The objective of this study was to determine antioxidant and cytotoxic efficacies of methanolic and aqueous extracts ofRheum emodi Wall. ex Meissn. rhizome. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities, inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation and Fe3+reducing antioxidant property have been used to investigate antioxidant properties of the extracts. Cytotoxicity of the extracts was tested on MDA-MB-435S and Hep3B cell lines. Both extracts displayed extensive cytotoxicity to the tested cell lines. The extracts were studied for their ability to protect pBR322 DNA from damage by UV induced photolysis of H2O2. The aqueous extract, though inferior to methanolic extract in its antioxidant potential exhibited efficiency in DNA protection, while the methanolic extract failed to protect the DNA. The amount of total polyphenolics in the extracts was measured by spectrophotometric method. The methanolic extract contained higher polyphenolic contents than aqueous extract. Significant positive correlations were observed (P< .05) between results of phenolic content estimation and that of antioxidant assays. Hence, high-performance liquid chromatography analysis was performed to identify few major phenolic compounds that might be responsible for these therapeutic properties. These results indicate that rhizome ofR. emodipossesses antioxidant and cytotoxic activities and therefore have therapeutic potential.