Esculin, a coumarinic derivative found in Aesculus hippocastanum L. (Horse-chestnut), has been reported to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. The present study is designed to investigate the protective effects of esculin on various inflammation models in vivo and in vitro and to clarify the possible mechanism. Induced-animal models of inflammation and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged mouse peritoneal macrophages were used to examine the anti-inflammatory activity of esculin. In present study, xylene-induced mouse ear edema, carrageenan-induced rat paw edema, and carrageenan-induced mouse pleurisy were attenuated by esculin. In vitro, the pro-inflammatory cytokine levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in supernatant were reduced by esculin. Meanwhile, we found that esculin significantly inhibited LPS-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in peritoneal macrophages. These results suggest that esculin has potent anti-inflammatory activities in vivo and in vitro, which may involve the inhibition of the MAPK pathway. Esculin may be a promising preventive agent for inflammatory diseases in human.