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The effects of Matricaria recutita and α-bisabolol, a bioactive component from Chamomile species, were investigated against gastric damage induced by absolute ethanol (96%, 1mL per animal) in rats. The effects of M. recutita extract and α-bisabolol on gastric mucosal damage were assessed by determination of changes in mean gastric lesion area. Mechanistic studies were carried out at with 100mg/kg α-bisabolol. We further examined the possible participation of prostaglandins, nitric oxide, and K+ATP channels in its mechanism. M. recutita reduced gastric damage in all doses tested. α-Bisabolol at oral doses of 50 and 100mg/kg markedly attenuated the gastric lesions induced by ethanol to the extent of 87% and 96%, respectively. Pretreatments with the nitric oxide antagonist N-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (10mg/kg, i.p.) or with indomethacin, an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase, failed to block effectively the gastroprotective effect of α-bisabolol. Furthermore, the α-bisabolol effect was significantly reduced in rats pretreated with glibenclamide, an inhibitor of K+ATP channel activation. Thus we provide evidence that α-bisabolol reduces the gastric damage induced by ethanol, at least in part, by the mechanism of activation of K+ATP channels.