Houttuynia cordata (Saururaceae) injection (HCI) is a traditional Chinese medicine used in China. It was chosen as one of eight types of traditional Chinese medicine that play a unique role in severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) owing to the effect of curbing inflammation. In order to validate this plausible anti-inflammatory property, the chemical composition of HCI has been analysed by GC/MS, 22 components were identified, and the inflammation induced by carrageenan in the rat pleurisy model and by xylene in the mice ear edema model was adopted to study the anti-inflammatory activity of HCI. Injection of carrageenan into the pleural cavity elicited an acute inflammatory response characterized by protein rich fluid accumulation and leukocyte infiltration in the pleural cavity. The peak inflammatory response was obtained at 24 h when the fluid volume, protein concentration, C-reactive protein and cell infiltration were maximums. The results showed that these parameters were attenuated by HCI at any dose and touched bottom at dose of 0.54 ml/100 g, although less strong than dexamethasone. This drug was also effective in inhibiting xylene induced ear edema, and the percentage of inhibition came to 50% at dose of 80 μl/20 g. The results clearly indicate that HCI have anti-inflammatory activity.