Paeonol is an active component of Moutan Cortex Radicis and is widely used as an analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory agent in traditional Chinese medicine. We wanted to determine the role of paeonol in treating adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We established an acute lung injury (ALI) model in Sprague-Dawley rats, which was similar to ARDS in humans, using intratracheal administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The intraperitoneal administration of paeonol successfully reduced histopathological scores and attenuated myeloperoxidase-reactive cells as an index of polymorphonuclear neutrophils infiltration and also reduces inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in the lung tissue, at 16 h after LPS administration. In addition, paeonol reduced proinflammatory cytokines in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, including tumor-necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, and plasminogen-activated inhibition factor-1. These results indicated that paeonol successfully attenuates inflammatory and coagulation reactions to protect against ALI.