Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the most common virus, with an estimated infection rate of 60–95% among the adult population. Once infected, HSV-1 can remain latent in the host for a lifetime and be reactivated in patients with a compromised immune system. Reactivation of latent HSV-1 can also be achieved by other stimuli. Though acyclovir (ACV) is a classic drug for HSV-1 infection, ACV-resistant strains have been found in immune-compromised patients and drug toxicity has also been commonly reported. Therefore, there is an urge to search for new anti-HSV-1 agents. Natural products with potential anti-HSV-1 activity have the advantages of minimal side effects, reduced toxicity, and they exert their effect by various mechanisms. This paper will not only provide a reference for the safe dose of these agents if they are to be used in humans, referring to the interrelated data obtained from in vitro experiments, but also introduce the main pharmacodynamic mechanisms of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) against HSV-1. Taken together, TCM functions as a potential source for HSV-1 therapy by direct (blocking viral attachment/absorption/penetration/replication) or indirect (reducing the susceptibility to HSV-1 or regulating autophagy) antiviral activities. The potential of these active components in the development of anti-HSV-1 drugs will also be described.