Barleria cristata belongs to the family Acanthaceae, is an indigenous widespread perennial shrub found throughout India. It occupies a remarkable place in Ayurvedic medicine of India, due to its biological and pharmacological activities. The general use of the genus Barleria is to treat boils, bee bite, snake bite, asthma, leprosy, cough, jaundice and tooth ache. The various phytochemical screening of different types of extracts revealed the presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, glycosides, phytosterols, flavanoids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, anthraquinones and saponins. This review aimed to provide a scientific overview of Barleria cristata with reference to its geographical, botanical aspects, phytochemistry and pharmacological activity. The ethnomedicinal uses of this plant show the treatment of respiratory diseases like asthma, cough, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The investigated pharmacological studies reported the presence of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant property, wound-healing activity, thrombolytic activity, brine-shrimp lethality assay and hepatoprotective activities in Barleria cristata.