Background Sansevieria roxburghiana Schult. & Schult. F. (Family: Asparagaceae) rhizome has been claimed to possess antidiabetic activity in the ethno-medicinal literature in India. Therefore, present experiments were carried out to explore the protective role of edible (aqueous) extract of S. roxburghiana rhizome (SR) against experimentally induced type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its associated cardiomyopathy in Wistar rats. Methods SR was chemically characterized by GC-MS analysis. Antidiabetic activity of SR (50 and 100 mg/kg, orally) was measured in high fat diets (ad libitum) + low-single dose of streptozotocin (35 mg/kg, intraperitoneal) induced type 2 diabetic (T2D) rat. Fasting blood glucose level was measured at specific intermissions. Serum biochemical and inflammatory markers were estimated after sacrificing the animals. Besides, myocardial redox status, expressions of signal proteins (NF-kB and PKCs), histological and ultrastructural studies of heart were performed in the controls and SR treated T2D rats. Results Phytochemical screening of the crude extract revealed the presence of phenolic compounds, sugar alcohols, sterols, amino acids, saturated fatty acids within SR. T2D rats exhibited significantly (p < 0.01) higher fasting blood glucose level with respect to control. Alteration in serum lipid profile (p < 0.01) and increased levels of lactate dehydrogenase (p < 0.01) and creatine kinase (p < 0.01) in the sera revealed the occurrence of hyperlipidemia and cell destruction in T2D rats. T2DM caused significant (p < 0.05-0.01) alteration in the biochemical markers in the sera. T2DM altered the redox status (p < 0.05-0.01), decreased (p < 0.01) the intracellular NAD and ATP concentrations in the myocardial tissues of experimental rats. While investigating the molecular mechanism, activation PKC isoforms was observed in the selected tissues. T2D rats also exhibited an up-regulation in nuclear NF-kB (p65) in the cardiac tissues. So, oral administration of SR (50 and 500 mg/kg) could reduce hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, membrane disintegration, oxidative stress, vascular inflammation and prevented the activation of oxidative stress induced signaling cascades leading to cell death. Histological and ultra-structural studies of cardiac tissues supported the protective characteristics of SR. Conclusions From the present findings it can be concluded that, SR could offer protection against T2DM and its associated cardio-toxicity via multiple mechanisms viz. hypoglycemic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. ©2016 Bhattacharjee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.