Carcinogenesis is a complex and multistep process that involves the accumulation of successive transformational events driven by genetic mutations and epigenetic alterations that affect major cellular processes and pathways such as proliferation, differentiation, invasion and survival. Massive deregulation of all components of the epigenetic machinery is a hallmark of cancer. These alterations affect normal gene regulation and impede normal cellular processes including cell cycle, DNA repair, cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Since epigenetic alterations appear early in cancer development and represent potentially initiating events during carcinogenesis, they are considered as promising targets for anti-cancer interventions by chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic strategies using epigenetically active agents. In this field, plant-derived compounds have shown promise. Here, we will give an overview of plant-derived compounds displaying anticancer properties that interfere with the epigenetic machinery.