We examined the effect of a liquid diet or a combined diet of liquid plus cellulose on the healing of gastric ulcers induced in rats in comparison with that of solid chow. Ulcers were induced in the fundus of the stomach by luminal application of an acetic acid solution. The healing of ulcers could be divided into two phases based on the healing rate: early phase (days 1 to 10) and late phase (days 10 to 20). The liquid diet, but not the combined one, administered for 10 days significantly accelerated ulcer healing in both the early and late phases. The length of the ruptured muscularis mucosa decreased only in the liquid diet group in both phases. Regeneration of the ulcerated mucosa in the chow diet group was observed only in the late phase, it being markedly inhibited in the liquid diet group. The serum gastrin level significantly decreased in the liquid and combined diet groups in contrast to that in the chow group. The liquid and combined diets significantly reduced gastric mucosal DNA synthesis. We conclude that 1) the healing in this gastric ulcer model comprises two phases, and 2) tissue contraction is a major factor for the healing of gastric ulcers in the early phase, while both tissue contraction and regeneration of the ulcerated mucosa are involved in the healing in the late phase.