An inhibitor of procoagulant and fibrinolytic enzymes was derived from cabbage seeds by a procedure using acetone precipitation, ion-exchange chromatography, and gel filtration. The cabbage seed inhibitor was a 10- Kd monomeric protein with intrachain disulfide bonds. This preparation prevented clot formation in whole blood and blocked the ability of thrombin to induce clot formation in plasma and to induce platelet aggregation. A number of proteases were inhibited, as demonstrated by using purified enzymes in amidolytic assays. Tight-binding inhibition was observed for activated Stuart factor (factor Xa) and plasmin. Inhibition of thrombin and activated Hageman factor (factor XIIa) was observed with a molar excess of inhibitor. No inhibition was detected for activated plasma thromboplastin antecedent (factor XIa), plasma kallikrein, or C1 esterase. Reaction progress curves for trypsin indicated slow, tight-binding inhibition, with an apparent inhibition constant in the nanomolar range or less. The electrophoretic mobility of trypsin was altered by the inhibitor in nondenaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) but not in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)- PAGE, indicating noncovalent bonding. Only partial reversal of trypsin inhibition could be demonstrated by washing the inhibitor from enzyme immobilized on solid beads. A dot-blot technique with cabbage seed inhibitor was capable of detecting 10 ng nitrocellulose-bound trypsin. The dot-blot technique also appeared capable of detecting plasmin. These findings demonstrated the potential utility of this inhibitor as a probe for detection of tightly bound proteases. In summary, cabbage seed extracts contain an inhibitor with activity toward a broad range of proteases important to hemostasis. To our knowledge, this agent represents the first inhibitor isolated from a plant source that inhibits thrombin.