The aim of this study was the characterization of the in vitro cytotoxic properties of a recently isolated diterpene compound, 7β-acetoxy-20-hydroxy-19,20-epoxyroyleanone (compound 1), extracted from Salvia corrugata, versus human cell lines. We used as model study immortalized breast epithelial cells MCF10A and two ERBB2+ breast cancer (BCa) cell lines, SKBR-3 and BT474. Compound 1 was isolated by methanolic extraction from regenerated shoots of Salvia corrugata Vahl, and purified by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Flow cytometry (FCM) was employed for cell cycle, apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) analysis. Cell morphology was assessed by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Compound 1 inhibited cell survival of all breast cell lines. In particular, compound 1 promoted cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1 phase and apoptosis along with impairment of the mitochondrial function, which was reflected in a gross alteration of the mitochondrial network structure. Furthermore, we also detected a potent activation of the ERK1/2 kinase, which suggested the induction of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Partial rescue of survival obtained with n-acetylcysteine (NAC) when coadminstered with compound 1 further supported a contribution of ROS mediated mechanisms to the growth-arrest and proapoptotic activity of compound 1 in both BCa cell lines. ROS production was indeed confirmed in SKBR-3. Our findings show that compound 1 has a cytotoxic activity against both human normal and cancer cell lines derived from breast epithelia, which is mediated by ROS generation and mitochondrial damage.