The mature fruits of Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae) are used externally for the rapid healing of wounds and internally for the treatment of peptic ulcers in Turkish folk medicine. For the evaluation of the latter activity, ethanol-induced ulcerogenesis model in rats was employed. The olive oil extract of the material as well as dried-powdered fruits in filtered honey showed significant and dose-dependent anti-ulcerogenic activity against this model. A potent and dose-dependent inhibitory activity was also observed by the administration of ethanol extract of the fruits. For the bioassay-guided fractionation, the material was first extracted with hexane and then by ethanol and both extracts were found active against the same ulcer model. Furthermore, ethanol extract of the fruits showed significant activity against HCl-EtOH induced ulcerogenesis in indomethacin-pretreated rats and diethyldithiocarbamate-induced ulcer models. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.