A total of 25 "heat-clearing and detoxifying" herbs used in Chinese medicine were investigated for their cytopathic effects on the growth of Newcastle Disease virus (NDV) in a chicken fibroblast cell line. The 5 herbs with the highest virus inhibitory effects were Herba agastaches, Flos chrysanthemi indici, Rhizoma anemarrhenae, Astragalus root and Baikal skullcap root and these were used in herbal formulations. Anti-NDV activities of 4 formulations were tested on the growth of NDV in the DF-1 fibroblast cell line. Formulation II, containing Baikal skullcap root, Astragalus root, Anemarrhena rhizome (1:1:2) and formulation IV containing Anemarrhena rhizome, Astragalus root and Flos chrysanthemi indici (1:1:1), which had strong anti-NDV activity in vitro, were used to determine the in vivo inhibitory effects of NDV-infection in chickens. After treatment with the two formulations serum IgY titres against NDV were improved, and morbidity was reduced in the NDV-infected chickens. The results suggest that the components in formulations II and IV acted synergistically to improve resistance to Newcastle disease and provide a basis for the developing an anti-NDV herbal medicine.