The chemotherapeutic agents used to treat nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) exhibit low efficacy. Strobilanthes crispa Blume is widely used for its anticancer, diuretic and anti-diabetic properties. The present study aimed to determine the cytotoxic and apoptogenic effects of S. crispa on CNE-1 NPC cells. A 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay was used to evaluate the cytotoxic effects of S. crispa against CNE-1 cells. The rate of apoptosis was determined using propidium iodide staining and caspase assays. Ethyl acetate, hexane and chloroform extracts of S.leaves all exhibited cytotoxic effects on CNE-1 cells, at a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 119, 123-5 and 161-7 ?g/ml, respectively. In addition, hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of S. crispa stems inhibited CNE-1 cell proliferation, at a IC50 of 49-4, 148-3 and 163-5 ?g/ml, respectively. Flow cytometric analysis revealed an increased proportion of cells in the sub G1 phase and a decreased proportion of cells in the G2/M phase, following treatment with the extracts. However, the extracts did not alter the activities of caspase-3/7,-8 and-9. No cytotoxic effect was observed when the cells were treated with the methanol and water extracts of S. crispa stems and leaves. In conclusion, the S-extracts were cytotoxic against CNE-1 cells and these extracts were able to induce apoptosis, independent of caspase activation.