Herbal tea with antioxidant ingredients has gained increasing attention in the field of functional foods due to their amelioration potential in aging-related diseases. Wanglaoji herbal tea (WHT) is a kind of traditional beverage made from herbal materials. This study was performed to investigate its antioxidant activity and identify its protective effect on a [H.sub.2][O.sub.2]-induced cell damage model. In this study, we identified six kinds of phenolic acids with antioxidant activity in WHT, among which rosmarinic acid had the highest content and the highest contribution ratio to the antioxidant activity of WHT. Moreover, compared with the [H.sub.2][O.sub.2]-induced damage group, the WHT treatment group can significantly increase the viability of cells and decrease the ratio of senescence-associated [beta]-galactosidase-positive cells, intracellular malondialdehyde levels, and the percentage of G1 phase. Furthermore, enrichment analysis of differentially expressed genes revealed that heme oxygenase1 (HMOX1) was a key gene for protective effect of WHT on oxidative stress-induced cell damage. Thus, WHT exerted protective effects not only by scavenging reactive oxygen species but also by inducing the expression of cytoprotective genes by activating the HMOX1 pathway, which showed that WHT had a potential of promoting health by reducing oxidative stress-induced cell damage.