Diabetes is known to alter kidney extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Chondroitin sulphate (CS)/dermatan sulphate (DS), an ECM component, which plays an essential role in kidney is altered during diabetes. The focus of this study has been to examine the effect of Tinospora cordifolia (TC) consumption, a potent plant widely used to treat diabetes, on kidney CS/DS. Experimentally induced diabetic rats were fed with diet containing TC at 2·5 and 5 % levels and the effect of it on kidney CS/DS was examined. The CS/DS content and CS:heparan sulphate ratio which was decreased during diabetic condition were ameliorated in TC-fed groups. Disaccharide composition analysis of CS/DS by HPLC showed that decreases in ‘E’ units and degree of sulphation were modulated in 5 % TC-fed groups. Apparent molecular weight of purified CS/DS from the control rat kidney was found to be 38 kDa which was decreased to 29 kDa in diabetic rat kidney. Rats in 5 % TC-fed groups showed chain length of 38 kDa akin to control rats. Expression of chondroitin 4-O-sulfotransferase-1, dermatan 4-O-sulfotransferase-1 and N-acetylgalactosamine 4 sulphate 6-O-sulfotransferase, enzymes involved in the synthesis of ‘E’ units which was reduced during diabetic condition, was significantly contained in the 5 % TC-fed group. Purified CS/DS from 5 % TC-fed group was able to bind higher amounts of ECM components, namely type IV collagen and laminin, when compared with untreated diabetic rats. The present results demonstrate that consumption of a diet containing TC at the 5 % level modulates changes in kidney CS/DS which were due to diabetes.