In the present scenario, depression has become quite common  among millennials and generation Z. Depression is a mood disorder in which a person has a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, low self esteem, lack of joy, anxiety, loneliness etc. The mood fluctuations become part of life. Not only  mental symptoms but physical symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite, lack of concentration, persistently low spirit, body aches, impaired sex drive. Suicidal tendency associated with depression is red flag or a wake up call.There are many forms of depressions that may vary in episodes, duration. Its chronicity leads to an individual’s  ability to sleep, eat, work etc. According to Ayurveda

Kapha dosha is vitiated that leads to mandagni (low digestive power) which in turns causes rasvaha strotodhusti there by impairing  samriti (recalling power) buddhi (intellect) and due to this alpa satva (less intellectual) person falls into depression. There are lots of antidepressants in allopathy but they have huge side effects. SO today we will discuss CYMBALTA, an antidepressant drug and its equivalent herbs mentioned in our classical ayurvedic texts.


Duloxetine is a constituent  of Cymbalta. It  is an antidepressant drug that falls into the category selective serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor (SSNRI). This drug is used in managing  major depressive or anxiety disorder. It also manages nerve pain due to diabetes and chronic musculoskeletal pain. It manages symptoms of depression by altering brain cell’s neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that change the communication between brain cells that regulate mood.



  1. Nausea or vomiting
  2. Sweating or night sweats
  3. Headache
  4. Difficulty in sleeping
  5. Dizziness
  6. Heartburn
  7. Weight changes
  8. Increased urination
  9. Decreased sex drive
  10. Muscle pain or cramps
  11. Tremors
  12. Dry mouth
  13. Loss of appetite


Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine existing from more than 3000 years which believes in healing. Ayurveda manages the ailments by purification of body and mind through herbal remedies, diet, therapeutic massage, yoga and meditation. In depression, according to Ayurveda Manovah srotas (brain channels) are vitiated and vata dosha is aggravated giving neurological symptoms like anxiety, sadness, loneliness etc. Our Aacharya in ancient text mentioned some herbs called medhya rasayan (brain rejuvenators)  that act on our central nervous system relieving the symptoms. Some of the medhya rasayana are Mandookparni (Centella asiatica), Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra ), guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) etc.

Mandookparnyah swarasah prayojyah kshiren yashtimadhukasya churnam

Raso guduchyastu samoolpushpyah kalkah prayojyah khalu shankhpushpyah

(Ch.chi.1- 3/30)

The Description of the herbs are as follows

  1. Mandookparni (Centella asiatica): Mandook parni is a medhya rasayana that manages mental ailments. It is a kapha and pitta balancing herb. It is bitter in taste and has a cold potency. It nourishes the brain tissues (nootropic) and has immunomodulatory activities. It can be used as a substitute for brahmi. Its chemical components consist of alkaloids, glycosides, tannins , amino acids like glycine, aspartic acid etc. It improves memory and intellect through its specific action called prabhava. It  removes toxic free radicals from the body.
  2. Yastimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra ): Acharya Charak  mentioned that for its action as medhya rasayana , dry powder of yastimadhu’s roots with milk is really effective. Yastimadhu is madhur ars dravya (sweet in taste) and has cold potency(sheeta virya). It balances vitiated vata and pitta dosha. Its chemical composition consists of glycyrrhizin,  flavonoids, isoflavones etc. Yashtimadhu is a brain tonic and a  potent antioxidant. It increases blood circulation to the brain and balances the sugar levels of blood. When blood circulation is enhanced its working capacity is also being enhanced. Hence effective in managing symptoms of depression.
  3. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): Guduchi is a powerful immunomodulator that has anti stress and antimalarial properties. It is kashaya (astringent), katu (bitter) tikta(pungent) in taste. Its other name is Amrita. It contains alkaloids, glycosides, lactones, steroids etc. It is a neuroprotective herb and enhances memory. It possesses some trace elements like zinc, copper therefore acts as antioxidant which protects cells from free radical damage. It stimulates the immune system that enhances the synthesis of acetylcholine that ought to increase cognition power.
  4. Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis): Shankhpushpi is medhya rasayana, a potent antioxidant. It is a tikta (tikta rasa) dravya and has cold potency (sheeta virya) and balances all three doshas vata, pitta and kapha. The chemical constituents like  microphyllic acid, kaempferol-kaempferol-3-glucoside, 3, 4, shankhapushpi contain anti stress properties and increased motor activity of the brain. Shankhpushpi calms the nerves by regulating the secretions of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Hence manages the symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia.
  5. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri): Brahmi is a well known nootropic herb and has very good hepatoprotective properties. It is a tridoshic herb that means  it balances all three doshas vata, pitta and kapha. Brahmi is rich in saponins that help in maintaining  blood cholesterol levels. Other chemical constituents include bacopaside, glycosides etc.It has very good neuroprotective properties that scavenges the free radicals. It increases cognitive function, helps in retention of memory, it calms the nervous system, induces sleep that is helpful in managing all the symptoms of depression. 
  6. Kushmanda (Benincasa hispida): Kushmanda is a herb of the cucurbitaceae family. It is mahur (sweet) rasa herb. It balances vata and pitta dosha. Its chemical constituent consists of alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids and steroids. It has anti scavenging and antioxidant properties that protects the cell. Kushmandadi Ghrita as mentioned by our Aacharyas is effective in the management of Chittodvega (anxiety disorders).
  7. VACHA (Acorus calamus): Vacha is a katu (pungent) rasa dravya and is medhya rasayan in prabhava (special action). It’s also known by the name sweet flag. It is an effective nervous tonic and improves speech. It improves cognition and memory by regulating serotonins, acetylcholine and noradrenaline. It has a wide range of properties such as antimicrobial, antiemetic, and anthelmintic. It is a potent antioxidant that scavenges free radicals that may cause dementia. Its chemical composition consists of acorin, alpha and beta asarone, calacone, starch etc. Our Archaya mentioned the use of vacha with honey and swarn bhasm (gold) in  low dosage in children to increase immunity and intelligence and is called as lehana karma. Vacha has the potential to manage alzhimers and its associated symptoms.


Duloxetine, which is  Cymbalta, is an antidepressant. That pacifies the disease condition but leaves behind its ill effects. To overcome all the symptoms of depression  our acharyas have mentioned a wide range of MEDHYA RASAYANA that are purely safe and natural. Medhya rasayana are nootropic herbs that boost up brain activity, act as antioxidants and rejuvenate the body and mind. Along with managing the condition it also enhances the central nervous system and there’s never a chance of recurrence of the condition. Most herbs under medhya rasayana are of cold potency that generate calmness inside the mind and maintain harmony of body and soul. Above in this article various medhya rasayana  in alternate to cymbalta is mentioned.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD - Ayurveda) is a Globally Renowned Ayurveda Physician with Expertise of more than 25 Years. He is the CEO & Founder of Planet Ayurveda Private Limited, a leading Ayurveda Brand, Manufacturing, and Export Company with a Chain of Clinics and Branches in the US, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and other parts of the World. He is also an Ayurveda Author who has written Books on Ayurveda, translated into Many European Languages. One of his Books is "Ayurveda – God’s Manual for Healing". He is on a Mission to Spread Ayurveda All Over the Planet through all the Possible Mediums. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments with the help of the Purest Herbal Supplements, Diet, and Lifestyle, according to the Principles of Ayurveda. For More Details, visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com