Genus Syringa, which belongs to Oleaceae family, contains 21 accepted species mainly distributed in Southeast Europe, Japan, China, Himalayas, etc. The various parts of Syringa species have been used as traditional Chinese herbal medicines for treatment of cough, myocardial ischemia, acute icteric hepatitis, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, bronchitis and other ailments. A more comprehensive and in-depth review about the phytochemistry, pharmacology, traditional medicinal uses and clinical applications as well as toxicology of Syringa have summarized and hope to provide a relatively novel angle for further clinical applicantion on genus. The literatures about Syringa were collected via a series of scientific search engines including Web of Science, PubMed, Elsevier, Google Scholar, SciFinder and CNKI. The phytochemical studies revealed that about 302 compounds include phenylpropanoids, iridoids, phenylethanols, flavonoids, triterpenes and other minor compounds have been isolated and identified from Syringa species. Phenylpropanoids and iridoids are the main constituents among these compounds and may be responsible for the activities directly or indirectly. As traditional medicine, Syringa applied to treat cough, diarrhea, acute icteric hepatitis, vomit, abdominal pain, bronchitis and other ailments. Most of traditional uses are related the biological activities and confirmed by modern studies. Pharmacological researches in vitro and in vivo revealed that the extracts and pure compounds possessed significantly hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, cardioprotective, immunomodulatory and other activities. The phytochemistry, pharmacology, traditional uses and clinical applications described in this article demonstrated that Syringa species possessed a huge number of activities and these findings will promote the further action mechanisms studies. However, fewer preclinical and clinical studies are focued on the pharmacokinetics of crudes extracts and conpounds from Syringa. The explored of new agents with Syringa species as ingredients may be limited. It points to the further in-depth investigations on pharmacokinetics as well as toxicological are essential in future for assessment the effectiveness and safety of drug. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.