Inflammation is a common finding in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The phytotherapeutic agent eviprostat is a popular treatment for BPH in Japan and Germany. This agent consists of five components; four are extracted from Chimaphila umbellata, Populus tremula, Pulsatilla pratensis and Equisetum arvense (coded as EVI-1, EVI-2, EVI-3 and EVI-4, respectively) and the fifth is germ oil from Triticum aestivum (coded as EVI-5). In this study, the effects of each component on the reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide anion (O2-) and hydroxyl radical (OH*) generated in cell-free systems and human neutrophils, and on carrageenin-induced paw edema in rats were investigated. EVI-1, EVI-2 and EVI-4 suppressed the O2- levels in the xanthine/xanthine oxidase system, and EVI-1, EVI-2, EVI-3 and EVI-4 abolished the OH* produced in a Fenton-type reaction system, so that EVI-1, EVI-2 and EVI-4 possessed inhibitory action with respect to both O2- and OH*. EVI-1, EVI-2 and EVI-4 also reduced ROS levels in phorbol myristate acetate-stimulated neutrophils. The paw swelling was inhibited by a mixture of EVI-1, EVI-2, EVI-3, EVI-4 and EVI-5 (a mixture which is equivalent to eviprostat) or by a mixture of EVI-1, EVI-2 and EVI-4, even though each component alone did not significantly inhibit the swelling. These findings suggest that the suppression of ROS by EVI-1, EVI-2 and EVI-4 may partly contribute to the anti-inflammatory action of eviprostat, and this action may be implicated in its therapeutic effect on BPH.