Anti-oxidant refers to such a kind of endogenous or exogenous compound that is able to retard or even prohibit in vivo or in vitro oxidation with only small amount being used. The study of anti-oxidants starts nearly 30 years ago, and the research on this topic in China almost begins simultaneously with that in the world. Gratifyingly, contributions on anti-oxidants from China researchers have rapidly increased in the recent decade as anti-oxidants have become a hot topic in biochemistry, pharmacology, food science, chemistry as well as other related disciplines. Anti-oxidants provide a specific viewpoint for clarifying pharmacological effects of Chinese medicinal herbs. For example, as a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer is found to be a natural anti-oxidant resource. Meanwhile, some signaling pathways such as nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB), nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2 (Nrf2), and Kelch-like ECH associated protein 1 (Keap1) are regarded to play an important role in anti-oxidant responses. These findings provide a substantial basis for understanding the pharmacological behaviors of Chinese medicinal herbs in view of regulating the aforementioned signaling pathways. Moreover, inhibition of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by supplementation of anti-oxidant becomes a popularly accepted idea in keeping health and treating diseases. Isolations of antio-xidative ingredients from medicinal herbs and foods lead to set up a large range of anti-oxidative compound libraries, and intake of anti-oxidants from foods may be the most efficient way for supplementing exogenous anti-oxidants. On the other hand, designing anti-oxidants with novel structures motivates organic and medicinal chemists to explore the structure-activity relationship, and then, to find novel structural features with anti-oxidative properties. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that China researchers will donate more endeavors to obtain more achievements on anti-oxidants in the future.