Hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress has been proposed as a cause of many complications of diabetes including cardiac dysfunction. The present study depicts the therapeutic effect of green tea extract on oxidative stress in aorta as well as heart of streptozotocin diabetic rats. Six weeks after diabetes induction, green tea was administered orally for 4 weeks [300 mg (kg body weight)(-1) day (-1)]. In aorta and heart of diabetic rats there was a significant increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase with an increase in lipid peroxides. Diabetic rats showed a significant decrease in the levels of serum and cardiac glutathione. Green tea administration to diabetic rats reduced lipid peroxides and activity of antioxidant enzymes whereas increased glutathione content. The results demonstrate that the induction of antioxidant enzymes in diabetic rats is not efficient and sufficient to reduce the oxidative stress. But green tea by providing a competent antioxidative mechanism ameliorates the oxidative stress in the aorta and heart of diabetic rats. The study suggests that green tea may provide a useful therapeutic option in the reversal of oxidative stress induced cardiac dysfunction in diabetes mellitus.