Mud Mud Glorious Mud, Nothing quite like it

Mud Mud Glorious Mud, Nothing quite like it
Lara Barge • Published April 2016

What if we are designed to survive in this world? Could that be possible?

All other species on the planet are born on the dirt and seem to thrive!  What makes us any different. I'm not suggesting that we all go and give birth in a pile of earth or take our new borns out and smother them in dirt. My desire is to find a healthy balance and a sustainable solution. Sustainable emotionally and health wise.

Modern hygiene has had an amazing impact and reduced numerous diseases and other health issues, but with all areas of life; anything in excess can become harmful. Soil microbes act as the immune system defense for plants. And studies show they can act similarly for humans too.

They help support our immune system and also our mood! A natural free antidepressant and immune boost on our doorstep. Soil microbes have a similar effect on the brain as Antidepressants but without the negative side effect and its free! Mycobacterium vaccae can stimulate serotonin production and releases it into the prefrontal cortex the part of the brain that regulates our moods. Serotonin is the bodies natural happy drug that helps us to relax and feel good as well as combat anxiety and depression. It is a pretty incredible substance all round really. Well worth getting dirty for.

It is only a very small part of the brain that produces serotonin, but it is then sent through a complex web to all over the brain. There are numerous studies showing that gardners live happier and longer lives.

And the science behind it is all in the soil. Today most of us live in a world of disinfectant, antibacterial soap, sanitary wipes, cleaning sprays, and an array of other product. New parents are drilled with the importance of everything being sterile and disinfected. Parents go to huge length to try and maintain this unnatural way of being through fear of the health of their children. Along with the lowering of many diseases and health problems we also have a sudden rise in allergies, digestive problems and other immune disorders.

Looking at research it is a very obvious parallel showing the link between sterile environments and lower immunity. Children who grow up on farms or spend time gardening with their parents, have much higher strength of immunity.

Research shows that by eradicating all bacteria and stopping children from having contact with nature, prevents children from being able to form their natural immune defense.

The beneficial bacteria found in soil is a more powerful probiotic than that found anywhere else. It is through contact with the beneficial bacteria in soil that a child is able to form their healthy gut bacteria and boost their natural immune defense. Children and even babies have a natural curiosity and desire to explore. Which often include getting their hand in the mud and putting things in their mouths. "The natural organisms in dirt serve an important purpose for people of all ages, but babies have a specific and additional need for interaction with dirt.

Breast milk lacks Iron and with important reason. Pathogens like E.Coli (which can cause severe digestive problems in newborns) needs Iron to thrive, as do other pathogens. These low iron levels can help protect newborns from these bacteria.

Around 6 months, a baby’s need for Iron and other nutrients increases, but breast milk doesn’t increase its levels of these nutrients and with good reason. At this stage in life, babies spend more time on the ground. In the past, this meant they spent more time interacting with dirt, which is a good source of Iron and minerals like Zinc, magnesium, etc." ~ We dont need to start eating earth to get the health benefits of soil. Just being near it and touching it is enough if done on a regular basis.

Gardeners are in the most ideal position to receive the soils benefits. They are breathing it in the air, touching it with their hands, and if they have any cuts then it is also finding its way into their blood stream too! Soil microbes can be absorbed through our skin and can also become airborn, so when we breath air with that wonderful earthy smell we know its doing us some good. Time to get outside and roll on the earth while the sun is shining! Enjoy!

Join our mailing list to be kept up to date with our workshops and trainings to support you in having some good doses of forest time. Come and join us on Facebook to be kept up to date with our blogs, inspiring posts, and details of our trainings.

 Back to Blogs