The genus Himatanthus Wild. ex Schult. (Apocynaceae) includes about 13 species and five subspecies widely distributed in South America, especially Brazil. The phytochemical reports on this genus have revealed mainly triterpenes and iridoids. The plants are traditionally used as anthelmintic, antitumor and antiinflammatory agents. The most used parts of the plant are its bark, leaves and latex. This review emphasizes the phytochemical constituents and medicinal properties, which may help in future research. The research was conducted with data obtained from books about medicinal plants, theses, dissertations and articles in refereed journals.