This study was designed to assess the therapeutic effect of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) in experimental strangulation ileus. Rats were divided into control (n = 7), placebo (n = 11), and EGb-treated (n = 11) groups. No surgical procedure was carried out on the control group. Strangulation ileus was produced in the placebo and EGb groups for 2.5 h. At the end of this period, 100 mg/kg EGb in 1 ml of saline was injected intraperitoneally to the EGb-treated group. In the placebo group, animals received an equivalent amount of saline intraperitoneally; 24 h later, repeat laparotomies were performed to take blood and intestinal tissue samples. The EGb treatment decreased tissue malondialdehyde levels and increased catalase activities compared with the placebo group (P < 0.05 for both). Serum creatine kinase and phosphorus levels were also determined in all groups. In the placebo group these were significantly higher than in the control group (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). In the EGb group these were not different from controls and the increase in creatine kinase activity in the EGb group was not as high as in the placebo group (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that EGb could be preventive against the effects of strangulation ileus in a rat model.