The antiinflammatory activities of aqueous extracts prepared from the aerial parts of ten Hungarian Stachys species were investigated in vivo in the carrageenan-induced paw oedema test after intraperitoneal and oral administration to rats. Some of the extracts were found to display significant antiphlogistic effects when administered intraperitoneally and orally; in particular, the extracts of S. alpina, S. germanica, S. officinalis and S. recta demonstrated high activity following intraperitoneal administration. At the same dose of 5.0 mg/kg, these extracts exhibited similar or greater potency than that of the positive control diclofenac-Na. The main iridoids present in the investigated extracts, ajugoside, aucubin, acetylharpagide, harpagide and harpagoside, were also assayed in the same test, and high dose-dependent antiphlogistic effects were recorded for aucubin and harpagoside. These results led to the conclusion that most probably iridoids are responsible for the antiinflammatory effect of Stachys species, but other active constituents or their synergism must also be implicated in the antiinflammatory effect.