Viral infectious diseases are serious threats to human health in both developing and developed countries. Although there is the continued development of new drugs from synthetic sources as antiviral agents, medicinal plants continue to provide the basic raw materials for some of the most important antiviral drugs. Alkaloids are a class of pharmacologically active plant compounds that are usually alkaline in nature. In this review, we tried to summarize recent progress in herb-based antiviral research, the advantages of using active plant compounds as antiviral agents, and the inflammatory responses initiated by alkaloids, based on the literature from 2009 to 2019, for the treatment of conditions, including influenza, human immunodeficiency virus, herpes simplex virus, hepatitis, and coxsackievirus infections. Articles are retrieved from PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science using relevant keywords. In particular, the alkaloids from medicinal plants responsible for the molecular mechanisms of anti-inflammatory actions are identified and discussed. This review can provide a theoretical basis and approaches for using various alkaloids as antiviral treatments. More research is needed to develop alkaloidal compounds as antiviral therapeutic agents and potential regulators of the anti-inflammatory response.