Gardening Is A Natural Antidepressant Based On Science

In an increasingly industrialized, automated society and ever larger and more populated cities, our everyday way of life is gradually movi...

In an increasingly industrialized, automated society and ever larger and more populated cities, our everyday way of life is gradually moving away from nature. At the same time, we are witnessing a rise in individualism, loneliness and depression. In the face of this, many French people aspire to live differently. Some are turning to alternative natural practices and lifestyles, and others are leaving everything to live in the countryside. Anyway, it is above all the proximity to nature that is sought.

For those who want to get closer to nature, what better than to be in contact with animals and plants?

The benefits for the well-being of such activities are no longer to be proven. Caring for horses, swimming and maintaining a garden are so supportive of our spirits that these activities are now used as therapies to fight against certain diseases!

The horticultural therapy
It was in the 18th century that gardening began to be used to treat patients with psychiatric disorders. It is also in the 80s that this practice was brought up to date, when we realized all its benefits.

Today, hortitherapy is used as a therapeutic practice in its own right to help people with autism, the elderly or those with depression.

The benefits of gardening are indeed many, and taking care of plants can improve mood and reduce stress, as well as breathe fresh air, expose oneself to sunlight and be in contact with the earth and its microorganisms. Because, yes! Even microbes from natural soils are good for us!

A natural antidepressant in the earth
Earth is not just a mass of inert particles; she is much more than that! It is populated by thousands of living things including bacteria, algae, actinomycetes and fungi. These microorganisms are part of what is known as soil flora.

Among them, the mycobacterium vaccae is a bacterium that, when we come into contact with it through the earth, its dust, or that we inhale the air, enters our body and activates in the brain the release of certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine.

Serotonin has a regulating effect on our mood and dopamine affects our emotional state by causing a sensation of pleasure and reducing pain. However, there is usually a decline in serotonin levels in the brain in depressed people.

Thus, gardening while in contact with the earth would relieve depressed people by improving their mood by a quantifiable and measurable phenomenon: stimulating the production of serotonin.

A very fortuitous discovery
At the origin of this discovery, Dr. O'Brien, an oncologist, had administered these bacteria to patients with cancer, with the intention of measuring the effect they would have on the immune system of these patients.

And the results were impressive because not only did mycobacterium vaccae induce better immunity in patients, but their overall well-being was also greatly affected. They felt happier, in better shape, and suffered less pain.

These results of Dr. O'Brien are corroborated by a study published in the Behavioral Processes Journal, which authors say: "Eating, touching and breathing a soil microorganism could be related to the development of our immune system and our nervous system. ".

In mice, this research showed that when given a soil micro-organism, the mice showed an incredible improvement in their cognitive functions, being able to cross a labyrinth almost twice as fast as their congeners, which had received a placebo.

Now you will not be afraid to get dirty!
The immense benefits of activities in contact with nature on our well-being, and among them gardening and taking care of plants, are well founded and based as we have just seen on real facts and moreover, measurable.

The time we spend in contact with nature is important, it is not only our morale and that of our children, but also our health and the development of our cognitive abilities.

Hiking, fishing or going to the farm to meet animals, or to pick fruit and garden are all activities that will bring you closer to nature and make you feel good.
Gardening Is A Natural Antidepressant, Researchers Say

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Savvy Life Mag: The Magazine Of Wellness: Gardening Is A Natural Antidepressant Based On Science
Gardening Is A Natural Antidepressant Based On Science
Savvy Life Mag: The Magazine Of Wellness
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