Piper sarmentosum Roxb. (Piperaceae) is a traditional medicinal plant widely distributed in India, Malaysia, Thailand, and the southeastern coastal areas of China including Fujian, Guangdong, and Guizhou. It has been used for centuries for the treatment of wind-cold cough, fever, rheumatism arthralgia, diarrhea dysentery, postpartum foot swelling, stomachache, toothache, diabetes, and traumatic injury. To critically anayze the literature for the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry, pharmacology, toxicity, and clinical trials of P. sarmentosum in order to provide a scientific consensus for further research and discovery of potential candidate drugs. The contents of this review were sourced from electronic databases including PubMed, SciFinder, Web of Science, Science Direct, Elsevier, Google Scholar, Chinese Knowledge On frastructure (CNKI), Wanfang, Chinese Scientific and Technological Periodical Database (VIP), Chinese Biomedical Database (CBM), Cochrane Controlled register of Clinical Trials, Clinical Trials. gov, and Chinese Clinical Trial Registry. Chinese medicine books published over the years were used to elucidate the traditional uses of P. sarmentosum and additional information was also collected from Yao Zhi website (https://db.yaozh.com/). Phytochemical analyses of the chemical constituents of P. sarmentosum include essential oil, alkaloids, flavonoids, lignans, and steroids. The literature supports the ethnomedicinal uses of P. sarmentosum for the treatment of cold, gastritis, and rheumatoid joint pain, and further confirms its relatively new pharmacological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic, and antipyretic activities. Other biological roles such as anti-osteoporosis, antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-atherosclerotic, and hypoglycemic activities have also been reported. However, the methodologies employed in individual studies are limited. There is convincing evidence from both in vitro and in vivo studies supporting the traditional use of P. sarmentosum and it is imperative that natural bioactive compounds are examined further. More efforts should be focused on the pharmacodynamic constituents of P. sarmentosum to provide practical basis for quality control, and additional studies are needed to understand the mechanism of their action. Further studies on the comprehensive evaluation of medicinal quality and understandings of serum chemistry, multi-target network pharmacology, and molecular docking technology of P. sarmentosum are of great importance and should be considered. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.