Remineralization…a good thing to do in preparation for drug withdrawal (as well as for general well-being)

Below are various emails strung together that I’ve written for friends who are either already in withdrawal or planning to come off. I recently did a post about PREPARING TO COME OFF DRUGS.

Minerals are essential for all of our bodily functions. They are needed for bone and teeth health for our blood, skin, hair, nerve function, muscle and for all our metabolic processes. They are foundational to everything we are as physical beings. All minerals are generally in a state of depletion in modern western people because our soils suck and our food supply is so compromised in a multitude of ways.

Before withdrawing from psych meds it’s important to have some foundational well-being if at all possible so that one might mitigate severe withdrawal issues. I didn’t know what I know now (no one did) so I suffered more than I might have had to, though it’s also true that some of us are injured to a point that some difficulty in withdrawal is likely unavoidable. Still I think we can mitigate issues for everyone with some care.

Most people now, come to me when they’re in withdrawal and things are rather nightmarish. It’s generally too late to implement a lot of this stuff because hypersensitivity has set it and then it’s much harder to get to a point to implement it all, though it will still benefit us to do so as we are able so that we can continue to heal. I needed this stuff…it simply took some time to be able to add it all because of my hypersensitivities.  I hope that some folks will learn how to support their bodies ahead of a withdrawal so that they might not hurt so badly.

I discovered too late in my process how demineralized I was…it’s clear to me now that it’s part of why people get so sick…it’s common to all of us…everyone (those not on drugs too)…some folks are more sensitive to the issue. Minerals allow everything to happen in our bodies…one of the basic building blocks and thus, a very foundational place to start. It’s easy to start making the necessary changes in diet to get remineralized and taking in high mineral food and herbs should not contraindicate with most people’s drug regimens. I encourage you to follow up with research of your own. Everything in this email is what I’ve learned and what works for me. It’s not medical advice since we’re all different and we all have different needs. Nothing is always appropriate for everyone.

Just like with everything I do to support myself in my healing process I rarely take ANYTHING daily and listen to my body as to when I need what I need. I rotate herbs and go on and off stuff as my body tolerates and/or needs them. I encourage learning to listen to your body and not hesitating to do as it needs. I couldn’t tolerate minerals when I became harmed from psych meds and the tragedy was that I needed them. This is why I suggest people get remineralized before coming off drugs.

The first mineral I’m discussing will shock some of you I’m sure. People actually get a lot of help from this essential mineral AND it’s cheap and totally safe to take with most pharmaceuticals. It should not be taken on top of Lithium Carbonate, the highly toxic pharmaceutical.

It’s Lithium Orotate (right, NOT the toxic pharmaceutical) See also: Lithium Carbonate (the pharmaceutical) is a dangerous drug

lithiumIn small doses Lithium is truly an essential mineral…that’s gone largely unrecognized until relatively recently. Now alternative medicine sorts  are using it for all sorts of nervous system issues as well as simply for longevity and well-being for everyone. This is because, as I’ve said, it’s an essential mineral and we need it in trace amounts as human beings. For some of us when we have impaired nervous system (and psych drugs do, indeed, impair nervous systems) we can stand to take higher (but still very small doses compared to how they use it in pharma and psychiatry) … usually higher doses are needed only temporarily and then we can go back to a trace amount. Some people might find they benefit from a bit more on a regular basis if there are neurological issues or nervous system damage. All of the dosing of Lithium Orotate is minute compared to the toxic pharmaceutical.

I’ve had friends who have taken lithium orotate for many years who swear by it. One friend had been taking the pharmaceutical and made the switch and has never looked back. Again, one takes minute doses as compared to the highly toxic pharmaceutical.

I didn’t tolerate it some years ago the first time I tried it, but my intuition which bats about 100 these days suggested I try it again recently, so I did.

It’s transforming everything. I can feel neurons growing and adapting and strengthening my brain etc. It mutes and cushions otherwise painful processes that are clearly needed to continue healing (healing a brain injury actually hurts quite badly sometimes)…it’s making everything easier but it’s also clearly ratcheting up the healing process in ways that are pretty phenomenal so it’s kind of intense too. (Lithium often comes in 5 mgs of elemental Lithium…I’ve taken up to 6 a day and as little as 1 or 2…I simply adjust to my body’s needs) … I imagine when things settle I’ll take less than 5 mg a day…right now it’s helping things heal via neurogenesis. (it may very well help withdrawal too and in fact I’ve read accounts of it doing that) The neurogenic quality could ease a whole lot in the process.

**UPDATE March 2017: having fiddled around with lithium now for a bit I would recommend getting lab work if you’re taking more than 5 mg a day for more than a few days. It’s potent stuff and can affect general mineral balance. It’s worth being careful.

