© 2020 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Rheum ribes L. is a perennial plant that belongs to the family of Polygonaceae, which is often used in traditional therapy because it possesses many bioactivities, such as antioxidant and antibacterial ones. Here we examined the effect of different R. ribes L. extracts on oxidative stress in experimental diabetic rats. Thirty-six rats were divided into six groups as follows: group I, control group; group II, diabetic rats; group III, diabetic rats treated with the aqueous extract of R. ribes L. by gavage at 50 mg/kg for 15 days; group IV, diabetic rats treated by gavage with the ethanolic extract of R. ribes L. at 50 mg/kg for 15 days; group V, nondiabetic rats treated by gavage with the aqueous extract of R. ribes L. at 50 mg/kg for 15 days; group VI, nondiabetic rats treated by gavage with the ethanol extract of R. ribes L. at 50 mg/kg for 15 days. After 15 days, the animals were sacrificed and the liver and kidney tissues of each animal were isolated. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities in the tissue samples were measured, and histopathologic examination was carried out. R. ribes L. was effective in reducing the oxidative stress and increasing the levels of the antioxidant enzymes. Increased levels of MDA and decreased levels of SOD, CAT and GSH-Px were observed in both the liver and kidney tissues in group II. Decreased levels of MDA and increased levels of SOD, CAT and GSH-Px were observed in group III compared with group II. In group IV, decreased levels of MDA and increased levels of SOD, CAT and GSH-Px were observed in comparison with group II. Diabetes increases oxidative stress and causes a decrease in antioxidant enzyme levels. Both aqueous and ethanolic extracts of R. ribes L. decrease oxidative stress activity and increase the levels of antioxidant enzymes. The ethanol extract of R. ribes L. has a higher antioxidant effect than the aqueous extract.