, manure, horse hair and oats. No wonder I was so well equipped to combat my bout with depression. I was the one benefiting from the natural elements of the soil and the earth and the essential microbiomes that foster good gut health, which also contributes to our good mental health!

Have you ever wondered why if feels so good to dig in the dirt to plant flowers every Spring. Did you think it was just because spring flowers are colorful and pretty? Seems there is a lot more to it. Could the benefits of being outside, mucking stalls as a child and getting my hands dirty, really be that beneficial?

There are naturally occurring good gut bacteria in the soil that are good for the serotonin and dopamine in our brains. It’s why exercising outdoors has more benefits than being in a gym for our overall mental well being. It makes you feel energized, vibrant, healthier and it can have lasting lifelong effects!

The next time some one tells you to “eat dirt”, do it! Tell your kids to get outside! Make mud pies, dig holes, get dirty and partake of the natural elements the world has to keep us naturally healthy and well. We all need a break from our mobile devices and kids these days aren’t playing outside like previous generations. Electronic media cannot compete with good Microbiomes!

Play in the dirt, get mud under your nails, it’s good for you! The life you save, could be your own!

Still don’t believe me? New mental health research is proving probiotics as a treatment for depression.

Read here:


6 thoughts on “Old as Dirt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s