The isoprenoid stress-associated phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) has recently been recognized to possess multifaceted biological functions in mammals and to exert potent curative effects in a number of clinically relevant human diseases. Studies with human specimens have unequivocally shown that ABA retains its stress-related functional attributes, previously identified in plants, which contribute to enhanced inflammatory defense mechanisms in mammals. Besides, studies performed in animal models revealed prominent anti-inflammatory properties of ABA as indicated by a marked reduction of immune cell infiltrates at the sites of inflammation. Thus, ABA treatment ultimately leads to the profound improvement of both non-communicable and communicable diseases which are associated with an overall alleviated course of inflammation. In addition to its action on the mammalian immune system, ABA was also shown to exert diverse physiological functions on non-immune components. One of the most remarkable features of ABA is to stimulate and expand mesenchymal stem cells, which may open a new avenue for its potential use in the field of regenerative medicine. Furthermore, ABA has been reported to play an important role in the maintenance of glycemic control. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the significance of ABA in the mammalian system, its prophylactic and therapeutic effects in various disease settings and the future directions for the development of ABA as novel drug candidate for the improved treatment of inflammatory and infectious human diseases.