The genus Daphne belongs to the Thymeleaceae family and contains over 90 species that are distributed in Asia, Europe and parts of North Africa. The species of the genus Daphne are used in the traditional medicine of China, Tibet, Korea, and the Middle East for the treatment of various conditions. A broad range of studies has shown the significant biological potential of these species as sources of biologically and pharmacologically active compounds. Daphne species are a source of several classes of valuable phytochemicals such as coumarins, flavonoids, lignans, steroids and different classes of terpenes. The phytochemical diversity of this genus is demonstrated by over 350 secondary metabolites isolated from various species. The genus possesses a broad spectrum of biological activities including antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic, antiviral, abortive and haemostatic effects. A variety of bioactive secondary metabolites found in this genus may have potential use in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Thus, species belonging to the genus Daphne can be considered an important source both for the treatment of various disorders, due to the presence of a plethora of bioactive constituents with potent bioactivities, and as possible leads in the discovery and synthesis of new medications. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.