Recently Lithium helped my detox get a whole lot easier …

Lithium orotate is NOT toxic when taken in the dose amounts suggested on the bottle and instead seems to support neurogenesis… (brain growth) I can literally feel my brain growing…it’s sometimes uncomfortable, but WOW…it’s cool too. Hypersensitivity allows me to feel all sorts of stuff. It helps guide my intuitive healing process and it’s pretty amazing really.

(UPDATE: lithium proved very helpful for a time and then ceased to be helpful…this is common with lots of things…the body uses what it needs and then tells me “ENOUGH” … sometimes there are periods of time that cycle…on and off supplements and/or super foods)

Here is a link to a large collection of info on Lithium Orotate (link has been corrected)

A food for lots of trace minerals in abundance: Seaweeds

Kelp
Kelp

One of the easiest moves toward a fix is daily seaweeds. Atlantic ocean sourced, or norwegian, icelandic waters are safest. Eat seaweed (get a variety and play with them) and/or take kelp supplements daily. I do both and my body craves them all still. I buy most of my sea veggies from Maine Coast, a brand that can be found in most health food stores. It’s also possible to buy bulk quantities for cooking etc. Some people with particular thyroid issues need to be careful about how much iodine they might get from seaweeds. If you know you have a thyroid issue please find out whether or not you should eat seaweed.

I also eat one or two brazil nuts daily for selenium. Many people are deficient in selenium and it’s very important for nervous system function and detox both.

Three herbs for bone health and nervous system support due to their high mineral content:

nettles, oatstraw and horsetail

All these herbs are very gentle and they’re bone building as well as highly supportive of the nervous system so they can also help with sleep and be somewhat anti-anxiety. (really all minerals work that way…they are necessary for the smooth operation of the nervous system)

Don’t take traditional calcium supplements…you get what you need from the seaweed and these herbs. Calcium supplements cause calcification which is like scar tissue all over your body…not good. I’ve had to take tons of systemic enzymes to detox and clear that stuff out. It’s healed my psoriatic arthritis and many other conditions that are due to calcification.

Make infusions like the below description with the nettle and the oatstraw: (directions from Susun Weed below…finding a bulk herb source is good. You can get bulk herbs online as well and often that’s easier. I get a lot of my herbs from Frontier.

Horsetail should instead be boiled for 20 minutes…and you don’t need as much herb…just like a tablespoon for 4 cups is fine.

From Susun (for nettles and oatstraw only! remember to boil the horsetail):

herbsAn infusion is a large amount of herb brewed for a long time. Typically, one ounce by weight (about a cup by volume) of dried herb is placed in a quart jar which is then filled to the top with boiling water, tightly lidded and allowed to steep for 4-10 hours. After straining, a cup or more is consumed, and the remainder chilled to slow spoilage. Drinking 2-4 cups a day is usual. Since the minerals and other phytochemicals in nourishing herbs are made more accessible by drying, dried herbs are considered best for infusions.

I make my infusions at night before I go to bed and they are ready in the morning. I put my herb in my jar and my water in the pot, and the pot on the fire, then brush my teeth (or sweep the floor) until the kettle whistles. I pour the boiling water up to the rim of the jar, screw on a tight lid, turn off the stove and the light, and go to bed.

In the morning, I strain the plant material out, squeezing it well, and drink the liquid.  — read more here

refrigerate what you don’t drink and drink cold or hot as the weather might have you do…

I supplement with magnesium because when healing from nervous system issues and detoxing both we need a lot more. I use Mag Threonate because it crosses the blood/brain barrier and really helps soothe as well as topical magnesium oil and I take lots of epsom salt baths. See also: Healing bath: a longstanding coping and gently medicinal therapy.

I also supplement with molybdenum (essential to supplement when heavily detoxing but not in general) and zinc. I’ve used boron as well and it’s been part of my detoxification as it chelates heavy metals and flouride. I take my magnesium when I take the boron as it helps absorb.

Lastly I also eat Shilajit: Shilajit is an ancient herbal substance containing over 85 minerals and trace elements the human body needs to function optimally and fulvic acid which helps the body absorb these minerals at a cellular level. (definition from Authentic Shilajit)  I currently use this brand of shilajit.

Also, table salt is not healthy but good quality natural occurring salts actually help with remineralization as they contain many trace minerals. Try sea salts — Celtic or otherwise, himalayan salt or real salt as alternatives that nourish the body (used moderately).

Please do whatever you need to do to identify your individual and special needs when developing any sort of supplement regime. What I share here is what has helped me personally.

While minerals are important for everyone you may have different specific needs. Unless you have a thyroid problem it’s a good thing to add sea weed (as a generalization). Those with thyroid probems may be able to add seaweed safely but you really need to do some additional research first.

Most people will do well with the three herbs, nettles, oatstraw and horsetail. Listen to your body however…when I was extremely ill I didn’t tolerate ANYTHING on this page. That’s why I suggest starting to add the whole foods prior to a withdrawal and prior to developing any sort of hypersensitivity issues.

See also:

***

*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page. 

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters