The objective of the present study is to develop a rapid and convenient method to determine antioxidative activity. It was determined by the inhibition capacity on the hemoglobin-catalyzed peroxidation of linoleic acid. The appropriate conditions for reaction of 4 mM linoleic acid were 0.002% hemoglobin at 37 degrees C for 10 min. Adding methanol to the reaction mixture at <20% showed no significant effect on the peroxidation of linoleic acid. Products formed from hemoglobin-catalyzed peroxidation of linoleic acid were 9- and 13-hydroperoxyoctadecadienoic acid at a ratio of approximately 50:50. Eight synthetic antioxidants were assayed for their antioxidative activity; all of them showed linear response to the logarithm of their concentration. Antioxidative activity from different plant samples was also examined. Tea, ginger, chrysanthemum, and roselle showed higher antioxidative activity. Either hydrophobic or hydrophilic antioxidants were able to be assayed with this method within 15 min.