There are many herbal remedies that can be used as alternatives to the prescription medication Cymbalta. This drug is prescribed for several different reasons, including depression, anxiety disorder, pain from fibromyalgia and diabetic nerve pain. Depending on the reason for use, in most cases a homeopathic or herbal alternative can be found to provide relief.



Treating Depression

The herb of choice for treating depression is St. John’s Wort. This herb has been used extensively in Europe and has become very popular in the United States in recent decades as well. It is reported to have fewer known side effects than prescription and over-the-counter drugs used for depression. The compound hypericin is present in this herb and is said to be the substance that is responsible for depression relief in St. John’s Wort.

Most naturopaths agree that 300 milligrams of standardized extract containing 0.03 hypericin can taken three times per day. Many users notice a change in their symptoms within two weeks. Caution should be used during exposure to sunlight because St. John’s Wort can cause photosensitivity.

Treating Anxiety

Valerian root is one of the most popular relaxation herbs. It has proven itself most useful in treating the insomnia that frequently occurs with depression and anxiety. Naturopaths usually recommend a dosage of 150 milligrams three times per day, and this same dosage can be taken approximately one hour to bed time as well. This herb is considered safe to use for short periods of time, but a break of at least two weeks should be observed so that the valerian usage does not become habit-forming.

Kava root is another herbal alternative that has been used to combat generalized anxiety and provide relief similar to that of Cymbalta. It has been used for centuries in folk medicine to treat the withdrawal symptoms of recovering alcoholics. Kava has also been used as a sleep aid and is usually taken in capsule form rather than tea. This is due to the fact that the heat dissipates the kavalactone, which is the active ingredient in Kava that provides the calming properties. The recommended dosage is usually 250 milligrams taken three days each day with meals.

Treating Nerve Pain

If Cymbalta has been prescribed for diabetic nerve pain or fibromyalgia, then the sufferer might try St. John’s Wort and Valerian. Both have been used to relieve nerve pain. The Valerian has a sedating effect on the nervous system and prevents nerves and muscles from having spasms. Other herbs that have been traditionally used for nerve pain are oatstraw, vervain and skullcap. The skullcap has a sedative effect and the oatstraw and vervain are nourishing to the nervous system, providing healing as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. These can all be taken in tincture form and dosage will vary depending on the strength of the preparation.

References and Resources

Cymbalta
Native Remedies
MotherNature.com