The beneficial effects of kolaviron, a natural biflavonoid from the seeds of Garcinia kola, have been attributed mainly to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This study investigated these effects on dextran sulphate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis in rats. Sulfasalazine served as standard reference in this study. Kolaviron and sulfasalazine were separately co-administered orally at 200 mg/kg and 500 mg/kg, respectively, to dextran sulphate sodium-exposed rats for 5 days. The result indicated that kolaviron or sulfasalazine significantly prevented DSS-induced body weight loss as well as the incidence of diarrhoea and bleeding in DSS-exposed rats. Kolaviron suppressed the DSS-mediated increase in colonic nitric oxide concentration and myeloperoxidase activity and significantly prevented the increase in inflammatory mediators, interleukin-1β and tumour necrosis factor alpha, in the colon of DSS-treated rats. The significant depletion in colonic antioxidant status in rats exposed to DSS alone was evident by marked reduction in colonic catalase and glutathione S-transferase activities as well as glutathione content, leading to elevated hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidation levels. Histopathologically, DSS alone resulted in severe epithelial erosion, total absence of goblet cells, destruction of the crypts, necrotic and distorted glands, accompanied by marked cellular mononuclear cells infiltration. However, administration of kolaviron and sulfasalazine ameliorated DSS-induced colitis by increasing the antioxidant status decreased hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidation levels and attenuated the adverse effect of DSS on colon architecture. In conclusion, the anti-colitis effect of kolaviron is related to its intrinsic anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.