Iridoid glycosides (mainly geniposide) and crocetin derivatives (crocins) are the two major active constituents in Gardenia jasminoides Ellis. In the present study, geniposide, crocins, crocin-1 and crocetin were separated from gardenia chromatographically. Then, mice were orally administrated with geniposide (400 mg/kg b.w.), crocins (400 mg/kg b.w.), crocin-1 (400 mg/kg b.w.) and crocetin (140 mg/kg b.w.) once daily for 7 days with
. Hepatoprotective properties were evaluated by biochemical parameters: Administration of geniposide, crocins, crocin-1and crocetin significantly lowered serum alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels in
-treated mice. The reduced glutathione (GSH) levels and antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT) activities were also increased by geniposide, crocins, crocin-1 and crocetin. Histopathological examination of livers showed that these components reduced deformability, irregular arrangement and rupture of hepatocyte in
-treated mice. These biochemical results and liver histopathological assessment demonstrated that geniposide, crocetin derivatives and crocetin show comparative beneficial effects on
-induced liver damage via induction of antioxidant defense. Therefore, contents of geniposide and crocetin derivatives should be both considered for hepatoprotective efficacy of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis.