CONTEXT: Diabetic nephropathy is one of the important microvascular complications of diabetes; however, the main problem remains is the control of progression of nephropathy in diabetes. Chebulic acid was selected, as tannins from Terminalia chebula are used as antidiabetic, renoprotective, antioxidant, hypotensive and an ?-glucosidase inhibitor. OBJECTIVE: In this study, we evaluated the effect of chebulic acid on ischemia reperfusion induced biochemical alteration in diabetic rats. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Chebulic acid (CA) was isolated from T. chebula; LD(50) and acute toxicity studies of CA were done. Renal ischemia and reperfusion technique was used to induce nephropathy in diabetic rats. Glibenclamide (10 mg/kg) was used as diabetic standard; CA at doses of 25 and 50 mg/kg were administered for 28 days and various biochemical parameters were monitored. RESULTS: The LD(50) was found to be 251 mg/kg; 25 and 50 mg/kg doses were selected as no toxic symptoms were observed at both doses, except slight diarrhea. CA significantly (p < 0.001) reduced the glucose, creatinine, urea nitrogen, glycosylated hemoglobulin, proteinuria, urine albumin excretion, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), and increased serum insulin and glycogen level. CA also restored glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glutathione, superoxide dismutase, catalase and malondialdehyde levels. Improvement in kidney was also noted in histopathological studies. CONCLUSIONS: The statistical data indicated that chebulic acid at both doses (25 and 50 mg/kg) improves biochemical alterations caused by renal ischemia in diabetic rats.