The pineal gland, found near the center of your brain, is a small cone-shaped endocrine gland that’s made up mostly of cells known as pinealocytes. Other structural components include capillaries and neurons. The pineal gland is also referred to as the ‘third eye.’
The primary role of the pineal gland is the production and regulation of a hormone called melatonin which plays a vital role in regulating sleep patterns which are referred to as circadian rhythms. Production of melatonin is directly affected by the presence of light – detected by the retina. The quality and length of your sleep cycle depend on your body’s ability to produce melatonin, meaning that a healthy pineal gland is very important to your overall wellbeing.
Pineal Gland Functions
The pineal gland has several functions in the human body:
Melatonin Production. Sleep disorders can result from the pineal gland’s inability to produce sufficient melatonin. Melatonin supplements can be used to realign circadian rhythms if a person has been working on night shift or traveling to places whose tie zones differ from the one you are used to. The supplements will normally make you feel tired and sleepy.
Side effects of using melatonin include:
- Sleepiness and drowsiness
- A sense of grogginess in the morning
- Intense and vivid dreams
- A slight rise in blood pressure
- Slight fall in body temperature
It is important to consult your doctor before you start using melatonin supplements. This is especially critical for pregnant women or those who want to fall pregnant.
Melatonin may possibly interact with medication or groups of medications such as:
- Birth control pills
- Diabetes medication that brings down blood sugar
- Anticoagulants are known as blood thinners in simple words
- Nifedipine (Adalat CC)
- Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
- Immunosuppressants which reduce the immune system’s activities
Regulates the Female Menstrual Cycle. A study published by PubMed in 2007, sought to determine the effect of melatonin secretion and light on menstruation and cycle alteration. The study found that there’s indeed a relationship between melatonin secretion and light exposure and disordered ovarian function, menstrual cycles and menstrual cycle symptoms.
Fights Cardiovascular Diseases. Studies have been conducted on this subject and the conclusions state that melatonin produced primarily by the pineal gland plays a significant role in cardiovascular diseases including myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury, heart failure, atherosclerosis and drug-induced myocardial injury among others.
In addition, melatonin contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and helps regulate glucose and lipid metabolism.
Mood Stabilization. Studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between the size of the pineal gland and your mood. There are suggestions that indicate that the risk of developing mood disorders such as schizophrenia is increased by lower pineal gland volume.
Pineal Gland and Cancer. While more research is needed here, studies have shown that melatonin can be combined with traditional treatments to enhance the outlook of cancer patients. There are other studies that indicate the possibility of a connection between weakened pineal gland function and development of cancer.
Understanding Circadian Rhythms
The pineal gland us crucial to our internal clocks since it controls the body’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are the everyday patterns of the body that include signals that make a person feel tired or sleepy, wake up and stay alert – at the same time every day.
The pineal gland produces Melatonin, the hormone in charge of regulating circadian rhythms. The amount of melatonin produced corresponds to how much light someone is exposed to.
When it is dark, the pineal gland secretes greater amounts of melatonin which explains the role of Melatonin in sleep. Melatonin is offered as a ‘natural’ sleep aid by many supplement manufacturers.
Research conducted on rats has led to some researchers proposing that the connection between melatonin and sleep is not as straightforward as it has been deemed to be. These rats had ordinary access to darkness and light yet in spite having their pineal glands removed, they did not exude differential behavior. The researchers concluded that the role of the pineal gland is far more complicated than initially thought and its function may vary from one animal to another.
Pineal Gland Malfunctions
An impaired pineal gland can lead to hormonal imbalance which can have other effects on your body such as disrupted sleeping patterns as well as menstrual cycle and fertility complications. When the pineal gland produces insufficient, a person may experience insomnia, increased anxiety, heightened levels of estrogen/progesterone ratio, immune suppression and lowered body temperature.
On the hand when the pineal gland overproduces melatonin a person will experience unusually low blood pressure, reduced levels of estrogen/progesterone ratios as well as an insufficient function of the thyroid and adrenal glands.
Calcification (hardening) of the pineal gland, viral infections, bacterial infections, toxins, heavy metals, substances such as mercury and fluoride as well as parasites are all causes of pineal gland malfunction.
The location of the pineal gland (in the brain) increases other organ complications in the event that a person develops a pineal gland tumor. Three common pineal gland tumors include pineal cell tumors, gliomas, and germ cell tumors.
Early symptoms of a pineal gland tumor include:
- Damage to the visual and other senses
- Disrupted memory
If you are experiencing sleep disorders or want information on melatonin supplements then it is important to talk to your doctor about it.
Research on the pineal gland and melatonin is still ongoing as they are not fully understood. What is clear however is that melatonin is involved in settling day-night cycles with sleep patterns and that it can also aid in regulating menstrual cycles.
The Opening of the Third Eye
For a long time, many spiritual traditions believe that activating the pineal gland opens the third eye associated with insight, inner vision, and wisdom. Scientific discoveries are now beginning to corroborate the connection between vision and the pineal gland. Comparative studies into the retina and the anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology of the pineal gland across a broad variety of animal species indicate a shared evolutionary and developmental path.
The tuataras, modern living fossils, possess a photosensitive pineal eye and a rudimentary lens, retina, and cornea. Frogs and lampreys are examples of other species that have pineal eyes. Pineal cells in human beings look like retina cells in composition and in the existence of proteins that are not found anywhere else in the body. Pineal light sensitivity is a widespread thing among the different animal species while in human beings it is linked to opening the third eye.
Resonance or rhythm entrainment occurs when two waveforms start moving back and forth at precisely the same rate. When the pituitary and hypothalamus entrain with the rhythmic throbbing of the pineal gland it makes way for our whole system to shift towards harmony.
The North Star is believed to be the source of the initial pulse by Taoists. They believe that vibrations from this star were key in the development of the primary forms of life on planet earth. They believed that the earth was able to sustain life because it tilted towards the North Star (and not directly towards the sun). It was this orientation that maximized the habitable surface and created a suitable environment for both plant and animal life. Due to the strong power and influence of the North Star, many of the Qi Gong exercises deliberately connect with it. Taoists believe that the North Star releases rhythmic vibrations which not only affect the pineal gland but also activate it. When the pineal gland and the North Star pulse in synchrony, then the former receives cosmic information from the star which it relays to the pituitary and hypothalamus through resonance. These glands then relay messages to the heart which in turns communicates to the rest of the body using its own electromagnetic pulsing.
Pineal Gland and Magnetic Fields
Light and vibration are not the only elements that activate the pineal gland. Exposure to magnetic fields has also been found to activate the pineal gland. Studies conducted on birds and other animals show that the pineal gland acts as a navigational center which monitors magnetic fields and helps the body find its orientation in space. This magneto-receptive capacity in the pineal gland explains the relationship that melatonin secretion and circadian rhythms problems have with geomagnetic storms or environmental stress.
As mentioned earlier, the heart produces a powerful electromagnetic field that fills the entire body. High frequencies of both love and compassion activate the heart in which case its electromagnetic field is expanded and greatly amplified. Since the pineal gland is sensitive to electromagnetic energy, it gets activated and starts vibrating in tandem with the heart. As the heart and the pineal gland entrain, their elevated vibration unlocks the third eye to far greater intuition, inspiration, and inner vision. The connection the pineal gland has with both circadian rhythms and spatial orientation sees it that when the organ is in a state of high arousal it creates a shift in our perception of time and space. These experiences have been spoken of by Chi Kung practitioners and other meditators for hundreds of years. Today, we have research that is explaining these phenomena.
The Relationship between the Pineal Gland and Light
The three glands of the eye are all exceedingly sensitive and respond to light. Before 2002 scientists knew of the cones and rods responsible for color vision and low light vision respectively. However, in 2002, they uncovered a third eye receptor called melanopsin which is a light-sensitive pigment found in the retina cells. Melanopsin directs messages to the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus0 of the hypothalamus. SCN is in charge of managing circadian rhythms which in turn influences out alertness, sleepiness, temperature, hormones and digestive functions.
The pineal gland receives signals from the hypothalamus to activate and begin or stop cortisol and melatonin production once the latter obtains information about the existence or absence of light. Changes in the pituitary, retina, and SCN are all subject to the variations in melatonin levels. The pituitary responds to light by releasing vasopressin which in turn causes the SCN to alter our circadian clock.
