Butterbur has traditionally been used to treat coughs, urinary problems, fever and to expel intestinal parasites. Now this herb is mostly used as an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat migraine headaches. It is sometimes used to reduce smooth muscle spasms. Some studies have found butterbur effective in reducing bronchial spasms in people having bronchitis and asthma. Butterbur extract is often just as effective as prescription antihistamines for treating allergic rhinitis and hay fever.
Peppermint is a great herb to have when it come to combating the flu and colds. Peppermint has the ability to alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat by cooling and soothing the pain, this is due to the menthol that is found inside of peppermint. Make a tea with some peppermint and add a little honey with lemon, it's a great way to reduce the symptoms of a sore throat. If your sinuses are congested try adding some peppermint oil right into your humidifier (the ones with the medicine chamber).
Probably the best way to use witch hazel is to make a tonic with it. To do this you need a 1/2 lb of bark from the witch hazel tree, distilled water, and vodka. Mix the witch hazel and enough water to cover the bark by about 1-2 inches. Bring that to a boil and let it simmer for around 20 minutes with a lid on. After that remove the bark by straining it out and add half the volume of your tea in alcohol. So if you have 20 ounces of tea add 10 ounces of the alcohol. Thayers toner is also a great choice if you just want it pre-made it includes aloe vera in it as well.
Aside from being a great herb for the kitchen basil has a place as an herbal medicine as well. One reason I really like the basil plant is the fact that it's super easy to grow, you just need to be sure you water it from time to time. It's a very aromatic herb too having kind of a licorice smell and taste as well. One cool thing that I found you can do with basil is cloning it. Sounds crazy right? It actually is pretty easy all you have to do is find the plant you wish to clone (the parent plant) and trim about 3-4 inches down from the top of a stem. You'll want to make sure you make the cut just above a node. This area will be where a leaf attaches to the body of the stem and is where new growth takes place. Then you simply remove the lower leaves of the cut so that you're left with a stem containing 4-6 leaves on the top. After that you simply just need to place the cut into a shallow dish of water and wait for roots to sprout, then you simply just plant the new basil clone into some soil. To speed up the root growth I've found that applying a rooting hormone and some honey to the end of the stem helps a lot. As I mentioned above basil has a place as an herbal medicine so let's take a look at the properties of the basil plant that we can use.
Bee Balm was often used by the Native Americans to treat intestinal problems, colic and flatulence. Tea made from this plant was used to induce sweating and break fevers. Bee balm is often used to treat the common cold and sore throat as well. The leaves of this plant are a good source of essential oil that contains thymol. Thymol is an antibiotic and often used as an ingredient in mouthwash.