Microglia have multiple functions in regulating homeostasis of the central nervous system. Microglia cells have been implicated as active contributors to neuron damage in neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, medicinal plant extracts (MPEs) were used to evaluate the cell-death induction effect in microglia BV-2 cells. Among 35 MPEs tested in this study, 4 MPEs showed less than a 30% cell survival after 24 hours of incubation. These were Foeniculi Fructus, Forsythiae Fructus, Zingiberis Rhizoma and Hedera Rhombea. The concentration showed that 50% cell death (IC50) occurred with 33, 83, 67 Ed highlight: Please confirm wording, and 81 µ /ml, respectively. For further study, we chose Zingiberis Rhizoma (ZR) which showed a reasonably low IC50 value and an induction of cell death in a relatively narrow range. Western blot analysis showed that ZR-treated cells showed activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP Ed highlight: When an acronym is first presented it needs to be spelled out in both dose- and time-dependent manners. However, the level of Bcl-2 and Bax were not changed by ZR-treatment in BV-2 cells. These results suggest that ZR-induced apoptosis in BV-2 cells occured through caspase-3 activation. The results also suggested that ZR may be useful in developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.