Digging into Health: How Contact With Soil Enriches Your Life and Landscape

Digging into Health: How Contact With Soil Enriches Your Life and Landscape

Written by Svea Block – Naturopath and Natural Health Consultant, guest blogger, lover of all things nature, and enthusiast about soil and health benefits. 

Watching my children play in the mud and dirt is one of life’s greatest joys for me. While that may sound funny, and appear messy at first glance, there’s a profound magic to it that I’m eager to share. And here’s the thing – it’s not just for kids. This subject is just as relevant and beneficial for adults, and I’m excited to explain why.

At one point we’ve all heard it – that gardening is like therapy and is a great stress reliever. I’ve experienced this myself – after a long and hard day I’ve often had the thought that “I just want to be in my garden.” There are numerous quotes out there talking about this as well – here is just one:

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”

-Alfred Austin
soil and health - how soil can improve our health

The truth is, playing in the soil isn’t just good for your mind and emotions; it’s a secret weapon for your immune system too. Believe it or not, dirt is teeming with all sorts of good stuff that can help keep us healthy. There’s research out there showing that kids who get to play in the dirt actually end up with stronger immune systems, and are sick less often. It’s not an entirely new concept, but it is a concept that is now just being studied in depth – that the microbiome in the soil (the healthy and good bacteria), helps to set up our gut microbiome as well. Children who live in urban areas and have no access to green spaces, have poorer gut health and lowered immunity than those children who are consistently exposed to nature.

Let’s also not forget the other health benefits of working in your garden – it’s like nature’s gym, keeping us fit and flexible. Healthy soil isn’t just good for us; it’s a game-changer for the planet too. It helps soak up carbon and supports all sorts of critters, making our world a better place. So, by getting our hands dirty, we’re not just enriching our own lives – we’re also contributing to the well-being of future generations.

If you’re interested in learning more about improving your soil’s health, you can check out this article by UGA’s extension office on soil health. You can also check out a recent article we did on raised beds if you want some garden inspiration and a project to get out in nature and get your hands dirty.

landscaping design Dahlonega Cleveland Helen North Georgia

And hey, if you’re curious about the science behind all this dirt talk, check out the links below to learn more about soil and health:

  1. The impact of gardening on well-being, mental health, and quality of life: an umbrella review and meta-analysis
  2. Biodiversity intervention enhances immune regulation and health-associated commensal microbiota among daycare children
  3. Does Soil Contribute to the Human Gut Microbiome?
  4. Gardening is Beneficial For Health
  5. Mental health benefits of interactions with nature in children and teenagers: a systematic review

Meet Svea Block, BSc, DiHom, CN: Svea is a guest blogger here at Art of Stone Gardening. Her passions lie in health and nature. She is a Naturopath and health consultant by trade, but enjoys writing and blogging about nature and health.

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