The stem and root barks of Ulmus davidiana var. japonica (Ulmaceae) have been used to treat inflammatory diseases including mastitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, and enteritis. In an ongoing study focused on the discovery of natural anti-inflammatory compounds from natural products, a methanol extract of the stem and root barks of U. davidiana var. japonica showed anti-inflammatory activities. Activity-guided fractionation of the methanol extract yielded a new trihydroxy fatty acid, 9,12,13-trihydroxyoctadeca-10(Z),15(Z)-dienoic acid (1), and a known compound, pinellic acid (2). These two trihydroxy fatty acids 1 and 2 inhibited prostaglandin D2 production with IC50 values of 25.8 and 40.8 μM, respectively. These results suggest that 9,12,13-trihydroxyoctadeca-10(Z),15(Z)-dienoic acid (1) and pinellic acid (2) are among the anti-inflammatory principles in this medicinal plant. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.