Treatment of antioxidants is necessary to protect ischemic stroke associated neuronal damage. Xanthohumol (XN), a natural flavonoid extracted from hops, has been reported to have potential function as an antioxidant and can be used for neuro protection. However, the role of XN in ischemic stroke remains unclear. Here, we studied the neuroprotective effects of XN through experimental stroke models. Middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) was used as in vivo and in vitro model, respectively. We found that the treatment of XN improved MCAO-induced brain injury by reducing infarct size, improving neurological deficits, reversing neuronal damage, reducing oxidative stress injury and cell apoptosis. Further experimental studies showed that XN could revive neuronal apoptosis induced by OGD by preventing oxidative stress injury. In addition, our study suggested that these effects were related to the inhibition of phosphorylation of p38-MAPK and the mediation of nuclear Nrf2 activation. In conclusion, the neuroprotective effects of XN showed in this study make XN a promising supplement for ischemic stroke protection.