This research focused on a Chinese herb medicine, Solanum lyratum Thunb (Solanaceae) by ethanol extracts (SLE) for investigating the molecular anticancer mechanism in vitro for exploring the means of cell death through the effects on mitochondrial function. We found that SLE induced cytotoxic effects in human osteosacroma U-2 OS cells, and these effects include cell morphological changes, a decrease of the percentage of viable cells and induction of apoptosis. The results suggest that cell death induced by SLE is closely related to apoptosis based on the observations of DAPI staining and sub-G1 phase in U-2 OS cells. Flow cytometric assays also showed that SLE promoted the production of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide but decreased the levels of mitochondrial membrane potential and promoted the activations of caspase-8 and -9 in U-2 OS cells. SLE inhibited the level of Bcl-2 but promoted the Bax level, and both proteins led to the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytosol and activation of caspase-9 and -3, resulting in the apoptotic death which is mediated through the mitochondrial pathway. Taken together, SLE was demonstrated to be effective in killing U-2 OS osteosacroma cells via the ROS-promoted and mitochondria- and caspase-dependent apoptotic pathways.