In recent times, natural fibers have attracted the attention of various researchers, engineers and scientists as they have proved as an alternative reinforcement for fiber reinforced polymer composites (FRP).Due to their low cost, fairly good mechanical properties, high specific strength, non-abrasive, eco-friendly and bio-degradable characteristics they can be exploited as a replacement for conventional fibers, such as glass and carbon. Moreover, the growing environmental concerns and regulations are shifting the designers choice from synthetic fiber composites to natural fiber composites. Therefore, the fact that major automotive, construction and packaging industries have been taking a keen interest towards the research and development of new natural fiber reinforced composite materials does not come as much of a surprise. Their availability and ease of manufacturing have played a vital role in prompting researchers all over the world to study in depth about their potential applications. This review represents the work done by scientists and researchers around the globe towards studying various properties and traits associated with five fibers, mainly Palmyra, Corn, Aloe, Kapok and Vetiver. It illustrates an overview on the numerous tests conducted and the gaps in literature identified, which in turn opens a wide range of research potential for the future. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.