Dirt makes you happy

Dirt can make you happy, healthy and intelligent.

Dirt is as good as Prozac.

I now look at dirt in a whole new way. If you care for children, and they come in dirty, with bruises, scratches, torn clothes and twigs in the hair, they are probably happier, intelligent and healthier for it.

In Britain the city dweller knows they are in the countryside when they smell the “country air”, the smell of the farm, manure; a smell that has an effect better than Prozac for a short time after you smell it.  The reason is Mycobacterium vaccae, a bacteria which lives in manure, your compost, or in the soil.

Mycobacterium vaccae has these amazing properties:

1. makes you happy.
2. makes you intelligent.
3. makes you healthier by assisting your immune system response.

Humanity need dirt to be healthy.  Our immune system needs access to good bacteria like Mycobacterium vaccae to be healthy.  Children getting dirty gains ready access to all this bacteria that helps for a healthier body.  Being too clean in the home, and over-zealous about being clean is doing nobody any favours; the modern obsession with clean means good bacteria are killed and denied access to us.

There is a boom in people with food allergies and eczema.  There is also a boom in super-bugs in hospitals like the flesh-eating bug MRSA. The answer could be more dirt and less clean to combat all these conditions.

Dirt is good.  Want to be happy, intelligent and healthier? Go and get dirty.


25 responses to “Dirt makes you happy

  1. I love to be bare foot in my garden… Great to be in touch with soil. Cheers, bro!

  2. Brilliant post, absolutely agree…


  3. Having just spent 2 glorious weeks camping in the beautiful North Eastern Connecticut hills I agree totally. I felt sooo good there. Crashed a bit being back in the house the first few days. I didn’t know what to do with myself..

    • Its quite a culture shock returning back to civilisation from nature. One aspect I found is everything slows down, and there is no urgent need to be busy surviving when away from civilisation.

      • It was weird. I went from having to do certain things at certain times of the day based on light and weather. Then I got home and there was nothing to do after I unpacked and did the laundry. I’ve always liked camping better, it’s real easy to let yourself lose momentum and just watch TV..EEK!!

  4. In the Spring when the garden is plowed, I lie down in the dirt, watch the clouds and the eagles overhead. It’s lovely. Get plenty of dirt all Summer, but am plenty busy trying to survive.

    • It brings people down to earth too 🙂

      • I’ll say. Funny thing about lying on the bare Earth, looking at the sky. You know you’re on something spinning about. When you do it at night and watch the stars, when you sit up, you feel quite drunk. Drunk on stars, amazing! And then there are the Northern Lights and the Moon, etc. They’re all very exciting.

      • It is an amazing thing this connection with nature. Shame so few are awake to enjoy this connection.

  5. This is an amazing post Alex!! I always love to go out and play with children in dirt!! It is always fun and I enjoy it to core where you do’t care about stains, mud, scratches.. you just enjoy the dirt in a healthier way!! At times, I am working in my garden barefoot in my short pants and all of it feels so good!!

  6. So true! There’s actually a documentary about dirt that I want to watch. We sometimes take it for granted…

  7. I always walk around barefoot – when I’m grilling, working outside, etc… I also like to share my water and yogurts with my cat. If that makes me dirty,I don’t want to be clean!

    • Being out and about in nature, or gardening all helps. I will be doing a spot of archaeology and nature photography today, so I shall come into contact with that good bacteria in the soil.

  8. There is lots of dirt in London. We are very dirty and so therefore very happy! 🙂

  9. Wow! I love this post! It validates me letting my own kids get dirty 🙂 … I am regarded as a “gypsy” at times (city people tend to be a bit too clean for my taste and I am surrounded by them), but I have healthier kids, never needed a flu-shot, they only go to the doctor once a year for check-up. I walk outside barefoot, something I learned from the kids. Some of their friends are not allowed to walk barefoot in the park, I don’t think their parents like me very much when I allow mine and theirs wants to follow. I’d like to re-post this, if you don’t mind. I instinctively always knew what you are saying, just never quite understood it. Now I do. Thank you!

    • I am glad you found this blog insightful, yes, you can repost it if you like.

      You and your healthy children are living evidence of what this blog has been saying. Well done.

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