I have a garden, and I absolutely love checking out my roses and herbs and the little pumpkin vine I planted last weekend. Gardening always helps me clear my head, but who knew that dirt has clinically proven health benefits. Check out this news …

Dirt: It may do a body good. At least, that’s the news from researchers at The Sage Colleges in New York who say that digging around in the dirt (think: building sand castles, gardening, etc.) may not only reduce anxiety and depression but make you smarter. Huh?

Details: “Mycobacterium vaccae is a natural soil bacterium which people likely ingest or breathe in when they spend time in nature,” says Dorothy Matthews, one of the study’s researchers.

Mice who were injected with this bacterium had increased serotonin levels and experienced improved learning and less anxiety. The researchers believe people may experience similar benefits from outdoor activities like gardening.

The takeaway here: Clean is good, but obsessive clean is not. There are healthy bacteria out there, as seen above, that you want to come into contact with.

Hmmm, I wonder if a mud-mask at the spa counts. :)

How often do you get your hands dirty? Ever?

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