Objective: To investigate the impact of a Croton tiglium extract on cellular proliferation and apoptosis in a nonsmall cell lung cancer cell line (A549) in vitro. Methods: A Croton tiglium seed methanol extract was prepare and assessed for effects on A549 cells regarding cellular proliferation, apoptotic rates, and expression of apoptosis related genes and proteins using real-time PCR and immunofluorescence. Results: The tested Croton tiglium extract inhibited A549 cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner, with significant elevation of apoptotic indexes at various concentrations after 24 h. In addition, rates in both early and late stages were higher in treated than untreated groups, the 100 μg/ml dose causing the highest levels of apoptosis. RT-PCR showed that A549 cells treated with 100 μg/ml Croton tiglium extract for 24 h has markedly higher Bax mRNA expression levels and obviously lower Bcl-2 expression levels than controls, equivalent results being observed for proteins by immunofluorescence. However, the mRNA expression levels of Fas and caspase-8 were not significantly altered. Conclusion: A Croton tiglium extract can inhibit proliferation of A549 cells and promote apoptosis though Bax/Bcl-2 pathways.