Lithium: learn the lasting benefits and side effects!

The Holistic Bio Spa is pleased to hand over the stage to Jake Ames, MD, HMD, as he explains the benefits of lithium in the brain and body. We are all ears, Jake!

I have prescribed lithium orotate to his patients since 1994. Lithium is an essential mineral for health. Many of us think that lithium is only used for bipolar disorder. It is a first-line treatment for bipolar disorder, but it has many other uses in the brain and body. It is actually a mineral, and it is not a drug.

I prescribe it for almost all of my patients in the form of lithium orotate at a dosage of 5-20 mg at bedtime. If patients feel good at 20 mg a day, I have them stay on that dose. Sometimes I prescribe lithium aspartate in some patients who are not tolerating lithium orotate. I have averaged seeing 80 patients a week since 1994, and almost all of my patients were prescribed lithium orotate. I only had a few patients who could not even tolerate 0.5 mg a day. I tested these few patients for allergies to elemental lithium, lithium carbonate, lithium orotate and lithium aspartate, and they did not test allergic to these using kinesiology testing which I’m 95% accurate compared to standard allergy blood testing.

Hair analysis showed these patients to be extremely low on lithium at less than 1/10,000 parts per million. I have not yet discovered why these patients could not tolerate lithium.

To make a long story short, eventually, these patients could tolerate lithium orotate, because I gave them different homeopathic dilutions of lithium, and “reset” their brain and body to accepting milligram doses of lithium.

For you reading this article, you should be able to tolerate 5 mg of lithium orotate at bedtime, slowly or quickly increasing to 20 mg at bedtime. If you cannot tolerate 5 mg at bedtime, take 1 mg, and increase slowly.

Side effects of lithium in the body

In almost everyone, I don’t see any side effects taking lithium orotate at 5-20 mg at bedtime. Occasionally if one takes lithium during the day, it might make one sleepy.

Lithium carbonate is the lithium that doctors prescribe to bipolar patients. At high doses, this form of lithium can cause some serious side effects, even death. That’s why these patients monitor their lithium levels with blood tests.

Very high doses of lithium carbonate may cause:

  • hypothyroidism
  • confusion
  • tachycardia or a slow heartbeat
  •  heart arrhythmia
  • weight gain
  • increased thirst
  • diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • tremors
  • blurred vision
  • ringing in the ears
  • coma

There are other minor side effects that you can look up. Now that I’ve scared you, you won’t have any of these side effects taking no more than 20 mg a day of lithium orotate. In fact, you are going to have marvelous short-term and long-term benefits.

Benefits of lithium

Lithium orotate enters cells easier than lithium carbonate. The following are some of the benefits of lithium:

  • neuroprotective and literally grows back new brain cells
  • protects your brain cells from toxins, infections, and strokes
  • boosts your immune system
  • increases longevity
  • protects our brain from Alzheimer’s disease

It is one of my treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia, ALS (Lou Gehrig disease), anger and mood disorders and bipolar disorder.

I use it for hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease, gout, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue states, many skin rashes, improving one’s memory, addiction disorders, headaches, and alcoholism.

It helps prevent crime in areas of the world where lithium has a higher concentration in the drinking water.

It is almost a fountain of youth mineral for your brain.”


In addition, lithium is one of my treatments for herpes, besides selenium, lysine, and vitamin C. It decreases insulin resistance, improves mitochondrial function, and supports bone health.

Lithium and melatonin can also help our circadian rhythm, so we achieve better sleep.

I intend on taking lithium as a supplement my entire life. I personally take 20 mg a day of lithium. It is an inexpensive supplement and should be part of your health regimen. You will not have to do thyroid blood tests or have your blood lithium levels checked on this dosage. All of us are under a lot of stress these days, and lithium is a natural way to calm our nerves.

No part of this blog may be reproduced in any form without written permission. The content on this blog was written by Jake Ames, MD, HMD and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment by your primary physician.

66 Responses to "Lithium: learn the lasting benefits and side effects!"
  1. Avatar Manon says:

    Just before leaving Puerto VAllarta, I bought the local newspaper, but did not have a chance to read it until back in Canada unfortunately.
    I read Dr. Ames’ great article on lithium orotate and immediately thought that was the mineral I wanted to take at once.

    But I cannot get it in BC, Canada, and will not be back to PV until winter time.
    My question is where-oh-where can I get this mineral in Canada? Even Amazon is no help and I wonder if Amazon US would be allowed to bring it over the border.
    Any comments??

