Objective To explore the protective effects of oleanolic acid (OLA) derived from roots and leaves of Aralia Elata (Miq) Seem. on alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in rats and its mechanism. Methods Normal rats were intragastrically infused with ethanol and high fat diet. OLA was used from the beginning. Rats were sacrificed after 3 months interference. Hematoxylineosin (HE) method was used to examine the degree of hepatic injury. The concentrations of malandialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione (GSH) were estimated in liver tissue. Blood samples were collected to measure the concentrations of aminotransferase, choline lipase (ChE), triglyceride (TG), total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), bilirubin (BIL), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and MDA. Results OLA decreased the levels of ALT, AST, TG, ChE, MDA in serum and the level of MDA in liver tissue in model group. In the same time it increased the level of GSH-Px in serum and the levels of SOD and GSH in liver tissue. Hepatic injury was reversed with OLA. Conclusion OLA can protect liver from alcohol injury in rats via eliminating free radicals and decreasing enzymes and blood fat in liver. Injury of free radicals and lipid oxidation are the main pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease.