The discovery of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), the curved or spiral shaped bacteria, as the main etiologic organism
of chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric cancer was one the most significant discoveries in gastroenterology
of the twentieth century. Helicobacter infections promote infiltration of the gastric mucosa by neutrophils,
macrophages, and T and B lymphocytes, and leaves the host prone to complications resulting from chronic inflammation.
If left untreated, persistent gastrointestinal infections and chronic gastritis may evolve into more severe diseases, such as
peptic ulcer or atrophic gastritis. In addition, infection with H. pylori increases the risk of developing gastric adenocarcinoma
and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. Helicobacter pylori infections are of great concern worldwide
due to increasing antimicrobial resistance and high re-infection rates. In the 1990’s scientific evaluation of natural products
and ethnomedicines for the treatment of H. pylori infections began in earnest, and many natural products have been
investigated over the past 20 years with promising in vitro results. This review highlights these achievements and the
classes of naturally occurring compounds with activity against H. pylori. It also points out the critical need of new treatments
for H. pylori infections due to increasing global resistance.