The present study was carried out to determine if salviae radix extract (SRE) exerts a beneficial effect against cisplatin-induced renal failure in rabbits. Rabbits were pretreated with SRE orally for 7 days, followed by cisplatin injection (5 mg/kg i.p.). Cisplatin injection caused a reduction in GFR, which was accompanied by an increase in serum creatinine levels. The fractional Na<sup>+</sup> excretion was increased by cisplatin injection. PAH uptake by renal cortical slices was inhibited by the administration of cisplatin. Such changes were prevented by SRE pretreatment. Cisplatin injection increased lipid peroxidation, which was prevented by SRE pretreatment. The protective effect of SRE was supported by morphological studies. Cisplatin injection reduced renal blood flow that was not affected by SRE pretreatment. Cisplatin treatment in vitro in renal cortical slices increased LDH release and lipid peroxidation, which were prevented by 0.05% SRE. These results indicate that lipid peroxidation plays a critical role in cisplatin-induced acute renal failure. SRE exerts a protective effect against renal cell injury induced by cisplatin, and its effect may be attributed to its antioxidant action. However, the underlying mechanism by which SRE has antioxidant action remains to be defined.