Walk in the Woods: Who Knew Soil Could Be the Next Miracle Drug?


TRURO, NS — Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of the deep blues sound.

According to Bonnie Grant, a certified urban agronomist, soil microbes have similar effects on the brain and have no side effects or potential for chemical dependency. Imagine what a valuable tool this could be for our stressed pandemic population.

We could learn how to harness the natural antidepressant in the ground and make us happier and healthier. Natural remedies have been around for centuries. These natural remedies include cures for countless physical ailments as well as mental and emotional afflictions. Ancient healers may not have known why something worked, just that it worked. Modern scientists have discovered the why of many medicinal plants and practices, but only recently have they found remedies that were previously unknown and yet are still part of the natural life cycle.
Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link that has been studied and found to be verifiable. Mycobacterium vaccae is one of the substances being studied and has been shown to mirror the effect on neurons of drugs like Prozac. The bacteria is found in the soil and can stimulate the production of serotonin, which makes you relaxed and happier. Studies have been conducted on cancer patients and they have reported better quality of life and less stress.

A lack of serotonin has been linked to depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder. The soil bacterium appears to be a natural antidepressant and has been determined to have no adverse health effects.

Antidepressant microbes in the soil can be as easy to use as just playing in the dirt. Most avid gardeners will tell you that their garden is their “happy place” and that the actual physical act of gardening is a stress reducer and mood booster. The fact that there is some science behind it adds further credence to the claims of these garden junkies. The presence of a soil bacteria antidepressant probably comes as no surprise to many who have experienced the phenomenon. Backing it up with science is fascinating, but perhaps not shocking to many happy gardeners.

Mycobacterium antidepressant microbes in soil are also being studied to improve cognitive function, Crohn’s disease, and even rheumatoid arthritis. Antidepressant microbes in the soil cause cytokine levels to rise, which leads to the production of higher levels of serotonin.

The bacteria was tested by both injection and ingestion in rats, and the results were increased cognitive ability, lower stress, and better concentration on tasks than a control group. Gardeners inhale the bacteria, have topical contact with it, and introduce it into their bloodstream when there is a cut or other route of infection. The natural antidepressant effects of soil bacteria can be felt for up to three weeks if experiments with rats are any indication. So go out and play in the dirt and improve your mood and your life.

Tree Trivia: Although we are now in the heat of summer and the ticks are not as active as in the spring and fall, we remind you not to let your guard down. If you or your loved ones are outdoors in grassy, ​​bush, or wooded environments, be sure to check your body carefully for ticks. They’re still trying to get a blood meal from you and me.

Don Cameron is a Registered Professional Forester.


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