Inflammatory bowel diseases are chronic diseases that develop on the genetic background. They are characterized by an idiopathic, chronic course and periods of activation and remission. However, genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role in its pathogenesis. Significant improvements in treatment strategies have been witnessed. Depending on the severity of the disease, mesalamine, immunosuppressants, anti-TNF, anti-integrin, Janus kinase inhibitors, and thiopurines can be used for treatment. However, these treatments have side effects such as headache, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite, hair loss, gas, vomiting, rash, fever, and decreased white blood cell count. The search for treatment that may be a safer alternative, immunomodulatory, and immunosuppressive therapy has gained importance nowadays. Herbal medicine is preferred to treat a wide range of acute and chronic gastrointestinal diseases, including ulcerative colitis. Preclinical and clinical studies show that plants are promising in terms of their use in treating pathological conditions. The effectiveness of plants in treating ulcerative colitis has been determined. However, more studies are needed to explore the long-term effects of these herbal medicines. The present review presents information on medicinal plants and phytochemicals reported for use or potential of application in ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel diseases.Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.