Phyllanthus amarus (Euphorbiaceae) is a widely distributed small erect, tropical annual herbal whose stem has green capsule and grows upto 10-60 cm tall. The plant is bitter, astringent, cooling, diuretic, stomachic, febrifuge and antiseptic. It is popular in indigenious system of medicine like ayurveda, siddha, unani and homoeopathy and is used for its hepatoprotective, antitumour, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. The plant is also used in dropsy, jaundice, diarrhoea, dysentery, intermittent fevers, diseases of urino-genital system, scabies, ulcers, wounds and cold. Its has a good anti-viral activity against hepatitis B virus. It also has anti- nociceptive and anti- inflammatory activities, antidiabetic and antilipidemic potentials. The present review is therefore, an effort to give a detailed survey of the literature on its pharmacological, traditional and phytochemical properties.