The plant is used in India as well as several countries since several centuries for treating differenttypes of ailments. The plant is an important constituent of the Ayurvedic Materia Medica andfinds mention in several ancient texts including Caraka Sanhita (6th century A.D.) and theBhavprakasa (16th century A.D.). The scientific studies on this plant have reported severalactivities of this plant. Though the plant has cardiotonic, vasoconstrictor, sedative, neuro-muscularblocking, and anticancer activities, it is more popular as memory enhancer. Traditionally, apoultice made of the boiled plant is placed on the chest in acute bronchitis and coughs of children.The plant contains saponins: bacosides A and B, hersaponin, sapogenins: bacogenin A1, A2, andA3, stigmasterol, and flavonoids: luteolin and luteolin-7 glucoside, nicotine, brahmine, andherpestine. This review focuses on the scientific data published since 1931.