  2. Avatar John says:

    Hello Dr Ames. I started lithium orotate and it makes all anxiety and depression go away. I have to stop taking it because it makes my skin itch. Should I try aspartate or you say you can help reset their brains? Is there a way I can consult with you? I would be more than happy to pay for your fees. God bless you.

    • You became allergic to it. Hans Nieper will explain orotate to you. He was the world authority on mineral transportation. You need orotate. Bring your products in and we treat you for your allergy.

  3. Avatar Gill Mahoney says:

    I have been taking lithium orotate for about six months. I am bipolar 2 and on bupropian also and low dose lamictol and gabapentin, this particular mix of prescribed meds produced the best results of the mant i tried. However. The orotate usually at 5mg only per day has lifted the depression a lot, sometimes totally, but now i am ill, with something like cfs, exhausted and worrying long term lithium might have contributed. The prescribed drugs i habe used for about five years and cannot come off them.

    • I have been using 20 mg of oratate for years without any adverse side affect. Ever considered raise your dose?

    • Avatar KB says:

      I would suspect your Rx meds over the lithium. I have BP1 & was VERY ill, years ago, due to the accumulation of toxins from the psychopharmaceutucals (+ poor diet + cigarettes + etc)… my liver just plain overflowed, I think.

    • Avatar Darren says:

      I know you are not able to come off the prescribed drugs. However, I think it is more likely they are causing your fatigue. Anti epileptic drugs are well known to be hard on the mitochondria and you are taking 2 drugs in that category; lamictal (lamotrigrine), and neurontin (gabapentin). While gabapentin is considered less damaging to mitochondria than lamictal, one or both may be causing problems with your mitochondrial efficiency. I don’t know of the influence of bupropian (wellbutrin) on mitochondria but the more psychoactive medications we take, the greater the possibility of unexpected interactions and impact on our cells. At the end of the day, I’d just cut out the lithium and see what happens. I don’t know of the existence of a lithium withdrawal syndrome so hopefully that shouldn’t happen although you may have an increase in sensations that the lithium was abating, such as depression, etcetera.

      All the best and let us know what happened. I know your post was from August of last year so maybe you have an update for us???

  4. Avatar ben says:


    Could Lithium Orotate increase the inflammation in Ulcerative Colitis as I am seeing very contradictory studies on this? Some say that it will boost the part of the immune system that causes the inflammation in Ulcerative Colitis while other studies say that it will benefit. I have Ulcerative Colitis and took 10mg of Orotate last night and will carry on to see what will happen but if I could have a second opinion on this it would be great(It is my own responsibility if my health worsens and I am aware of this, no worry, ready to try anything as mesalazine makes me sick). Thank you.

    • Avatar Fran says:

      Try the scd diet it’s a very good fix for ulcerated colitis check it out online for list of legal and illegal foods you can grow to be able to tolerate excellent testimonials

    • Avatar Gabriel says:

      Look into Low FODMAPS diet re ulcerative colitis. This stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are all sugars found in various foods which some people are unable to digest, and which cause a range of gut problems.

  5. Avatar Mr. Nick says:

    I take 40 mg of lithium orotate / day (20 mg in the morning and 20 mg at night, on an empty stomach) alongside 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil. Do you think this dosage, 40 mg/day, is toxic? Also, is it okay to take the lithium on an empty stomach? Or I should take it with food? Hm… Any advice?!
    The brand that I use is Lithium Orotate from Vital Nutrients (20 mg elemental lithium orotate and 500 mg orotic acid per capsule).
    If you wonder, I am taking 40 mg/day with HMD, a gentle chelator for heavy metal detox, to detoxify my brain.

    Thank you,

  6. Avatar Tammy says:

    Is lithium Orotate samiliar to 5HTP .. and does it raise serotonin levels?

  7. Avatar Tammy says:

    Is lithium Orotate samiliar to 5HTP?

  8. Avatar molly79 says:

    I have been using lithium orothate for a month. First time I took 5mg and slept all day. After that been taking only 2,5 mg and have felt calm and quite good..maybe abit carelesss though..and at the shop I suddenly cluld not remember a code to a bank card, and I have been using that card for years…and as I practice walking on the tightrope, I suddenly become clumbsy and I fell all the time…so the lithium orotate might relax the mind, but I can not continue as It seems to affect my balance and I become more slow

  9. Avatar Moulay says:

    I started taking 5mg of Litium orotate last night is it normal to feel confused, drowsy and w/blurry vision and sensitivity to light. I am taking Effoxor antidepressant in the morning . I have anxiety issue and depression . I had also a concussion 7 years ago, Can u explain why I am reacting to Litium orotate this way?

  10. Avatar Nicole says:

    Li is a life saver for me who has struggled for decades with severe anxiety/ mania. I’m not sure about how it affects depression… but if you don’t know where else to turn for debilitating anxiety that cannot be controlled with diet or lifestyle, pls try LI mineral form xo

  11. Avatar Sandy Perlman says:

    My internist recommended Lithium Orotate – 120 mg. tablet – 2 tabs twice a day working up to 5 tabs twice a day. At 2 caplets I started to have diarrhea – cut back to 1/2 tab – diarrhea stopped. Had a panic attack yesterday and took 4 halves over the afternoon and the panic was gone. Feel a tremendous decrease in anxiety which was why doc recommended it but feeling a little “spacey” – also tired. It is strange being without Anxiety but wonder if I will get some energy back. I have a lot of side effects and wondered if I’m taking too much – I/m 5’1″ and 110 pounds. ( 74 years old) This feels great otherwise.

  12. Avatar Tonya says:

    I also take lithium orotate and it’s been a life saver for me for the last 5 years. I was
    Suffering from mania and anxiety and panic attacks. It had been great for me all of this time. I have recently increased it because of life stressors being higher than normal. It does help me sleep so well. I have noticed though that one must or at least I must go slow in my increasing as it makes me more sleepy at first. I started out 5 years ago on 2 …5 mg lithium in lithium orotate in morning and 2 at night and then after years have been able to taper down to 2 before bedtime and only recently had to increase it but yeah a life saver and made all of my symptoms go away and had made me feel so much better.

  13. Avatar Lisa says:

    Took 5 mg lithium a day for almost a year.i have stopped for three weeks. My neurologist wanted me off. My migraines are worse. Why don’t doctor’s listen to patients. I feel aweful…my entire gut feels terrible. I believe I should have gone to 10mg, not 0.

    • Avatar Stephanie says:

      I’m guessing you meant “or an empty stomach”, not “or an and systemic”…?

    • Avatar Stephanie says:

      Why do patients listen to doctors, when they are the ones who know best how their own bodies/minds are reacting to what they ingest? Doctors are not omniscient and they are human. They each come with their own set of beliefs (many of which are limiting ones) and psychological back-stories, which result in very human actions and reactions, many of which serve neither them nor their patients. If you have been conditioned to believe that you MUST consult doctors regularly, at least be aware of your own innate wisdom and your body’s clear messages and learn to respect and honor them more than the opinions and recommendations of a virtual stranger who only sees you briefly every few months. And who is following some general guidelines laid out by a profit-driven pharmaceutical industry that owns and/or finances the medical schools and institutions.

  14. Avatar Rebecca says:

    My son is 21 and has autism. He has been taking 5 mg a night. We did this for 4 nights. He slept better than he ever has but wakes up in the morning violent and very talkative. My son is usually not violent or talkative. He has language but only speaks when he feels absolutely necessary (no small talk). I’m not sure if this aggression is due to him keeping so much that he wanted to say over the years to himself or if there’s an issue with him using this supplement. He has said things like, “I want to punch a stranger in the face”, “I want to beat you” and has been hitting himself. This is not his typical behavior. Is this something that will pass or do we need to stop/adjust this supplement. He was taking 5 mg a night. I adjusted it to 2.5 with no change in behavior. He has not had it for the last two nights. He has been searching throughout the house saying, “ I need my vitamin”! Please help!

    • Avatar JENNIFER says:

      I have similar mornings, if only taking it at night. Doesn’t seem to stay in they system long enough. I do better on 2 to 3 doses/day. Adding a morning dose may help with the withdrawal effect. Best wishes.

  15. Avatar Heidi says:

    I have bipolar 2 and stepped up from 10mg to 15mg, would you night time is the best time to take? I have been taking it alongside 125mg sertraline, any higher dose of that makes me a bit manic. I take the sertraline mid morning with the lithium O. Just some advice on times would be good.

  16. Avatar Katrina says:

    Hi my daughter takes fluoxetine 40mg daily and concerta 54 mg daily for her anxiety and adhd but her anxiety and ocd is terrible, she is 16 and 110 kgs I really want to help her will this help her and can she safely take it with what she’s on already

    • Avatar Tristan says:

      I would be really careful using those powerful medications in a 16 year old. Obviously your psychiatrist has deemed the benefits outweigh the risks, but 54mg of Ritalin/Concerta is slightly high and can easily cause anxiety. If the anxiety doesn’t go away, decrease the stimulant, make sure she takes the fluoxetine everyday at the same time for best results. It may take up to 6 months to get best results from fluoxetine, so make sure she has been taking it long enough before thinking it doesn’t work.

