Ischemic heart disease is a major cause of death in the world. Common therapies, such as primary coronary angioplasty and thrombolysis, are applied to restore blood supply to the heart, limit infarct size and reduce mortality. However, the restoration of blood supply would generate reactive oxygen species in damaged sites of the myocardium, intensifying the damage to the cardiac tissues. Radix Scutellariae baicalensis (Huangqin) is a well-known herb in traditional Chinese medicine with high antioxidant power. In this study, extract of the dry root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Sb) was confirmed to have a high content of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The cardioprotective effects of the Sb extracts (3, 30 and 300 mg/kg) were evaluated in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injuried rats. The results showed that animals that had received five-day pretreatment of the Sb extract (30 mg/kg) had a significant reduction in myocardial infarct size and a marked increase in the activity of catalase in the liver. The Sb extract could additionally enhance acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation. It was proposed that the Sb extract exerted its cardioprotection by stimulating the catalase activity and improving vascular elasticity.