To investigate the effect of salvia miltiorrhizae on the expressions of TLR4 protein in the liver of rats with severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) and obstructive jaundice (OJ), and explore the protective mechanism of salvia miltiorrhizae on the liver of rats. A total of 288 mice was used in SAP- (n=108) and OJ-associated experiments (n=180). The rats were randomly divided into sham-operated, model control and treated group. Based on the different time points after operation, these groups were subdivided into 3, 6 and 12 h subgroups (SAP rats, n=12) or 7, 14, 21 and 28 days subgroups (OJ rats, n=15). At the corresponding time points after operation, blood and liver specimens were collected to determine the contents of endotoxin and TNF-α in the blood as well as the expression levels of TLR4 protein in the liver. Compared with the corresponding model control group, though the number of dead SAP or OJ rats in the treated group declined, no statistical difference was noted; The levels of plasma endotoxin in SAP (at 6 and 12 h) or OJ rats in the treated group decreased significantly (P<0.001 and P<0.01, respectively); The levels of serum TNF-α in SAP (at 12 h) or OJ rats (on 14 days) declined (P<0.001 and P<0.01, respectively); The staining intensity as well as the product of staining intensity and positive rate of TRL4 protein only significantly declined on 7 and 28 days in OJ rats (P<0.01). On 7 days, treated group in positive rate of TLR4 protein were significantly lower than that in model control group (P<0.01). The pathological changes in different treated groups of SAP and OJ rats were improved. Salvia miltiorrhizae is able to reduce the levels of plasma endotoxin and inhibit effectively the expressions of TLR4 protein in the liver of SAP or OJ rats, thereby decreasing inflammatory reaction and exerting protective effect on liver function.