Salvia miltiorrhiza, a traditional medical herb known as danshen, has been widely used in China to improve blood circulation, relieve blood stasis, and treat coronary heart disease. S miltiorrhiza depside salt is a novel drug recently developed at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica; it contains magnesium lithospermate B (MLB) and its analogs, rosmarinic acid (RA) and lithospermic acid (LA), as active components. The drug has been used in the clinic to improve blood circulation and treat coronary heart disease. The pharmacological effects of the depside salt from S miltiorrhiza and its components have been extensively investigated. Experimental studies have demonstrated that magnesium lithospermate B possesses a variety of biological activities, especially protective effects in the cardiovascular system such as attenuation of atherosclerosis and protection against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Rosmarinic acid and lithospermic acid also show beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. This paper reviews the recent findings regarding the mechanisms underlying the pharmacological actions of the active components of S miltiorrhiza depside salt, based on published works and our own observations.