  17. Avatar LB says:

    I took a 5mg capsule yesterday afternoon.. I felt ok, was waiting for side effects. None. I slept so soundly. But did wake up with a horrible nightmare. Could the LO cause nightmares. I’m really taking this on my own for some calm.
    Just moved to new state. Been extremely frazzled.

  18. Avatar Kirsten says:

    Hi, I‘m taking 2,5 mg Lithium Orotat Daily at bedtime since 2 months with my anxiety disorder. I‘m taking as well NDT because my gland was gone. Now I feel hypothyreoid but fT3 in blood Is okay. Can Lithium Orotat the root cause be?

  19. Avatar Wesley says:

    Hi, I recently experienced a very stressful event and have had panic attacks and severe anxiety as a result. I’ve been taking LO 3 times per day at 5mg and it’s made an incredible difference to control my racing thoughts, worry, fear etc. Very pleased with the results. However, since the event, my heart rate has been abnormally high for me and ranges between 88-95 and 120 when I feel a little attack coming on. I’m worried about seeking pharmaceuticals for this issue. Is there anything you can recommend alongside LO that will help my increased heart rate? Thanks.

    • Avatar Brian Shaw says:

      I take Jiaogulan and Rhodiola Rosea. The Jiaogulan will help with tachycardia and blood pressure….Read “Adaptogens for Stamina and Stress” hope that helps

  20. Avatar Seb says:

    My girlfriend takes 1 dose of 800mg of priadel every night, ( slow release lithium carbonate).

    We have lithium orotate 120mg pills at home. How much should she take of LiO to get the same amount of lithium.
    And how would you dose it through the day?

  21. Avatar Johanna says:

    My husband is Bipo 1 with psycosis.
    He has quit Pharma Lithium after about 15 yrs because kg sideeffects.
    Now we have tryed out different doses of Lithium Orotate. At the moment he is quite ok om 70+60 mg Orotate.
    We are desperate!
    Is this ok?
    Read that deep depression can need about 130 mg Orotate. I Think he night need even 10 mg more (140mg)
    Lithium Orotate is not sold in Sweden.

  22. Avatar Joachim says:

    Hello, I did not respond to Quilonum retard 900mg at 0,6 mmol-l. I had a new very severe bipolar depression episode a few weeks after reaching that level. I also had no side effects from lithium carbonate. Should I still try lithium orotate? I am a 50 yr. old male. Typical antidepressants did not work long for me. My hypomanias are only a few days nowadays and not dangerous.

  23. Avatar Tony M says:

    This may be a stupid question but – does it ‘wear off’ during the day? If I take it at night before I go to bed, am I sleeping through its effectiveness period?

  24. Avatar Coco says:

    My Dad and youngest sweetest brother both passed from ALS ~ My mom had a stroke and passed from the stress ♥️♥️♥️
    So astounding to hear about LO !
    I’m trying 5mg Am & Am ?

  25. Avatar Kathy says:

    I am tapering off clonazepam and also low dose of ampitripline 20mg and was wondering if there would an interaction? I suffer from anxiety especially since doing the taper. I hope to get off both and use something natural. I am very sensitive to anything natural right now since taking the benzo. I have been using l_theanine up to 300mg a day and helps some.

  26. Avatar Kathy says:

    Adding to my first question. Will it interfere with the amitripline as someone mentioned it could cause serotonin syndrome urrggggg

  27. Avatar Laura says:

    For over 20 years, I had been on Lithium Carbonate and on different antidepressants. I was extremely upset my doctors were not helping me to discover the root cause and just prescribing Rxs as a solution. Sleep depravation and stress were major triggers to my psychiatric condition, but I discovered cigarette smoking, vitamin D deficiency, mold in my pillow from going to bed with a wet head, my diet, and PTSD from my Dad may have been major contributors to my behavior. I was prescribed over 900 mg of carbonate and insisted that I be switched to ortate, but the psychiatrist didn’t know anything about it. I went back to my naturopathic doctor and I am taking 120 mg of lithium ortate and other calming herbs and supplements. I feel more normal than I have all of years I was taking the Rxs. I am hopeful that I have addressed the major contributing factors of my disorder by stop smoking, taking D supplements, discarding my moldy pillow, changing my diet to mostly organic and non gmo and limiting my interactions withy Dad. I was wondering if I should be concerned about taking such a high dosage of LO for an extended period of time and should I get blood work done to check my levels. Please let me know.

