Traditional medicinal plants are widely used as immunomodulatory medicines that help improve health. A total of 50 different plants used for the treatment of toxicity were screened for their in vivo protective effects. Flies were fed a standard cornmeal-yeast medium (control group) or the standard medium containing medicinal plant extracts (experimental groups). Assessment of the survival rate was performed by feeding flies with toxic compounds. Gut epithelial cells were analyzed for cell proliferation and death by green fluorescent protein antibodies and 7-aminoactinomycin D staining under the microscope. The expression of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) was evaluated by the quantitative polymerase chain reaction and the results revealed that after feeding the flies with toxic compounds, aqueous extracts from Codonopsis pilosula (Franch.) Nannf (C. pilosula), Saussurea lappa (Decne.) C.B.Clarke (S. lappa), Imperata cylindrica Beauv.var.major (Nees) C.E. Hubb. (I. cylindrical var. major) and Melia toosendan Sied. Et Zucc. (M.toosendan) increased the fly survival rate, reduced epithelial cell death and improved gut morphology. In addition, C. pilosula extracts induced the antimicrobial peptide levels (Dpt and Mtk) following treatment with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). However, these extracts were not observed to increase SDS-induced cell proliferation in vivo. These results indicate that there are strong protective effects in extracts of C. pilosula, S. lappa, I. cylindrical var. major and M. toosendan on Drosophila intestinal cells among 50 medicinal plants.