The word “cure” is a loaded word and a word not to be taken lightly, especially in print. But, occasionally, you come across something that is so surprising in what it is and what it does that the word “cure” may be the only term to use.
And it doesn’t hurt that a medical doctor used that term when describing the health benefits of…
Yes, you read that correctly: dirt. A medical doctor calls it the “dirt cure,” and the importance of this simple, common, everyday substance may shock you.
Dr. Mercola talks about the scary experience that Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, “a pediatric neurologist in New York and an instructor at New York Medical College,” had involving her son and his extreme soy allergy. Through the process of finding ways to restore health to her son, she discovered what she documents in her book, “The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids With Food Straight from Soil.” Dr. Mercola notes,
“Her research brought her back to healthy soil, and the dirt cure involves three strategies she believes may improve the health of today’s kids (and their parents):
- Eating nutrient-dense food from healthy soil
- Being exposed to certain microbes
- Spending time outdoors in nature”
“There’s no question your health and that of your children is directly related to the quality of the food you eat. The quality of the food, in turn, is dependent on the health of the soil in which it is grown.”
If you think about it, this seems obvious. Your body can only draw nutrients from what it takes in, and the major source of nutrients is the food that we eat. However, the same situation is in place for what we eat. The plants that grow take in their nutrients from the soil in which they live and grow. Better soil means better food, and better food means healthier people.
Interestingly, on Shetreat-Klein’s second point, the issue isn’t the number a microbes but the variety of microbes makes the difference. She says,
“We used to think that children who grew up on farms were healthier than children in urban environments because they were exposed to more microbes. But studies have found that the number of bacteria in urban environments and on farms is similar.
“The difference is the diversity of the bacteria. Microbial diversity seems to have a very powerful impact. Children’s immune systems are very social: They like to meet and greet a lot of things.
“It seems the more they meet and greet, the more likely they are to be in balance, and the less likely they are to let any one microorganism grow out of control, as occurs with infection.”
Shetreat-Klein’s third point is spending time in nature. She seems to primarily explain this point in terms of her second point about exposure to a variety of organisms, but more and more people are talking about the benefits of “earthing,” sometimes called “grounding.” Proponents of earthing say that regular direct contact with the earth, such as walking barefoot in the dirt or sitting with your bare feet touching the earth (not on asphalt pavement), provides a balance to the body’s electrical system and health benefits from that balance.
As you consider how to improve your health and the health of your loved ones, consider the health benefits (and possible curative properties) of dirt.