Semecarpus anacardium Linn. (Family: Anacardiaceae), commonly known 'Ballataka' or 'Bhilwa', has been used in various traditional system of medicines for various ailments since ancient times. Its nuts contain a variety of biologically active compounds such as biflavonoids, phenolic compounds, bhilawanols, minerals, vitamins and amino acids, which show various medicinal properties. The fruit and nut extract shows various activities like antiatherogenic, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-reproductive, CNS stimulant, hypoglycemic, anticarcinogenic and hair growth promoter. The article reviews the various activities of the plant.