Polyphenols from persimmon (Diospyros kaki) have demonstrated radical-scavenging and antiinflammatory activities; however, little is known about the effects of persimmon phenolics on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Therefore, we aimed in this work to characterize the antiinflammatory and antiproliferative effects of a persimmon phenolic extract (80% acetone in water), using an in vivo model of experimental colitis and a model of cancer cell invasion. Our results show, for the first time, a beneficial effect of a persimmon phenolic extract in the attenuation of experimental colitis and a potential antiproliferative effect on cultured colon cancer cells. Administration of persimmon phenolic extract to mice with TNBS-induced colitis led to a reduction in several functional and histological markers of colon inflammation, namely: attenuation of colon length decrease, reduction of the extent of visible injury (ulcer formation), decrease in diarrhea severity, reduced mortality rate, reduction of mucosal hemorrhage and reduction of general histological features of colon inflammation. In vitro studies also showed that persimmon phenolic extract successfully impaired cell proliferation and invasion in HT-29 cells. Further investigation showed a decreased expression of COX-2 and iNOS in the colonic tissue of colitis mice, two important mediators of intestinal inflammation, but there was no inhibition of the gelatinase MMP-9 and MMP-2 activities. Given the role of inflammatory processes in the progression of CRC and the important link between inflammation and cancer, our results highlight the potential of persimmon polyphenols as a pharmacological tool in the treatment of patients with IBD.