Previous studies have indicated that the Ilex genus exhibits antioxidant, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, and antiinflammatory activities. However, the pharmacologic action and mechanisms of Ilex cornuta against cardiac diseases have not yet been explored. The present study was designed to investigate the antioxidant and cardioprotective effects of Ilex cornuta root with in vitro and in vivo models. The anti-oxidative effects of the extract of Ilex cornuta root (ICR) were measured by 2, 2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH ) free-radical scavenging and MTT assays as well as immunoassay. Furthermore, a rat model of myocardial ischemia was established to investigate the cardioprotective effect of ICR in vivo. Eight compounds were isolated and identified from ICR and exhibited DPPH free-radical scavenging activities. They also could increase cell viability and inhibit morphological changes induced by H 2O 2 or Na 2S 2O 4 in H9c2 cardiomyocytes, followed by increasing the SOD activities and decreasing the MDA and ROS levels. In addition, it could suppress the apoptosis of cardiomyocytes. In the rat model of myocardial ischemia, ICR decreased myocardial infarct size and suppressed the activities of LDH and CK. Furthermore, ICR attenuated histopathological alterations of heart tissues and the MDA levels, while increasing SOD activities in serum. In conclusion, these results suggest that ICR has cardioprotective activity and could be developed as a new food supplement for the prevention of ischemic heart disease.