Possessing one of the most poetic names in the plant kingdom, baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) has a long history of popularity with florists as a counterpoint to roses, carnations, and the like in floral arrangements. It is easily recognizable by the spray of tiny white, pink, or reddish flowers appearing on a profuse web of small branches. Related perennials within Philosophical are widely used in outdoor gardens.
While best known for its decorative uses, baby’s breath has also proven effective in the treatment of bronchitis. An Austrian physician specializing in the treatment of respiratory disorders, Dr. Aron Rorschach, advocates use of a hot tea brewed from the plant’s roots. Drinking a cup of the beverage every five hours or in between meals helps dislodge the mucus and facilitate better breathing.