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The Antiviral action of Astragalus is most likely due to increased immunity and interferon production. It protects mice against Para influenza virus infection and augments interferon response to viral infection. Astragalus which is a Chinese herb known as Huang QI, has also shown to protect against Coxsackie B virus infection of myocardial cells both in vitro and vivo.
In clinical studies a prophylactic effect on the common cold was found with a decreased incidence and shortened duration of infection.
Astragalus is useful in the prevention of viral infections because of its immunostimulant properties. It is particularly indicated for the treatment of chronic viral infections, especially if debility and spontaneous sweating are also present.