BackgroundThe plant Cochlospermum tinctorium A. Rich is a sub-shrub that belongs to the family Cochlospermaceae. The plant has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of malaria, rickets, stomachache, diarrhea, gastric ulcer, parasitic infestations, liver diseases, fever, pain, inflammation, infectious diseases, epilepsy, snake bite, burns, orchitis, labour, menstrual problems, and many other diseases. This review summarizes the traditional uses, phytochemistry, and pharmacological activities of Cochlospermum tinctorium.Main textTo date, few bioactive molecules have been identified and isolated from the plant such as 7,3-dimethyldihydroquercelin, 5,4-dimethylquercelin, cochloxanthine, dihydrocochloxanthine, arjunolic acid, 3-O-E-p-coumaroylalphitolic acid, alphitolic acid, 1-hydroxytetradecan-3-one, 3-bisabolen, 2-tridecanone, 3-hexadecanone, 1-dodecanol, l-tetradecanol, 2-pentdecanone, 3-octadecanone, 1-hydroxy-3-hexadecanone, 1-nonadecanol, l-O-acetyl-3-hexadecanone, and l-hydroxy-3-oetadecanone. The literature related some of the reported ethnomedicinal uses of the plant to these compounds found in the different parts of the plant.ConclusionThe comprehensive information documented in this review about the importance of the C. tinctorium may provide an opportunity for research advancement in drug discovery and a better understanding of the medicinal benefits of the plant.