The acetone extract of the aerial parts of the plant Salvia cedronella Boiss. was screened for its total phenolic content and flavonoid content. The antioxidant potential was evaluated, in vitro, by using three different assays; beta-carotene-linoleic acid test system for total antioxidant activity, DPPH for free radical scavenging activity, Fe2+-ferrozine test system for metal chelation. A high content of phenolics, potent radical scavenging ability and significant iron chelating effect were observed. However, the inhibition of lipid peroxidation was not significant in beta-carotene-linoleic acid test system. A phytochemical analysis yielded a new coumarin, 3-methoxy-4-hydroxymethyl coumarin, together with p-hydroxyphenylethyl docosanoate, and two triterpenoids oleanolic acid and betulinic acid. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.