Many food preservation strategies can be used for the control of microbial spoilage and oxidation; however, these quality problems are not yet controlled adequately. Although synthetic antimicrobial and antioxidant agents are approved in many countries, the use of natural safe and effective preservatives is a demand of food consumers and producers. This paper proposes medicinal plants, traditionally used to treat health disorders and prevent diseases, as a source of bioactive compounds having food additive properties. Medicinal plants are rich in terpenes and phenolic compounds that present antimicrobial and antioxidant properties; in addition, the literature revealed that these bioactive compounds extracted from other plants have been effective in food systems. In this context, the present hypothesis paper states that bioactive molecules extracted from medicinal plants can be used as antimicrobial and antioxidant additives in the food industry.