Mineral Spotlight: Lithium

Steam and rocks at Iron Mountain Hot Springs

Mineral Spotlight: Lithium

Lithium is one of 14 naturally-occurring minerals found in the water at Iron Mountain Hot Springs.

Lithium (Li), No. 3 on the Periodic Table, is the 33rd most abundant element in the Earth’s crust but occurs naturally only in compounds.

At the end of the 19th century, Lithia Springs, Georgia, was a popular spa for such visitors as Mark Twain, the Vanderbilts and four U.S. presidents because of its lithium waters, which are still bottled and sold today. Recent research suggests unexpected benefits of lithium for human health, especially brain, mental and emotional health.

Researchers speculate that lithium promotes the health, growth and resilience of neurons. Lithium is the most effective treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. It has been used to treat mental illness, eating disorders, blood disorders, headache, alcoholism, epilepsy, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disorders, arthritis, overactive thyroid and asthma.

Your body contains about 7 milligrams of lithium. While there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance for the element, it is considered safe up to five milligrams a day. In addition to drinking water, nutritional lithium comes from grains, vegetables, mustard, kelp, pistachios, dairy, fish, and meat.

Soaking in Iron Mountain Hot Springs provides a safe and relaxing means of enjoying a lithium lift. The mineral is absorbed through your skin in small quantities; as a result you’ll feel calmer and happier.

Learn more about the wellness and healing benefits of soaking in geothermal springs at

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.

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