Background: Our purpose was to investigate propolis and its component caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) for their antioxidant effects on the brain tissue of rats exposed to ionizing radiation (IR). Materials and Methods: Fifty-four male albino Sprague-Dawley rats, divided into six groups, were designed as normal control group, cranial irradiation of 5 Gray alone, irradiation plus CAPE, irradiation plus propolis, control groups of propolis and CAPE. Oxidative/antioxidative status indicators, lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes, were determined by biochemical methods in homogenized brain tissue of rats. Results: Malondialdehyde level, the lipid peroxidation index, in the irradiation alone group was found to be significantly increased compared to all of the other groups (p<0.001). Enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) were 504.93, 720.70 and 659.98 for irradiation alone group, irradiation plus CAPE group and irradiation plus propolis group, respectively. Enzyme activity of SOD in the irradiation alone group was found to be significantly decreased compared to the groups received propolis or CAPE (p<0.003). Enzyme activity of glutathione peroxidase was not found statistically different among all of the groups. Conclusion: Propolis and CAPE were found to be beneficial agents in protecting brain tissue against IR-induced oxidative damage.