Eat Dirt? What?

Isn’t that, well . . . dirty?

In Dr. Josh Axe’s new book, Eat Dirt, he challenges us to question many of our “chemical age” approaches to hygiene and how we maintain our home and work environments. He suggests that our “hyper-hygiene” era is contributing to the demise of our very critical microbial communities that live inside (and on) our bodies.

This is the new age of understanding the importance of our microbiome (our gut microflora) and learning how to live in harmony with the microbial communities that are so essential to our health. Our bodies are possibly as much as 10 to 1  microbe cell to human cell. These microbes are not simply along for the ride, but major contributors to our health through the information they convey, the vitamins they make, the metabolism instructions they issue, and on and on.

Since marketing influences led to our infatuation with chemicals and “clean” living over the last 60 years, as well as the major degradation of our diets in the last century, our microbiome has been severely compromised. It turns out that what we wash our hands with, the household cleaners we use, the excessive washing of our produce, all the antibiotics we take and consume when we eat commercially grown/raised food all have an impact on our very essential microbiome.

Though I had switched over to gentle or natural cleaners such as vinegar and essential oils years ago, I totally admit to believing the idea that eating dirt was bad and would always scrub off any evidence of where the carrots had recently been, despite them coming out of our organic home garden. Let me tell you, my husband is still smiling from me telling him that he’d been correct all along to eat the carrots right out of the ground. It turns out that the soil bacteria, fungus, and viruses are beneficial to us, when they come from a local, organic source, in micro doses. If this is a stretch for you to believe, you have to check his book out.

More importantly, Dr. Axe goes into detail in this book about how our health really rests upon a healthy microbiome, which in turn determines the health of our guts. Apparently, leaky gut or intestinal permeability is now a more recognized medical condition that has major health consequences. Leaky gut is when there is space between the cells that form our digestive tract lining which allows substances to leak into the bloodstream leading to trouble like inflammation and food sensitivities. Dr. Axe reports that upwards of 80% of our population suffers from leaky gut to some degree. Many leading experts report that healing the gut is essential to our health recovery from as diverse conditions as psoriasis, allergies, migraines, chronic fatigue, depression, food sensitivities, IBS, perhaps even Alzheimer’s and beyond.

I really like Dr. Axe’s book because it is technical while still being very approachable and enjoyable to read. He covers all the areas that can negatively affect our gut health and offers solutions for deep healing that could lead to a new lease on life for many people suffering from minor as well as more serious complaints.

Check out his book if you have any health concern at all! For all of us, knowing how to have a healthy gut is the key to our overall health and happiness.

Wishing you a healthy gut,

Michelle