  28. Avatar Linda Marie Finney says:

    I bought this supplement after just happening to see it on a Youtube video. It has helped me tremendously. I guess I could actually say it has saved my life. I was to the point of suicide from all the demands put on me in life. I work as a nurse and have a severely bi-polar son. My family has alienated me because of his behavior. We live in a very small dirt town in Wyoming, where there is no help. He takes prescription meds. which help him, but this supplement brought ME out of the depths of despair and terrible insomnia. I have had NO side effects. At first, I needed it daily and could not sleep without it. But now I am down to just taking it every other day or once a day. I do believe I would do better in every way in life if I just took it once daily. For me, I could care less about any weight gain, which I have not had, since it has improved my life so much. I am so so so thankful I found this supplement. I would like to know which brand is the best to buy since my mental state is of utmost importance to me. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is suffering from depression or anxiety. No more crying jags for me!! Yah! Thank you.

    • Avatar Miss Natalie says:

      your comment about weight gain prompted me to re-read the article, and the list of side effects, which I had initially skipped. I see that the side effects header specifies Lithium Carbonate. I would assume those don’t pertain to Lithium Orotate.
      I am personally encouraged by your testimony, as well as the others who have had positive results! I take a number of herbal supplements to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, and just started LO today.

      ps. exactly like you – I just happened to see it on a Youtube video (just last night)!

  29. Avatar Beverly says:

    Hello Holistic Bio Spa,

    I’m researching lithium orotate for keeping my brain youthful and other health benefits. I have no kind of anxiety or depression. I am 65 years young and i’ve done pretty well with keeping a very youthful appearance. No one thinks I’m out of my thirties. I take a good deal of supps and I was interested in adding this to my regimen. Can I take this if I don’t have anxiety or depression or will it make me tired. And what dose would you suggest. Thank you, Beverly

    • Avatar sarah says:

      I also have no depression or anxiety but was wondering it it would be helpful ? I could only find Lithium Aspartate though . How different is Aspartate from orotate ?

  30. Avatar s says:

    Can you comment on the effects of lithium on OCD?

  31. Avatar Darlene spears says:

    I started taking lithium carbonate 300 mg day 300 at night I was tested 6 weeks later and they said I had to take another med levothyroxine because I was having a side affect effecting my thyroid. I never gave it a second thought these were doctors right they would have me on something that would harm me I stayed with this doctor for 3 yrs until he went to a different clinic then I had to find a different dr and he was livid this dr kept me on a med that shut down an organ in my body then prescribed something else I thought made it work but that’s not true so because iv been the most ever in my life will lo give me the same effect

  32. Avatar Nancy says:

    Holistic BioSpa-
    I have had extreme anxiety and depression for several years. I am currently down to 1mg of Clonazepam. Taking 225mg Effexor and 15 mg Mirtazapine. Can I take Lithium Orotate with these drugs with no side effects?
    I would like to get off all rx and move to natural LI. Can this be done? Thank you

  33. Avatar kylie says:

    I’ve recently contracted lyme disease which made my lifelong ADHD symptoms intensify and prompted me to finally get diagnosed with ADHD. I am currently taking 50mg a day of dexamphetamine on top of antibiotics and supplements for the lyme. I have only just found out about lithium and wonder if lithium would be suitable to take with these other medications??

  34. Avatar Jo says:

    I am confused about dosage. The bottle I have is 120 mg LO
    but says 4.6 mg elemental lithium. Which one do I want 5-20 mg of?

  35. Avatar Lori says:

    Is it ok to take LO with LDN? I also have hashimoto’s. Thankz!

  36. Avatar Karin says:

    A Doctors Data hair test shows my lithium at <0.004, plus many other mineral deficiencies. I've started taking Lithium Orotate and it helps hugely during the day but it is causing terrible insomnia at night. I have been splitting a 5mg capsule and take 2,5mg morning and evening. Does anyone know if there is something I can do to counteract the insomnia? Thanks.

    • Avatar Karin says:

      Hi, I think the problem was increasing the dose too quickly. I went back down to only 2,5mg yesterday morning and slept fine (as good as it currently gets). I will try to increase the dose in a while but perhaps only by 1,25mg at a time (I am splitting capsule contents). Hope that info helps someone else because so far LO is making life a lot more pleasant.

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