Emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone) is a bioactive compound, a natural anthraquinone aglycone, present mainly in herbaceous species of the families Fabaceae, Polygonaceae and Rhamnaceae, with a physio-logical role in protection against abiotic stress in vegetative tissues. Emodin is mainly used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat sore throats, carbuncles, sores, blood stasis, and damp-heat jaundice. Pharmacological research in the last decade has revealed other potential therapeutic applications such as anticancer, neuroprotective, antidiabetic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.The present study aimed to summarize recent studies on bioavailability, preclinical pharmacological effects with evidence of molecular mechanisms, clinical trials and clinical pitfalls, respectively the therapeutic limita-tions of emodin. For this purpose, extensive searches were performed using the PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Google scholar, TRIP database, Springer link, Wiley and SciFinder databases as a search engines. The in vitro and in vivo studies included in this updated review highlighted the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms of emodin. Because its bioavailability is low, there are limitations in clinical therapeutic use. In conclusion, for an increase in pharmacotherapeutic efficacy, future studies with carrier molecules to the target, thus opening up new therapeutic perspectives.