Lithium – A Brain Nutrient Series Part Five: Lithium for Mood and Depression

                                                                         Majid Ali, M.D.

Lithium gave Lithia Springs and Lithia Water their names. Many healing benefits were attributed to Lithia Water during the years of early American history and the water pulled people from long distances for healing hopes. Such visitors included people with mental health concerns. In 1887 Judge Bowden, an investor, bought the springs with a group of other investors and started bottling and selling Bowden Lithia Spring Water. That same year a 500 health resort named the Sweet Water Hotel opened in Lithia Springs, and celebrities attracted to it included Mark Twain, Vanderbilt family, and Presidents Cleveland, Taft, McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

1887 Lithia Springs Poster

 

Lithia Springs Views 2014

The health benefits of lithium-rich mineral waters were recognized in North America long before its modern history. There is evidence of Lithia Springs in Georgia having been recognized ancient Native Americans as far back as 1000 years.

Lithia water is lithium-rich mineral waters containing variable amounts of lithium salts (as lithium carbonate or lithium chloride). Such mineral spring waters are rare. Another notable example is water of Ashland, Oregon’s Lithia Park. The water pumped and bottled here is also popular for its health benefits.

Lithium gave Lithia Springs and Lithia Water their names. Many healing benefits were attributed to Lithia Water during the years of early American history and the water pulled people from long distances for healing hopes. Such visitors included people with mental health concerns. In 1887 Judge Bowden, an investor, bought the springs with a group of other investors and started bottling and selling Bowden Lithia Spring Water. That same year a 500 health resort named the Sweet Water Hotel opened in Lithia Springs, and celebrities attracted to it included Mark Twain, Vanderbilt family, and Presidents Cleveland, Taft, McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.


Lithium in Modern Scientific Context

In the modern scientific context, the story of lithium’s health benefits began in 1949 with a report by an Australian psychiatrist, John Cade, who recognized it as an effective treatment for bipolar depression disorder. It was approved as a drug by the Food and Drug Administration in 1970. Later studies showed that its efficacy in mood disorders and suicide prevention appeared to as good or better than nearly all other psychotropic drugs used for this purpose.

Lithium Series

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