The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effect of embelin isolated from Embelia ribes on acetic acid induced colitis in rats. Experimental animals received embelin (25 and 50 mg/kg, p.o.) and sulfasalazine (100mg/kg, p.o.) for five consecutive days before induction of colitis by intra-rectal acetic acid (3% v/v) administration and the treatment continued up to 7 days. The colonic mucosal injury was assessed by clinical, macroscopic, biochemical and histopathological examinations. Embelin treatment significantly decreased clinical activity score, gross lesion score, percent affected area and wet colon weight when compared to acetic acid induced controls. The treatment also reduced significantly the colonic myeloperoxidase activity, lipid peroxides and serum lactate dehydrogenase and significantly increased the reduced glutathione. The histopathological studies also confirmed the foregoing findings. The protective effect may be due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities.