Treatment for fibromyalgia may include medication, lifestyle changes, and holistic approaches. Herbs and supplements may help, but research is generally older, limited, and lacking in long-term results.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder. Symptoms can include fatigue, brain fog, and widespread pain.

People with this condition often have sensitive, painful points in specific areas of their bodies. They also have chronic pain in muscles, ligaments, and joints. This pain comes and goes over time.

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. It may be related to the way the brain processes pain signals. There is currently no cure, so the treatment focuses on symptom relief.

There’s no single remedy that works for everyone. That said, read on to find out more about potential natural remedies.

Herbs and supplements may be safe and effective for fibromyalgia, but research is limited.

In 2020 researchers released a protocol suggesting a systematic review of the literature on herbs and supplements for use in fibromyalgia. They note it is the first study proposal to assess the safety and effectiveness of herbs and supplements in helping with fibromyalgia symptoms.

In a much older review from 2013, researchers noted that medicinal plants and similar compounds provide unclear results for fibromyalgia. They note that it shows promise for rheumatoid conditions, such as chronic fibromyalgia, but also state that additional studies are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of medicinal plants in treating or helping with the condition.

In a 2018 study, researchers examined how nutrition affects fibromyalgia. While they did not specifically study supplements, they did note that achieving adequate nutritional levels and avoiding certain substances, such as mercury, may help with improving the symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, they state additional research is necessary.

This could imply that certain nutritional supplements geared toward improving your nutritional intake of nutrients may help, but that is speculative.

Panax ginseng is also known as Asian ginseng, Korean ginseng, and Chinese ginseng

It’s available as an herbal supplement. Dosing can vary between products. You should read the label carefully or talk with a doctor about what dose will potentially work for you.

In a 2022 study, researchers examined HRG80™ Red Ginseng’s effect on chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. They noted that the supplement helped with several different symptoms associated with both conditions.

They noted specifically that it:

  • helped improve overall well-being
  • increased energy
  • improved mental clarity

A flowering herb, St. John’s wort is available in tablet and capsule form. St. John’s Wort is also available as an extract in oil form.

Dosing can vary between different brands, so you should read the label carefully to get the right dosing.

St. John’s wort can negatively interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and birth control pills, so it’s important to discuss its use with a doctor.

St. John’s wort may help alleviate depression in people with fibromyalgia. It may also help reduce inflammation, according to an older 2009 study. This is the most recent study looking at St. John’s wort available.

Melatonin is a natural hormone. It’s produced in the pineal gland, which is located in the brain.

Melatonin is also manufactured synthetically and is available in supplement form. This hormone helps to regulate sleep cycles, which can make it beneficial to people with fibromyalgia. Poor quality of sleep and exhaustion are common symptoms of this condition.

A 2020 systematic review looked at 4 studies assessing the use of melatonin in fibromyalgia. They found that no adverse events (side effects) were noted, and the studies all reported positive impacts from using melatonin. They also noted additional studies are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness in helping with symptoms, such as issues with sleep.

Melatonin may help improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. You should talk with a doctor or follow recommended doses on the bottle you obtain.

Chlorella pyrenoidosa is an alga harvested from freshwater sources. It contains many macronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and protein. It is available in supplement form.

An older 2001 study found that people with fibromyalgia experienced better quality of life due to an overall reduction in symptoms when taking chlorella in supplement form. Study participants were given a combination of 10 grams (g) of pure chlorella as a tablet, plus mL of a liquid containing chlorella extract daily, for 2 to 3 months.

This is the most recent available study on chlorella pyrenoidosa available. Future studies may help to further prove if it is safe and effective for larger groups of people.

ALCAR is an amino acid produced naturally by the body. It is also manufactured synthetically and available in supplement form.

A 2015 study indicated that ALCAR might reduce pain and depression in people with fibromyalgia. Some participants in the study were given a dosage of 1500 mg of ALCAR daily for 12 weeks. Others were given duloxetine (Cymbalta), an antidepressant.

Both groups showed an improvement in symptoms, although researchers indicated that more studies are needed.

Magnesium is a mineral that can be found in a wide range of foods, including almonds, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and spinach. It is also available in capsule form and as a topical solution.

An older 2010 study reported that women with fibromyalgia have lower levels of magnesium and other minerals in their bodies.

Based on these findings, another research study from 2021 sought to determine the effects of magnesium applied topically on those with fibromyalgia. Study participants received a sprayed-on solution of 400 mg of magnesium on their arms and legs two times a day for one month.

Findings indicated positive results, with an overall improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms.

Valerian root may help with fibromyalgia symptoms. According to one study published in 2017, extract from the root may help by interacting with the brain‑derived neurotrophic factor.

This may help provide a protective benefit against both pain and mental health disorders that often accompany fibromyalgia, such as depression.

Several older studies have pointed out that 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) may help with several symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including:

  • muscle pain
  • anxiety
  • fatigue
  • sleep problems
  • improve serotonin

A 2021 study showed that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors could help treat fibromyalgia. These medications affect serotonin levels in the brain.

Before trying 5-HTP, a person should talk with a doctor about the possibility that it may help with their symptoms.

Vitamin D may provide some protective benefits from fibromyalgia. According to a 2017 meta-analysis, experts recommend providing vitamin D to at-risk groups, such as people assigned female at birth, as a preventive measure to protect against the condition.

However, additional studies looking at other factors, such as obesity, are still needed to fully understand how and if vitamin D will effectively prevent or help with fibromyalgia.

Herbs and supplements are readily available in stores and online. Many different companies make supplements both in the United States and abroad.

It’s important not to assume that easy access and “natural” ingredients translate into overall safety. Many supplements, such as St. John’s Wort, can interfere with other medications you may already be taking.

Melatonin may cause headaches in some people. Ginseng may exacerbate insomnia in some people, even though it helps to alleviate insomnia in others.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also does not regulate supplements like it does medications and food. A company is responsible for its own testing, and a product may only be pulled after it comes to market. However, no company can claim that their product can treat or cure a specific medical condition.

You should talk with a doctor before starting any new supplement, herb, or natural supplement. Note that valerian root, as well as other herbs and supplements, can have unpleasant side effects.

This includes drowsiness, so you should speak to your doctor before choosing to try these and use them carefully. Avoid operating any machinery while under their effect.

What supplements are best for fibromyalgia?

Supplements may be helpful for some people, but no supplement has extensive research to back up its safe and effective use. Some supplements that may help with symptoms include melatonin and St. John’s wort. You should check with a medical professional before starting any new supplements.

Do any supplements help with fibromyalgia?

Some people believe that supplements will help with fibromyalgia. However, limited long-term studies have shown supplement safety or effectiveness, so you may or may not experience any symptom relief when taking a supplement.

Which vitamin deficiency causes fibromyalgia?

It is possible, based on some evidence, that magnesium and vitamin D deficiencies may contribute to fibromyalgia. However, additional studies are needed to show how other factors influence its development.

What is the number one treatment for fibromyalgia?

Therapy for fibromyalgia is not a one size fits all model. Instead, you should work with a healthcare team to find the solution that works for you. A treatment team should be able to help you figure out what therapies will work best for your individual needs. Medications, such as anti-epileptics and anti-depressants, as well as exercise, dietary changes, and other lifestyle changes, may help.

Herbal supplements may be used to help complement other fibromyalgia treatments. Supplements are required to meet manufacturing guidelines established by the FDA. However, they’re considered dietary supplements, not drugs or food.

To determine how these products will affect you, check with a healthcare professional. Choose products manufactured in the United States. Never exceed the recommended dose on the label or one that a doctor recommends. Only purchase herbs and supplements from trusted brands with third-party testing of their products.