The reactive oxygen species(ROS)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) destroyed autophagy and the reactive oxygen species/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway are considered closely related to ethanol-induced hepatocellular injury. Previous work indicated that corosolic acid, the natural extracts of leaves of the banaba tree, Lagerstroemia speciosa L., could protect the liver against ethanol-induced damage, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. In the study we found that corosolic acid significantly inhibited ethanol-induced apoptosis, increased level of tumor necrosis factor-α(TNF-α) and reactive oxygen species accumulation in vitro. Corosolic acid inhibited ethanol-activated p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase MAPK signaling in BRL-3A and HepG2 cells as well as in experimental rats. Corosolic acid restored the ethanol-suppressed expression of autophagy-related genes, including beclin-1 and the ratio of microtubule-associated protein light chain 3II/I (LC3II/I) via AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation both in vitro and in vivo. In experimental rats, corosolic acid ameliorated the detrimental histopathological findings. Corosolic acid may protect the liver against ethanol-induced injury by modulation of MAPK signaling and autophagy activation. These findings suggested that corosolic acid might be a promising agent in treatment of alcoholic liver diseases.