Studies have shown that our entire body also works as a light receptor. Whenever light shines upon any part of our body, signals are sent to the pineal gland and SCN to stop melatonin production. In our world today, we have so much ambient light around us which makes it nearly impossible for our systems to receive deep relaxation which only occurs in total darkness. Many people attest to experiencing improved health, receiving optimized sleep and strongly activating the pineal gland plus rebalancing when they remove sources of light from their bedrooms.
The Pineal Gland and Vibration
Our experiences can be manipulated through vibration via an activated pineal gland. As with the heart, it is possible for rhythmic vibrations to powerfully affect our emotions, cognition and physical state. We know this intuitively. In addition, we experience it when we acknowledge the effect music has on our memory, mood, and physiology. Fabien Maman, a French musician of the early 1980s conducted a research on the effect that sound vibrations have on cells; he discovered that sound vibrations can eliminate cancer cells and energize healthy ones. Nowadays, it is common to find parents playing classical music to their unborn or newborn children so as to stimulate brain development.
The Hypothalamus/Pituitary Relationship
The hypothalamus has access to both the endocrine and nervous systems and plays a major role in connecting the two as well as activating the pineal gland. It is also linked to the limbic system which is the center of our emotions and feelings. The hypothalamus, when in harmony with the pituitary gland, can greatly affect not just our emotions but also several major systems as well as organ functions. Together, the pituitary and the hypothalamus control basal survival processes including hunger, thirst, body temperature, blood pressure, fatigue, pain relief, sleep, growth, weight, sexual function, circadian rhythms and stress responses like fight or flight.
The hypothalamus is located behind the optic chiasm and its size is like that of an almond. It communicates with the pituitary gland by secreting neurohormones, which signal release or inhibition of crucial pituitary hormones that harmonize and activate the functioning of the pineal gland.
The pituitary gland comprises two major lobes that differ from each other in terms of anatomy, embryology, and functionality. The pituitary gland is below the hypothalamus held by the sella turcica inside the sphenoid bone. If a person presses their tongue, they are actually pressing the underside of the pituitary gland.
Pineal Gland’s Spiritual Aspects
Given the role a healthy and activated pineal gland plays, it’s no wonder that it has been linked to spiritualism for hundreds of years. In ancient traditions that associate it with enlightenment and immortality, one will find the pineal gland’s pinecone shape in their art and artifacts. Ancient Egyptians held this tiny gland in reverence and made sure to preserve it separately during the mummification process.
Modern Problems with the Pineal Gland
Calcification of the pineal gland creates a major for the gland in terms of its functioning. Accumulation of fluoride in the gland leads to the development of phosphate crystals that cause hardening of the pineal gland. Hardening of the gland causes insufficient production of melatonin and this disturbs your wake-sleep cycle. Research indicates that fluoride hardening speeds up sexual development in children, especially in girls. A study carried out 30 years ago showed that 40% of American children below the age of 17 had pineal calcification in process. Since this time, we have seen children, particularly girls, experience puberty much earlier than usual.
Other elements such as chlorine and bromine can also accumulate and cause damage to the pineal gland as will calcium supplements. Lack of sufficient vitamin D can affect calcium bioavailability and cause calcification of the pineal gland and other tissue.
Limiting exposure to fluoride by using fluoride-free toothpaste and staying away from tap away are some of the best first steps to reduce health concerns. In addition to this, eating calcium-rich foods is a much better option than taking in calcium supplements.
Natural Ways to Treat Your Pineal Gland
As stated previously a healthy pineal gland is crucial to your overall wellbeing. In today’s world, the pineal gland is continuously under attack from pollutants present in the chemicals we are exposed to and foods we eat and the stress-related compounds produced by our bodies.
The pineal gland is bound to become hardened which reduces the ability to function properly. There are certain things that we can do to keep this small but super important organ.
Prevention should be our first goal and you can do this by eliminating toxic materials from your environment which may range from food to water to the products you use and your living space in general.
As much as possible limit processed foods in your diet and eat organic foods. Check for fluoride in the water you drink and reduce your intake of soda, energy drinks, and our all-too-beloved coffee. Reduce your exposure to harsh industrial toxins present in body care, beauty, and household cleaning substances by going for the naturally produced options.
In addition, taking time off, to spend time in nature enjoying moments of tranquility and inhaling clean air. This will improve your mood and reduce stress levels
Good Old Sunshine
Soaking in the sun (preferably at sunrise and sunset) helps initiate the work of the pineal gland in addition to stimulating your mind. Natural light activates the pineal gland and prompts it to produce serotonin which is responsible for energy levels and healthy moods.
In the same breadth, it is vital to avoid unnatural sources of light at night because the pineal gland needs to generate melatonin in readiness for sleep. Limit exposure to light-emitting electronic devices like phones, computers or tablets at night
Foods You Should Eat
Calcification increases in individuals who consume a poor diet. By the age of 18 nearly half of the Americans population experience pineal calcification which disrupts their natural rhythms and hormones. Eliminating junk food, limiting exposure to fluoride and consuming plenty of raw healthy food, you can help decalcify the pineal gland. Give these foods a try for better pineal gland health.
Chlorella. Chlorophyll-dense superfoods including wheatgrass, spirulina, and chlorella contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help eliminate toxins that build up in the organs. They also increase oxygen levels, boost the immune system and repair tissue damage. By doing this, these super foods help facilitate reversal of pineal gland calcification.
Iodine. Iodine helps defends the body against elements like mercury, fluoride, bromine, and chlorine. Iodine deficiency causes accumulation of these compounds in the body may cause severe damage to many of the body’s functions. Since the human body does not use fluoride, when we ingest fluoride it isolated in a calcium husk that in the end reduces the efficiency of the pineal gland. Iodine mineral can be found in foods such as broccoli, spinach, fish, sea vegetables as well as iodine supplements.
Oregano Oil. Research commends oregano oil as a great tool against harmful organisms including microbes. Consuming oregano oil boosts your immune system by eliminating harmful organisms before they can damage body tissues such as the pineal which in turn reduces the probability of gland calcification. Oregano oil is also a natural system cleanser which contributes to better health.
Apple Cider Vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar contains malic acid properties that help decalcify the pineal gland. Malic acid is what gives vinegar its sour and acidic taste. Malic acid aids digestion, dissolving kidney stones, lowering pressure, balancing glucose levels and relieving gout. It detoxifies the whole body! The easiest way to consume apple cider vinegar is to mix it with a cup of water and some raw honey. Always choose raw organic apple cider vinegar that is packaged in a glass bottle, not plastic.
Boron. This trace mineral is a detoxifying mineral that has the ability to help cleanse the pineal gland and helps get rid of fluoride from the body. Boron can be found in almonds, walnuts, red grapes, pears, raisins, apples, oranges, avocado, prunes, beetroot, broccoli, chickpeas, legumes, and beans.
How to Decalcify the Pineal Gland
Generally, calcification in the human body is a precursor to heart disease, cancer and other diseases which tend to set in as we age.
Consuming decalcifying food and supplements promotes proper functioning of the pineal gland, increased vitality, healthy blood cells and better cognition
Undertaking a pineal gland detox using specific foods and supplements will improve your overall wellbeing.
Listed below are several supplements with proven (scientifically) advantages that support toxin removal, decalcification and tissue renewal.
Iodine. Efficiently removes heavy metals such as mercury, lead, fluoride, aluminum, and cadmium from the body.
It’s important to increase your uptake of calcium-rich foods (such as almonds, kale, broccoli, almonds and flax seeds) while taking iodine supplements because iodine can decrease calcium levels
Turmeric. Curcumin found in turmeric can prevent and possibly reverse damage from fluoride exposure
Activator X. A vitamin-like compound, that contains Vitamins K1 and K2, found in organ meats and dairy products from grass-fed animals. It helps rid the arteries of calcium and directs it to where it is needed most i.e. bones and teeth. Activator X works best when combined with Vitamins A & D found in green leafy vegetables.
Shilajit. Shilajit is produced by a plant that is preserved in the Himalayan Mountains in dark crevices. Shilajit has 85 trace minerals and has anti-aging properties and protects against cellular damage. This supplement can be a little potent in the beginning.
Fulvic Acid. Helps remove toxins and heavy metals from the body. Fulvic Acid may help deliver antioxidants and minerals to the cells.
Chaga Mushrooms. Scientific studies have proven the potency of Chaga Mushrooms on the hormonal, immune and central nervous systems. Chaga is an effective antiviral an anti-tumor agent. On top of that, Chaga provides nutrients, phytochemicals, and melanin. Melanin is responsible for the pigmentation of our eyes, skin, and hair. Melanin is also used by the pineal gland to protect us from UV light. The most effective way of consuming Chaga is in tea. Steep Chaga in hot water for at least 45minutes and remember to keep the mug covered.
Raw Cacao. Triggers high quantities of nitric oxide which enlarge blood vessels sizes thereby promoting a greater flow of blood and oxygen. This greater flow promotes the healthy functioning of the pineal gland. Raw cacao is also laden with antioxidants and anandamide. Anandamide brings that ‘feel good feeling’ you experience when you eat chocolate
Tamarind. Tamarind helps with fluoride secretion in urine. It may also reverse the results of skeletal fluorosis brought about by ingesting fluoride.
Starting your pineal gland detox can be a bit overwhelming but it does not have to be. Start by looking at your overall diet. Try as much as possible to eat organic foods while limiting processed foods. Pay attention to foods that boost the working of the pineal gland such as broccoli, kale, and avocado.
I would also recommend that you consult your doctor before you start your detox program.
How to Activate the Pineal Gland
Many esoteric schools believe that having a blocked ajna chakra (what we know as pineal gland) can result in:
- Neurological disorders
- Confusion & delusions
- Impaired perception of reality
- Depression and anxiety
- Tendency to over-analyze
- Jealousy and envy
Whether you believe in the mystical powers of the pineal gland or not, one thing is clear – a well-functioning gland is tantamount to your good health and overall wellbeing. While a calcified and weak pineal gland creates a potential for health hazards.
Below are further tips that aid decalcification and activation of the pineal gland.
Ditch the sunglasses. This is because our eyes require exposure to sunlight to function properly. The photoreceptor in the pineal gland is activated by light that has been reflected in our retina.
Embrace Darkness. Darkness also activates the pineal gland. Keep your bedroom dark at night to activate the release of melatonin which will help you sleep better. Light from mobile devices, computers or even the alarm clock can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Use Crystals. Place a crystal between your eyes when meditating for 15- 30 minutes to activate the third eye. The best crystals for this are those that have indigo and violet hues such as Sapphire, Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst, Azurite, Blue Jasper, Blue Kyanite, Blue Topaz, Lolite, Blue Obsidian, Celestite, Lepidolite, Blue Tourmaline, Kunzite, Purple Fluorite, Sodalite, Moldavite, and Moonstone. Also, have clear quartz to help amplify their properties.
Third-Eye Meditation. Do this practically by drawing up your eyes up and towards the third eye; then place your consciousness on that center. Now imagine yourself seeing through the third eye i.e. between your eyebrows. You will see the world differently by doing this.
Khechari Mudra. To be done only under the supervision of a high-level Kriya yoga teacher. The practice involves placing the tip of your tongue and heading back to the soft palate. There are yoga gurus who teach you to stretch your tongue further so as to touch the uvula and in other cases way up to into the nasal cavity. The aim of this is to attain a deep state of spiritual awareness that could even reach Samadhi. Doing this without the right attitude, devotion and spiritual as well as proper technique would not amount to anything more than a tongue trick.
Use Essentials Oils. Use oils such as frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, sage, clary, pine, pink lotus, helichrysum, and mugwort to rouse the olfactory channel to spiritual states of consciousness.
Change Your Light Bulbs. Full-spectrum light bulbs are more in harmony with natural light and will not damage your eyes. Replace fluorescent light bulbs with full-spectrum light bulbs.
Practice Kundalini Yoga. There are particular movements intended to raise Kundalini energy. This energy lies coiled at the very base of the spine. By activating Kundalini we attune our bodies so that we connect cosmic energy with our physical body and then root it to the earth. The serpentine energy flows up the spine activating all 33 vertebrae points until it gets to the pineal gland and the crown chakra. It’s this very energy that illuminates the third eye.