It started as a tonic for hangovers in the 1920’s. Charles Leiper Grigg from the Howdy Corp. decided to market the stuff as “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon Lime Soda.” Today the product is better known as 7-Up.

In the 1940’s Australian John Cade discovered a new use for lithium carbonate, known today as lithium: a mood-stabilizer for severe depression and bi-polar.

While working at a mental hospital in Melbourne, Cade experimented with guinea pigs by injecting them with the urine of manic patients to see if mania would develop in the guinea pigs. Because Cade used lithium to disolve the uric acid (what he assumed was the toxin) for injection, he noticed the GPs became docile, and quite mellow for the species’ baseline.

As a result, lithium was recommended as a treatment for mania. Many thousands have benefited from this strange experiment. May the guinea pigs which were lithiumized forever live in peace.

Note: 7-Up is now lithium free.

Guineas Pigs,

how science has grown from your broken brains

and forsaken wheel runners.

Thank you.


Depressives, Manics, and Big Pharma


Tacchi, M. & Scott, J. (2017). Depression : a very short introduction. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

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