The inhibitors of prostaglandin biosynthesis and nitric oxide production have been considered as potential anti-inflammatory and cancer chemopreventive agents. In this study, we evaluated approximately 170 methanol extracts of natural products including Korean herbal medicines for the inhibition of prostaglandin E(2) production (for COX-2 inhibitors) and nitric oxide formation (for iNOS inhibitors) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mouse macrophages RAW264.7 cells. As a result, several extracts such as Aristolochia debilis, Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum loureirii, Curcuma zedoaria, Eugenia caryophyllata, Pterocarpus santalius, Rehmania glutinosa and Tribulus terrestris showed potent inhibition of COX-2 activity (>80% inhibition at the test concentration of 10 micro g/ml). In addition, the extracts of A. debilis, Caesalpinia sappan, Curcuma longa, C. zedoaria, Daphne genkwa and Morus alba were also considered as potential inhibitors of iNOS activity (>70% inhibition at the test concentration of 10 micro g/ml). These active extracts mediating COX-2 and iNOS inhibitory activities are warranted for further elucidation of active principles for development of new cancer chemopreventive and/or anti-inflammatory agents.