A frequent question when dealing with the search for gastroprotective compounds from natural sources is how far or close are both the plant preparations and extract amounts from the doses recommended in traditional medicine and what should be considered realistic levels for experimental studies. The administration way is oral and therefore extracts and products should be administered by gavage when looking for validation of ethnopharmacological uses. Suggestions of doses for both crude extracts and pure compounds are presented and discussed. For plant extracts prepared from single herbs and herbal mixtures, dose-response studies in the range between 100 and 300 mg/kg are suggested, with more than a single gastric ulcer model either in rats or mice. A suitable reference compound should be used according to the ulcer model and in doses resembling those used for human patients. For pure compounds and structure-activity studies or trends, dose-response results should be provided for at least a parent compound in order to select a reasonable dose for comparison purposes. We suggest an evaluation of the activity of the parent compound in the 50-300 mg/kg range and to look for structural modification leading to derivatives with similar or higher gastroprotective effects than the reference antiulcer compounds. (C) 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.