Salvia plebeia R. Br. has been used to treat a variety of inflammatory diseases and as an antioxidant in many countries, including Korea and China. In this study, we investigated the effects of S. plebeia extract (SPE) on inflammatory arthritis and the underlying mechanisms of action. We used a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) mouse model. TNF-α-stimulated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial fibroblasts were used to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action. Oral administration of SPE improved the clinical arthritis score, footpad thickness, and histologic changes, as well as serum IgG1 and IgG2a levels. SPE administration inhibited Th1/Th2/Th17 phenotype CD4(+) T lymphocyte expansion in inguinal lymph node and expression of inflammatory mediators such as cytokines, MMP-1, and MMP-3 in the ankle joint tissue. SPE significantly suppressed the expression of cytokines and MMP-1 by down-regulating NF-κB, Akt, and mitogen-activated protein kinases in RA synovial fibroblasts. Taken together, these results indicate that SPE is therapeutically efficacious against chronic inflammatory arthritis, suggesting that SPE is a candidate for treating RA.