To date, there is no available information on the protective effect of onion (Allium cepa) extract (AcE) on cadmium (Cd)-induced cardiotoxicity. The present study was performed to assess the possible antioxidant and anti-apoptotic roles of AcE in Cd-induced cardiotoxicity in rats. A Cd group was injected subcutaneously with CdCl2 dissolved in saline at a dose of 2 ml/kg/day for 30 days, resulting in a dosage of 1 mg/kg Cd. The rats in the AcE-treated group were given 1 ml of AcE via intragastric intubation for 30 days. The rats intoxicated with Cd for 30 days showed increased tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) levels and decreased levels of the enzymatic antioxidants superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and catalase (CAT) in cardiac tissue. AcE attenuated these adverse effects of Cd. After Cd exposure, histological abnormalities were observed, including myofibrillar loss, vacuolization of cytoplasm and irregularity of myofibrils. These histological alterations were effectively attenuated by the treatment with AcE. Furthermore, our data indicate a significant reduction of apoptosis in the cardiomyocytes of the Cd group treated with AcE therapy. Animal studies show antioxidant effects of AcE. But to date, no study reported the effect of AcE on biochemical and histopathological changes due to Cd induced on rat heart. Our study showed that AcE therapy reduced Cd-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis, possibly through its antioxidant and anti-apoptotic activity.