Believe it or not, just looking at plants can temper your perception of discomfort. In a 1993 study, researchers put white panels, abstract paintings, and landscape photographs in different hospital rooms. Remarkably, the patients looking at the landscape photographs didn't just report less anxiety than the others—they also needed less pain medication. Scientists hypothesize that by reducing cortisol levels and improving mood, plants can help accelerate the healing process—something to keep in mind as we trudge through the remainder of cold and flu season.
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