Plant extracts are some of the most attractive sources of new drugs and have shown promising results for the treatment of gastric ulcers. Several folk medicinal plants and herbs have been used to treat gastrointestinal disorders, including gastric ulcers. Mammea americana L. (Guttiferae) fruit is very common in the diet of the population of northern South America. Our research interest in this plant arose because of its potential medicinal value as a tonic and against stomachache, as used in folk medicine. In this paper we evaluated three different extracts (ethanolic/EtOH, methanolic/MeOH and dichloromethane/DCM) obtained from M. americana L., for their ability to protect the gastric mucosa against injuries caused by necrotizing agents (0.3 M HCl/60% EtOH), hypothermic restraint stress, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID, indomethacin) and pylorus ligation. In the HCl/EtOH-induced gastric-ulcer model, EtOH and DCM extracts demonstrated significant inhibition of the ulcerative lesion index by 54% (12.0 +/- 2.6 mm) and 86% (3.7 +/- 1.8 mm), respectively, in relation to the control value (26.0 +/- 1.4 mm) (p<0.0001). In the NSAID/cholinomimetic-induced lesion model, both EtOH and DCM extracts showed antiulcerogenic effects with significant reduction in the damage to these gastric lesions of 36% (8.3 +/- 2.0 mm) and 42% (7.5 +/- 1.4 mm), respectively, as compared to the control group (13.0 +/- 0.9 mm) (p<0.0001). In the gastric ulcer induced by hypothermic-restraint stress, both extracts also showed significant activity, and inhibited the gastric lesion index by 58% and 75%, respectively. The EtOH and DCM extracts also changed gastric juice parameters as well as those of cimetidine, decreased gastric acid secretion significantly (p<0.0001), increased pH values and promoted reduced acid output (p<0.0001). In all gastric-ulcer-induced models, MeOH extract did not show any significant antiulcerogenic activity, nor did it change gastric-juice parameters (p>0.05). The results suggest that EtOH and DCM extracts obtained from M. americana possess excellent antisecretory and/or gastrotective effect in all gastric ulcer models. These results suggest that the antiulcerogenic compound(s) present in M. americana may be clustered in the apolar fraction, which will be investigated by our group for the probable mechanisms of action.