Persian or Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia L.), from the family Elaeagnaceae, is a nitrogen-fixing thorny shrub extensively used in traditional medicine to alleviate pain and treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gastrointestinal problems, fever, and asthma. The current review has tried to give a concise overview of the phytochemistry and pharmacological properties of the plant from published data. Accordingly, published English literatures on Elaeagnus angustifolia were gathered from popular databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and ScienceDirect up to 31 December 2015. In accordance with traditional and ethnopharmacological uses, different extracts of E. angustifolia have been known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, antimicrobial, muscle relaxant, anti-ulcer and wound-healing capabilities. Additionally, cardioprotective, antitumor and anti-mutagenic effects of the herb have been demonstrated by current assessments. Despite numerous experimental studies, there is a notable lack of profound and comprehensive clinical trials as well as critical research on E. angustifolia toxicity and teratogenicity. With reference to various pharmacological effects based on experimental and animal investigation, it is worthy to mention a frame for respective clinical studies in further studies.