Antioxidants scavenge reactive oxygen species and, therefore, are vitally important in the living cells. The antioxidant properties of eupatilin have recently been reported. In this article, the reactions of eupatilin with the hydroxyl radical (OH•) in solution are studied using density functional theory calculations and the polarizable continuum model. Three mechanisms are considered including: sequential electron proton transfer (SEPT), sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET), and hydrogen abstraction (HA). Three solvents with different polarities, that is, benzene, methanol, and water, are used to investigate the effect of the environment on the mechanisms. The relative Gibbs free energies and enthalpies corresponding to different mechanisms are calculated. Our results show that SEPT is thermodynamically favored in aqueous solution. Once the eupatilin anion is produced, the second step in SPLET mechanism is thermodynamically favored in methanol and water. The HA mechanism is thermodynamically favored in gas, benzene, methanol, and water. This mechanism is more energetically favorable to occur in a more polar solvent. The natural bond orbital charges and spin densities as well as the singly occupied molecular orbital are then analyzed. It is concluded that the HA process is governed by proton coupled electron transfer mechanism. The attack of the radical takes place preferentially at position 7 of eupatilin. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.