The present study was designed to investigate whether Erythrina variegata L. (EV), which belongs to the leguminous family, exerted any beneficial effects on bone in ovariectomized rats. Daily oral administration of the EV extract at 300 and 600 mg/kg for 14 weeks to rats prevented the OVX-induced increase in the serum OCN, ALP, and urinary DPD levels. Histomorphometric analysis of the proximal end of the tibia showed that the EV extract prevented the estrogen deficiency-induced decrease in trabecular thickness and trabecular area, as well as restoring the increase in trabecular separation in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, the EV extract improved the energy absorption and stiffness of the mid-shaft of the rat femur. Thus, the present study clearly demonstrated that EV could suppress the high rate of bone turnover induced by estrogen deficiency, inhibit bone loss and improve the biomechanical properties of bone in the OVX rats. Copyright © 2006 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.