Matrine is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine that shows antitumor efficacy for many types of cancer. The present study evaluated the antitumor efficacy of matrine on cervical cancer and to investigate the underlying mechanisms. We performed MTT assays, and in vitro invasion and migration assays, and P1 L6 found that matrine significantly inhibited cervical cancer cell growth by inducing apoptosis, and suppressed the invasion and migration ability of cervical cancer cells in vitro in a concentration-dependent manner. Mechanistically, we found that matrine decreased the expression and activity of the extracellular matrix factors, matrix metalloproteinases-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9 via the suppression of p38 signaling pathway. In addition, when cervical cancer cells were grown as xenografts in nude mice, intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of matrine induced a signiﬁcant dose-dependent decrease in tumor growth. Taken together, these findings suggest that a potential mechanism by which matrine inhibits the growth and metastasis of cervical cancer through downregulating the p38 signaling pathway.