Dirt cleans the stomach?

“Dirt cleans the stomach”, the spell acts on panic’s Playground-parents as a Sedative. When Digging Sand, ends up in the mouth of the child, is difficult to avoid. Infants and small children explore the world and happy times with the tongue.

This is normal and important for your development and are usually not harmful as long as there is some earth remains in the sand box and flower pot left. But it is not a stomach cleaning.

“There is no logical explanation of how this should work,” says Christoph Huenseler, working at the University hospital of Cologne, with gastro-intestinal diseases in children. So there is for example no evidence that as a healing earth products are marketed the body of toxins rid. It is rather the other way around: The stomach, cleans the Dirt.”

Human ingestion of dirt, prevents the acid, the extremely strong stomach, that he can inflict damage. The acid is up to one Million Times more acidic than water. You crushed the contents of the stomach and the of all the kills most of the germs before they get into the bloodstream. “Small stones, the can’t get the small acid out of the body easily again,” says Hünseler.

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Earth as a food

That targeted and frequent to eat Dirt is bad for the health, rather than uses, also reveals the view in other regions of the earth. Already the Greek physician Hippocrates noted in the period between 460 and 377 BC, that some people regularly eat clay. In Parts of Africa, America and Asia, there is the behavior today.

The people there boil the earth before you eat. However, there remains a risk: a Long time researchers assumed that clay and clay supplies the body with important substances such as iron. Meanwhile, they have noted, however, that exactly the opposite is the case.

The body will not take the iron, as it occurs in the earth. Instead, it binds the earth nutrients such as iron in the gastro-intestinaltract, they are unused excreted. Researchers assume, therefore, that the earth’s food contributes more to iron deficiency, than to fight him. A cleaning that you prefer not to.

The saying “Dirt cleans the stomach”, is not the taking but already, literally, to. The idea behind this is that a bit of dirt, the health is not damage. And, at least, that’s true. Studies show that a bit of Filth in everyday life even has health benefits. In particular, it benefits the immune system of small children.

Dirt is not the same as Dirt

In the nineties, researchers have observed that children who grow up on a farm with cowshed, suffer less often from allergies. Also, the Amish People in the United States, the traditional agriculture, such as in the 19th century. A century of operate, know almost no allergies. Scientists believe that the bacteria from the soil and the cows protects farm children against allergies.

The reason is that The immune system of newborns must first learn what substances may be dangerous and which are not. Is something wrong, it combats the body’s immune system later actually harmless substances that react so allergic to it. Germs from the earth to the cowshed to help the immune system, apparently, to distinguish between Good and Evil.

Studies show, however, that Dirt is not the same as Dirt. Thus, researchers have investigated in 2014, children in poor neighborhoods of Baltimore, Boston, New York and St. Louis. The risk of Allergy decreased in the first year of life, when you had contact with to substances, the mice, cockroaches and cats leave. But only to a certain degree: on the children Grew in a very dirty environment with lots of bird’s eye and dust, the diseased you are more likely to have allergies than the average.

Healthy only a mediocrity of Dirt is therefore. “Children should play outside,” says Hünseler. “To eat Dirt and encourage you should not you, however.” Was told it is not necessary to train the immune system. Outside, the young of myself on the air and the ground with numerous microbes in contact.

Sand food would be dangerous, there would be many stomach sick children

Some of them are harmless, and train the immune system, while others are potential pathogens. In an analysis of sand boxes in Italy, scientists discovered, for example, in 21 of the 40 samples, the intestinal bacterium Clostridioides difficile. Healthy people, it can’t hurt, in the case of a battered but cause diarrhea.


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How risky is the sand is eating, ultimately depends on the amount that ends up in the body. For the classification: in 1989, researchers in a day-care centre have examined how much the earth on average per day in the stomach of 64 One – to four-year-old wandered in, and came to a Median of about 40 milligrams per child. Only a child swallowed up to eight grams per day.

“Children are usually not sick, if you swallow some of the Sand, otherwise we would have very many stomach sick children,” says Hünseler.

CONCLUSION: Dirt cleans the stomach, the stomach cleans but the Dirt. Therefore, it is not bad if children swallow some of the Sand and the behavior of limit, no reason, Playground visits. On the contrary, young children Have contact with many different microbes, decreases your risk of Allergy. To eat Dirt you should not encourage you but.