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Lithium Alternatives

Lithium Alternatives

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Lithium alternatives may be of interest if you are worried about the risk of renal, brain, pregnancy or heart problems, or developing abnormal muscle movements or other complications that have been linked to lithium carbonate, the pharmaceutical synthesized version of lithium.

Certainly, symptoms that led to being prescribed a “bi-polar disorder agent” may still be troubling a person even after years on medication that can only mask over but not correct such conditions. 

Do you have unsettling questions about your diagnosis?

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Alternative to Meds focuses on lithium alternatives as natural means to regaining mental wellness. In order to do this, our clinical staff seeks to exhaustively uncover and then resolve issues that may have led to prescription medication. Our 15 years of experience, as shown in our evidence-based performance report, shows a remarkable success rate in resolving these often ruinous conditions without relying on prescription drugs as an answer. We know there are better, natural solutions for mental conditions that could have been prematurely or wrongly diagnosed in the first place.
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Choosing Lithium Alternatives vs Lithium  

natural alternatives to lithiumLithium alternatives may offer a better option for addressing mood swings than you may have been presented before.

There are two forms of lithium available to consumers: there is a natural form of the metal/mineral (lithium orotate), considered to have neuroprotective characteristics. And there is its synthesized counterpart (lithium carbonate). Both the orotate and the carbonate versions of lithium have health applications. 

About Lithium Carbonate

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Lithium carbonate is synthesized, chemically processed and sold in the pharmacy. Lithium carbonate is available only with a prescription.

Lithium carbonate carries with it a significant burden of side effects, in some cases severe enough to require hospitalization. Studies show an extensive toxicity profile for lithium carbonate² such as hypothyroidism, renal failure, weight gain, and other potential risks where discontinuation would be indicated.  

About Lithium Orotate

lithium alternatives for natural solutions to mood swingsIn contrast, lithium orotate, sometimes called “nutritional lithium” is a combination of earth-sourced lithium and a compound that is naturally found in the body (orotic acid). Lithium orotate is available over the counter as a nutriceutical, and is listed as an essential trace element according to the WHO in its literature on the subject of essential nutrients.¹ 

The orotate form contains much less lithium than the chemically processed versions and it is thought that is why it does not produce the same harsh side effects as lithium carbonate. While it is better not to suffer a renal failure or other crises from prescription drugs, simply taking a supplement without addressing root causes for symptoms may not have been enough to sufficiently get a person’s health and mental health back on track. 

Lithium Carbonate Toxicity

toxic drugs vs natural alternativesHowever, if you were prescribed lithium by a doctor or psychiatrist to treat bipolar or other conditions, it would likely have been the pharmaceutical version (lithium carbonate).  There is a well-documented risk that for the drug to be effective at suppressing mania the blood levels have to be quite high, and a little more than that, lithium carbonate becomes dangerous. For this reason, the carbonate form is considered more problematic because it can cause harsh and high-risk side effects. This may have created a situation where the benefits of lithium have been outweighed by the harsh reactions from continuing to take it. If this is the case, you are definitely not alone. While lithium orotate may not be as prone to causing harsh side effects, it also may not have provided you with the results you were hoping to achieve. In both of these cases, natural lithium alternatives might be the option to consider. 

Please remember, NEVER STOP TAKING ANY PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG ABRUPTLY. ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE BEFORE MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION ROUTINE THAT MAY PUT YOUR HEALTH AT RISK. 

Please note: None of the information given here should be taken as medical advice, nor acted upon without consulting your prescribing physician or trusted caregiver. 

