By Sarah Jio, Glamour magazine
Do you like to get a little dirty? Hey! I don't mean it that way... I mean in the actual dirt-on-hands, mud-under-the-fingers sort of way. There's a reason I'm asking...
According to an article in The Atlantic, there may be another reason that people love to garden as much as they do (not me--my thumbs are as opposite from green on the color wheel as they can get).
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See, there's this little bacterium called M. vaccae that lives in the rich soil found in compost heaps. And if you breathe it in, it alters your state of mind and acts like antidepressant: it ups the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in your body, giving you an instant mood boost. Its effects are very similar to Prozac. Just, you know, in teensy dirt-dwelling bacteria form.
Maybe I should revisit this gardening thing. I'm not sure the plants have forgiven me for the last time I thought that, though.
Amazing that a bacterium found in the dirt could do all that! Do you like to garden--and if so, do you ever get a gardener's high? What do you plant?
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