Together, these neurotransmitters send chemical messages into the brain: dopamine affects your emotions with feelings of pleasure and pain, while serotonin regulates our mood, social behavior, libido, memory and sleep.
When we garden, these microorganisms are absorbed into your skin and are inhaled with each breath. By entering the bloodstream and the respiratory system, it stimulates your mood and relieves your pains.
The relationship between these soil microbes and elevated mood has been discovered by accident. Initially administered as an immune system stimulant to patients with lung cancer, M. vaccae has exceeded the expectations of oncologist Dr. Mary O’Brien.
According to O’Brien, not only did the microbial bacteria vaccae improve their immune system, but patients also noted a significant boost in their happiness, vitality and pain relief.
Study: Soil organisms and their role
According to a study by neuroscientists Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks, published in the Behavioral Processes Journal, “Eating, touching and breathing a soil organism can be linked to the development of our immune system and our nervous system. “
This research was conducted on mice, which were administered M. vaccae and passed a series of behavioral tests. Not only were the mice less anxious, but it also boosted their cognitive functioning – they went through a labyrinth twice as fast as their placebo counterparts who did not receive a micro-organism.
According to Matthews, these findings lay the groundwork for teen school practices, “It’s interesting to assume that creating learning environments in schools that include spending time outside where the M. vaccae is present can reduce anxiety and improve the ability to learn new tasks. “
These bacteria are a product of genetics and lifestyle, interacting with our entire body, from our lungs to our gut. According to Rook, the lack of exposure to microbes is the link between the increase in chronic health problems, including deficiencies in autoimmunity and depression.
This brain-bowel relationship is proving to be the link between gardening and mental health.
Get on well: garden for your brain