The seeds of C. sativum are used as a traditional drug for the treatment of diabetes. The antioxidant and free-radical-scavenging property of seeds in vitro was studied and also investigated whether the administration of seeds curtails oxidative stress in the kidney of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Incorporation of seed powder in the diet led to marked lowering of blood glucose and a rise in the levels of insulin in diabetic rats. A parallel beneficial effect was observed on oxidant -antioxidant balance in the kidney. Addition of coriander seed powder not only inhibited the process of peroxidative damage but also significantly reactivated the antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant levels in diabetic rats. The total polyphenolic content of the seeds was found to be 12.2 gallic acid equivalents (GAE)/g while total flavanoid content was found to be 12.6 quercetin equivalents/g. The seeds also showed scavenging activity against superoxides and hydroxyl radicals in a concentration-dependent manner. Maximum free radical-scavenging action and free radical reducing power of coriander seed extract was observed at a concentration of 50 microg GAE. Islet histology structures showed degeneration of pancreatic islets in diabetic rats which was also reduced in diabetic rats treated with seed powder. These results show that C. sativum seeds not only possess antihyperglycemic properties but antioxidative properties also. Increased dietary intake of coriander seeds decrease the oxidative burden in diabetes mellitus.