Dr. Qing Li writes about the benefits of a common bacteria found in soil called Mycobacterium vaccae. M. vaccae is not only harmless to us, but it is actually beneficial. We can experience its benefits while forest bathing (provided we touch the forest ground) or while working in our gardens. No wonder it feels so good to dig in the dirt!
Li writes, “. . the soil stimulates the immune system, and a boosted immune system makes us feel happy. Every time you dig in your garden or eat a vegetable plucked from the ground, you will be ingesting M. vaccae and giving yourself this boost.”
I think that this a reason why we are so eager for the Spring thaw. We need to get ourselves in the dirt. Maybe this winter we can stick our hands in our house plants in order to get a little soil buzz.
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.