Gardening season is upon us, and yes, we have been busy playing in the dirt. Tilling and planting began nearly two weeks ago. My husband planted potatoes and cabbage after the threat of frost and freezing temperatures was presumably over. He has since, in between rain days, planted tomatoes, eggplant, squash and pumpkins, sunflowers and buckwheat. There are still seeds to go in the ground but we are off to a good start.
Weeding has also begun. I spent some time pulling weeds in the asparagus patch and about three hours on Wednesday weeding the garlic bed. Weeding the Prayer Garden is next on my list.
The contrary among you may argue that the title of this post, Dirt Don’t Hurt, is misleading because there are ways that dirt can be harmful to us. That I will concede. Now that I’ve got you here though I would like to share some ways that dirt may therapeutic.
Grounding or Earthing
Grounding or earthing refers to the simple act of placing our bare feet on the natural ground, such as dirt, sand or grass. By doing that, we are in direct contact with the Earth. While the proposed science behind it is explained in this article some of the heath benefits are said to be reduced inflammation, reduce stress, improve mood, reduced pain. Personally I don’t care how it works I just know that it feels good to go barefoot in the cool green grass or on a sand beach.
Antidepressant Microbes In Soil
A while back a Rory, a fellow blogger included this interesting article in his gardening series. The article explains that “The soil microbe mycobacterium vaccae has been found to mirror the effect on neurons in the brain that drugs like Prozac can provide, but without side effects.” It also suggests that the benefits may be gained either topically by having your hands in the soil or by inhaling it while working in the garden.
All this time I’ve been using the term “garden therapy” I never thought that there may be some science behind it I just knew that I find working in the garden enjoyable and I feel good when I do it.
Bacillus Subtilis Probiotic
It was right around the time I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease that I began including probiotics in my diet daily. Largely I was doing this by eating and drinking fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kombucha. There did seem to be a connection between my poor digestion and some of the other symptoms of the PD, and probiotics did have some positive effects.
Bacillus subtilis is a probiotic that is derived from the soil and as this article explains is able to endure extreme conditions such as heat, dryness, humidity and acidity. It is said to improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, suppress harmful pathogens, strengthen the mucosal biofilm and enhance the growth of other probiotic strains.
Several months ago my husband came across this information which describes studies being done on bacillus subtilis in relationship to PD and positive results that are being seen. This got my attention. This particular strain of probiotic is not one that is included in the many probiotic supplements that I found on the store shelves. I did find one blend at a nutrition store that contained it but beyond that it is easier to find online.
I have been taking bacillus subtilis supplements for a few months now and have noticed several benefits to my health.
Thanks for reading and don’t forget to “Play in the Dirt” this summer. 🙂