Cerebral ischemia is still one of the most important topics in neurosciences. Our study aimed to investigate the neuroprotective and anti-oxidant effects of glycyrrhizic acid on focal cerebral ischemia in rats. Twenty-four rats were divided equally into three groups. A middle cerebral artery occlusion model was performed in this study where sham and glycyrrhizic acid were administered intraperitoneally following middle cerebral artery occlusion. Group I was evaluated as control. Malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and nuclear respiratory factor-1 (NRF1) levels were analyzed biochemically on the right cerebral hemisphere, while ischemic histopathological studies were completed to investigate the anti-oxidant status. Biochemical results showed that SOD and NRF1 levels were significantly increased in the glycyrrhizic acid group compared with the sham group while MDA levels were significantly decreased. On histopathological examination, cerebral edema, vacuolization, degeneration, and destruction of neurons were decreased in the glycyrrhizic acid group compared with the sham group. Cerebral ischemia was attenuated by glycyrrhizic acid administration. These observations indicate that glycyrrhizic acid may have potential as a therapeutic agent in cerebral ischemia by preventing oxidative stress.