Chinese herbs are widely used in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis B. The effectiveness of 2 months' treatment with Astragali compound (AC), containing Radix Astragali and adjuvant components, was studied for the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis in 116 patients; 92 patients were given other drugs in regular clinical use for viral hepatitis (controls). The clinical efficacy of AC was significantly better in AC-treated patients than in controls. Negative seroconversions of hepatitis B virus (HBV) antigen e and HBV DNA were also significantly higher in AC-treated patients than in controls. Of eight duck viral hepatitis B models infected with duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) and treated with AC, three showed negative seroconversion of DHBV DNA and serum DHBV DNA levels significantly decreased after AC administration compared with the controls; DHBV DNA was negative in biopsied liver tissue by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in two ducks treated with AC. Pathological changes were milder in AC-treated ducks than in controls. These results indicate that AC may promote recovery from viral hepatitis and inhibit HBV replication.