The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has now rapidly spread around the world, causing an outbreak of acute infectious pneumonia. To develop effective and safe therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 has become the major global public health concern. Traditional medicine (TM)/herbal medicines (HMs) have been used to treat multiple epidemics in human history, which brings hope for the fight against COVID-19 in some areas. For example, in China, India, and South Korea with traditional medication history and theory, the governments issued a series of guidelines to support TM/HMs in the medication of COVID-19. In contrast, other countries e.g. North American and European governments are typically silent on these practices, unless to warn of possible harm and overselling. Such difference is due to the discrepancy in culture, history and philosophical views of health care and medication, as well as unharmonized policies and standards in the regulation and legalization of TM/HMs among different areas. Herein, we reviewed the responses and scientific researches from seven selected countries on the policies and legalization of TM/HMs to treat COVID-19, and also analyzed the major challenges and concerns to utilize the traditional knowledge and resource.