Recently, increasing public concern about hygiene has been driving many studies to investigate antimicrobial and antiviral agents. However, the use of any antimicrobial agents must be limited due to their possible toxic or harmful effects. In recent years, due to previous antibiotics' lesser side effects, the use of herbal materials instead of synthetic or chemical drugs is increasing. Herbal materials are found in medicines. Herbs can be used in the form of plant extracts or as their active components. Furthermore, most of the world's populations used herbal materials due to their strong antimicrobial properties and primary healthcare benefits. For example, herbs are an excellent material to replace nanosilver as an antibiotic and antiviral agent. The use of nanosilver involves an ROS-mediated mechanism that might lead to oxidative stress-related cancer, cytotoxicity, and heart diseases. Oxidative stress further leads to increased ROS production and also delays the cellular processes involved in wound healing. Therefore, existing antibiotic drugs can be replaced with biomaterials such as herbal medicine with high antimicrobial, antiviral, and antioxidant activity. This review paper highlights the antibacterial, antiviral, and radical scavenger (antioxidant) properties of herbal materials. Antimicrobial activity, radical scavenger ability, the potential for antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer agents, and efficacy in eliminating bacteria and viruses and scavenging free radicals in herbal materials are discussed in this review. The presented herbal antimicrobial agents in this review include clove, portulaca, tribulus, eryngium, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, thyme, pennyroyal, mint, fennel, chamomile, burdock, eucalyptus, primrose, lemon balm, mallow, and garlic, which are all summarized.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.