The gastric cytoprotective effect of beta-caryophyllene, an anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene, was investigated in rats. The oral administration of beta-caryophyllene to rats significantly inhibited gastric mucosal injuries induced by necrotizing agents such as absolute ethanol and 0.6 N HCl, although it failed to prevent water immersion stress- and indomethacin-induced gastric lesions. In addition, this compound hardly affected the secretion of gastric acid and pepsin. Thus, beta-caryophyllene elicited anti-inflammatory effects without any indication of gastric mucosal damage typical of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents. Furthermore, this compound manifested cytoprotective effects, rendering the two-dimensional efficacious beta-caryophyllene to be a clinically safe and potentially useful agent.