dirt pill
n. A pill containing several strains of bacteria designed to stimulate the immune systems of allergic or asthmatic children.

Example Citations:
Growing up in rural 1950s Ontario, we ate dirt.

Most of us were poor, but all of us had food of some kind. That wasn't a problem. We just ate dirt because it was fun and we liked it.

Recently, I asked a nurse friend the reason for the dramatic rise in allergies among children. She wasn't sure. But the University of Western Australia claims to have found the answer, and is conducting a study. Children will be given a "dirt pill" containing a mixture of different strains of probiotic bacteria and antioxidants to replicate the missing childhood exposure and help them develop the immunity they missed by not eating dirt. Through the years of our dirt habit, questions were raised, of course, but none of us thought to conduct a study.
—Paul Brown, "Thanks, I'll have a slice of mud pie," The Globe and Mail, July 4, 2006

In an attempt to respond to the notion that affluent countries are experiencing an increasing trend of childhood asthma, an Australian study is promoting the use of "dirt pills" for asthmatic children. These pills contain a mixture of different strains of bacteria which will try to replicate the germs to which these children were not exposed in childhood. ...

The theory is that the immune system, because of the lack of specific bacteria, failed to develop properly and, as a result, these children went on to develop many allergies, including asthma.
—Emily Shore, "Let Them Eat Dirt," McGill University Office for Science and Society, May 15, 2006

Earliest Citation:
Children are to be given a "dirt pill" to provide the germs they missed out on as toddlers as part of a revolutionary treatment for asthma. Researcher Susan Prescott said asthmatic children would receive daily medication that would include a mixture of different strains of probiotic bacteria and antioxidants.
—Ean Higgins, "Dirt pills may help to ease kids' asthma," The Australian, April 27, 2006

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