Severe acute pancreatitis (SAP) develops in 15-20% of patients with acute pancreatitis. The management of SAP is a challenging task owing to the fact that it can lead to morbid conditions like multiple organ failure and systemic inflammatory response syndrome, if left untreated. Resveratrol, a drug used in Chinese traditional medicine has shown potential to treat many symptoms of SAP due to its multiple physiological actions. It possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties, both of which are essential in SAP. NF-kappaB activation is a major source of pro-inflammatory mediators in SAP. Administration of resveratrol can inhibit NF-kappaB activity as well as reduce the concentrations of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1. It can also scavenge reactive oxygen species that are capable of extensive tissue damage. Furthermore, resveratrol also exhibits anti-apoptotic properties via regulation of apoptotic mediators such as Bax, Bcl-2, and caspase-3. It also plays a role in calcium regulation and alleviates SAP-induced histopathological distortions in the pancreas. These multi-faceted results support the use of resveratrol in SAP and mandate the need for extensive research on this molecule.