Gynostemma pentaphyllum is an oriental medicinal herb reputed to have broad-spectrum activities. The plant's principal saponin components are structurally similar to those found in ginseng plants and this similarity is assumed to be responsible for the claimed activities. The present study was undertaken to evaluate a G. pentaphyllum butanol fraction (GPB) for its anti-gastric ulcer activity using experimental models. Oral administration of the GPB at 200 and 400 mg/kg body wt. significantly inhibited gastric ulcer formation induced by indomethacin, HCl/EtOH and water-immersion restraint stress in rats. In pylorus-ligated rats, pretreatment with the GPB had no effect on gastric volume, pH or acidity output, thus indicating a lack of anti-secretory effect. In ethanol-induced ulcerated rats, gastric wall mucus and hexosamine content were markedly preserved by GPB pretreatment. The findings indicate that the butanol fraction of G. pentaphyllum possesses gastroprotective potential related to the preservation of gastric mucus synthesis and secretion.