Rosmarinic acid (RA), one of the most important polyphenol-based antioxidants, has received growing interest because of its bioactive properties, including anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antibacterial activities. Despite the high therapeutic potential of RA, its intrinsic properties of poor water solubility and low bioavailability have limited its translation into the clinic. Here, we report on the synthesis and preparation of PEGylated RA-derived nanoparticles (RANPs) and their use as a therapeutic nanomedicine for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced acute colitis mouse model. PEGylated RA, synthesized via a one-step process from RA and a PEG-containing amine, self-assembled in buffer to form nanoparticles (RANPs) with a diameter of 63.5 +/- 4.0 nm. The resulting RANPs showed high colloidal stability in physiological medium up to 2 weeks. RANPs were capable of efficiently scavenging H2O2, thereby protecting cells from H2O2-induced damage. Furthermore, the corticosteroid drug, dexamethasone (DEX), could be loaded into RANPs and released in response to a reactive oxygen species stimulus. Intravenously administered RANPs exhibited significantly improved pharmacokinetic parameters compared with those of the parent RA and were preferentially localized to the inflamed colon. Intravenous administration of RANPs in DSS-induced colitis mice substantially mitigated colonic inflammation in a dose-dependent manner compared with the parent RA, as evidenced by significantly reduced disease activity index scores, body weight loss, and colonic inflammatory damage. In addition, RANPs suppressed expression and production of typical pro-inflammatory cytokines in the inflamed colon. Furthermore, DEX-loaded RANPs showed enhanced therapeutic efficacy in the colitis model compared with bare RANPs at the equivalent dose, indicating synergy with a conventional medication. These findings suggest that RANPs deserve further consideration as a potential therapeutic nanomedicine for the treatment of various inflammatory diseases, including IBD.