ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Senecio candicans DC (Asteraceae) is used as a remedy for gastric ulcer and stomach pain in the Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu for which no scientific evidence exists. AIM OF THE STUDY The present study was performed to evaluate the gastroprotective effects and acute oral toxicity of aqueous leaf extract of Senecio candicans (AESC) in experimental models. MATERIALS AND METHODS The antiulcerogenic activity of AESC was performed in two different ulcer models viz., pylorus-ligated model and ethanol-induced model using Wistar albino rats. Acute toxicity study was also performed to get information on the admissible dose for treatment of ulcer. Preliminary phytochemical screening of AESC was performed to find the active principles present, which are thus responsible for the antiulcerogenic activity. DPPH assay was performed to confirm the antioxidant activity of AESC. RESULTS The acute toxicity study did not show any mortality up to 2500mg/kg b.w. of AESC. Both the ulcer models showed gastroprotective effect comparable to that of the standard Omeprazole. The results of antioxidant enzymes, histopathology sections, ATPase and mucus content of gastric secretion showed that several mechanisms are involved in the gastroprotective effect. The preliminary phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids and steroids in AESC. The DPPH assay confirmed the antioxidant activity of AESC. CONCLUSION The traditional consumption of AESC for the treatment of gastric ulcer is thus true, the antioxidant constituents present in the extract plays a major role in the gastroprotective activity, but since Senecio species are known for the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, a detailed study in future is required to describe the safe dose for a prolonged period.