Top 8 Lithium Alternatives  

  • Nutritional lithium orotate does not carry the same burden of toxicity as lithium carbonate.*
  • Certain supplements such as St John’s Wort has shown positive efficacy over placebo in thousands of international studies³, SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-methionine), or Rhodiola (herb grown in Eastern Europe and other parts of the world) *
  • Cleaning the body of neurotoxic accumulations, i.e., mercury, lead, etc.
  • Lifestyle changes, parenting, vocational or other life skills improvements
  • Removing or reducing exposure to environmental elements such as cleaning products, paint, pesticides, or additives in food known to cause mental health issues 
  • Maintaining a clean diet designed to support neurochemistry 
  • Resolving or removing oneself from toxic relationships, workplace stress, etc.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are a significant and well-documented alternative strategy.

* Note: efficacy may be higher where symptoms, i.e. depression, are mild to moderate.  

Toxicity, the Gut, and Mental Health

One of the most effective strategies is the removal of toxic accumulations from the body. This is done using safe, non-invasive measures such as low-temperature sauna, chelation, ionic foot baths, colonics, and other ways to remove the build-up of neurotoxic materials in the body. Depression has been observed to manifest where toxicity levels are high. It is thought that these neurotoxins can significantly impair and interrupt normal CNS function, leading to depression or other stress. We are talking about heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and many other neurotoxic materials that our environments subject us all to over the course of our lives.

natural alternatives for mental healthIt is important to work on improving gut health. Most of our neurochemicals are naturally produced in the digestive system. Having a clean, functioning internal environment is probably one of the most important factors in maintaining overall health, including mental health.

When these neurotoxic poisons get cleared out, and a healthy gut is supported with clean food and targeted supplementation, the neurochemistry is allowed to rehabilitate naturally and toxicity-driven symptoms, such as depression, tiredness, anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, etc., will significantly lessen and sometimes entirely lift. 

Find Out More About Natural Alternatives to Prescription Drugs 

Happy Days: What A Day At Our Healing Center Looks LikeFor over 15 years we have been helping our clients address mood swings, depression, anxiety, and other unwanted conditions by safely transitioning away from toxic prescription drugs and over to an effective regimen of natural methods and strategies that result in better mental health naturally. The focus of our programs is always to aim for finding and resolving root causes, not seeking better bandages to cover an unresolved mental health crisis.  Please contact us at the Alternative to Meds Center to get more information on the many methods that we use to rehabilitate healthy neurochemistry, support a healthy microbiome, increase energy, improve sleep, and much more. 

We are a pristine, top-tier licensed inpatient facility and we are insurance-friendly. Our sole purpose is to help you find the exact Lithium alternatives and other strategies that can help transition to a state of vastly improved natural mental health without prescription drugs. 


  1. Trace elements in human health.” book and PDF authored and published 1996 by the World Health Org, [Internet] [cited September 8, 2020]  

  2. McKnight R, Adida M, Budge K, Goodwin G, Stockton S, Geddes J,  “Lithium toxicity profile: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Lancet 2012 Feb 25;379(9817):721-8.

     DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61516-X. Epub 2012 Jan 20 [cited September 9. 2020]

  3. Berner L, Kriston L,  “St. John’s wort for treating depression.” Cochrane [Internet] October 8, 2008 [cited September 9, 2020]

  4. McNamara R K, “Mitigation of Inflammation-Induced Mood Dysregulation by Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” Journal of American College of Nutrition [Internet] 2015;34 Suppl 1(0 1):48-55. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2015.1080527 [cited September 9, 2020]

  5.  De Barardis D, et al.,  “A comprehensive review on the efficacy of S-Adenosyl-L-methionine in Major Depressive Disorder.” 

      



This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Samuel Lee

Dr. Samuel Lee is a board-certified psychiatrist, specializing in a spiritually-based mental health discipline and integrative approaches. He graduated with an MD at Loma Linda University School of Medicine and did a residency in psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He has also been an inpatient adult psychiatrist at Kaweah Delta Mental Health Hospital and the primary attending geriatric psychiatrist at the Auerbach Inpatient Psychiatric Jewish Home Hospital. In addition, he served as the general adult outpatient psychiatrist at Kaiser Permanente.  He is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Religion from Pacific Union College. His specialty is in natural healing techniques that promote the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

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