Seaweeds are an important component of human diets, especially in Asia and the Pacific islands, and have shown chemopreventive as well as anti-inflammatory properties. However, structural characterization and mechanistic insight of seaweed components responsible for their biological activities are lacking. We isolated cymopol and related natural products from the marine green alga Cymopolia barbata and demonstrated their function as activators of transcription factor Nrf2-mediated antioxidant response to increase the cellular antioxidant status. We probed the reactivity of the bioactivation product of cymopol, cymopol quinone, which was able to modify various cysteine residues of Nrf2's cytoplasmic repressor protein Keap1. The observed adducts are reflective of the polypharmacology at the level of natural product, due to multiple electrophilic centers, and at the amino acid level of the cysteine-rich target protein Keap1. The non-polar C. barbata extract and its major active component cymopol, reduced inflammatory gene transcription in vitro in macrophages and mouse embryonic fibroblasts in an Nrf2-dependent manner. Cymopol-containing extracts attenuated neutrophil migration in a zebrafish tail wound model. RNA-seq analysis of colonic tissues of mice exposed to non-polar extract or cymopol showed an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response, with more pronounced effects exhibited by the extract. Cymopolia extract reduced DSS-induced colitis as measured by fecal lipocalin concentration. RNA-seq showed that mucosal-associated bacterial composition and transcriptional profile in large intestines were beneficially altered to varying degrees in mice treated with either the extract or cymopol. We conclude that seaweed-derived compounds, especially cymopol, alter Nrf2-mediated host and microbial gene expression, thereby providing polypharmacological effects.