PlantTherapy: Dirt Makes You Happy?

PlantTherapy: Dirt Makes You Happy?

Matt
Nov 10, 2007


Image of a weeder's finger by found drama via Flickr
This past year my neighbors and I got together to take more compost at the Soundview compost giveback for our neglected outdoor areas around our building. I was shocked at how much fun we had - over dirt! Strangers and friends alike all had a good time. And now Organic Gardening Magazine had a short blurb this month on why that dirt may have played a role in making us all so happy... According to the article a common bacterium found in soil, Micobacterium vaccae, is already an effective vaccine for treating Leprosy and is being evaluated for its value in treating asthma, TB and cancer. During a study with cancer patients being treated with M. vaccae the participants reported feeling inexplicably happy. As it turns out the bacterium causes the brain to release seratonin, which is a pleasure-inducing hormone and may have been responsible for the feeling of happiness. So it might not be a coincidence when an afternoon in the garden makes someone happier! matt at apartment therapy dot com
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