Fact Checked

What does the Pineal Gland do?

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov

The pineal gland is an endocrine gland, like the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland, and pancreas. Like other endocrine glands, it secretes a hormone -- in this case melatonin. The pineal gland was the last endocrine gland to have its function unveiled, partially because of its small size, roughly that of a pea, and its structural uniformity. It was not until the 1960s that scientists determined its function, having thought for several decades that it was merely a vestigial organ like the appendix.

Because of our relative ignorance about the pineal gland for so long, it became the object of mythical theories and attributions. Rene Descartes called it the "seat of the soul" because it appeared to be the only brain structure not composed of two symmetrical parts, although later analysis proved this to be untrue. Compounding these rumors was the fact that the pineal gland is lodged very deep in the brain, close to its center. Various shaman-types have claimed that the pineal gland secretes natural psychedelics and is somehow a connection between the earthly realm and a spirit world. These speculations are likely false.

The pineal gland is located near the center of the brain.
The pineal gland is located near the center of the brain.

In reality, the melatonin secreted by the pineal gland is responsible for various aspects of sexual development, animal hibernation, metabolism, and seasonal breeding. The gland secretes its hormone in sync with circadian rhythms, releasing more in the dark and less in the light. This probably contributes to minimize sexual thoughts while sleeping. In children, the pineal gland secretes more melatonin than in adults, which is said to inhibit sexual development. After puberty, the pineal gland shrinks and releases less melatonin.

The pineal gland secretes melatonin, which promotes sleep.
The pineal gland secretes melatonin, which promotes sleep.

The pineal gland is primarily composed of specialized cells called pinealocytes, which manufacture and secrete melatonin through capillaries. They also possess a distinct organelle called a synaptic ribbon, which can be used to identify pinealocytes. In animals, the pineal gland tends to be located closer to the surface of the brain, but over the course of evolution it migrated inwards.

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov

Michael is a longtime contributor who specializes in topics relating to paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism. In addition to being an avid blogger, Michael is particularly passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. He has also worked for the Methuselah Foundation, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Lifeboat Foundation.

Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov

Michael is a longtime contributor who specializes in topics relating to paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism. In addition to being an avid blogger, Michael is particularly passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. He has also worked for the Methuselah Foundation, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and the Lifeboat Foundation.

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Discussion Comments


Your pineal gland is your gateway to connecting with source: your own divinity which is part of you. It is where our psychic powers resides as well as consciousness.

The governments have been bought out by the pharmaceuticals and the health insurance companies. Turning your herbs into synthetic drugs, poisoning your water systems with fluoride and the land with the old agriculture systems. It has all been orchestrated maneuvering for a long time so they could own the health system. Even the schooling system keeps it all in place, so although changes are happening as the truth is exposed, radical changes need to happen now for us to go forward and create a powerful future for yourselves and your children, where you can self heal and live a happy life full of abundance.

You can heal yourself by de-calcifying your pineal gland. It regulates hormones too, which when out of balance affect everything and you will find it hard to self heal. It can even affect your ability to conceive. You have an enormous power in your body to self heal, however, but because of all the processed foods, the synthetic drugs, the over use of the fluoride in your water and tooth paste etc., it makes it very hard to do this.

The body can only heal when we have this spiritual connection, plus when the hormones and body have equilibrium. Learn how to de-calcify your pineal gland. Herbs, Qigong, meditation, vegan eating plan, raw food, mindfulness can all help you to activate the pineal gland, tap into your own powers and gain your connection again with each other, and the world you live in.

Mainstream is not telling the truth as the newspapers and TV are always owned by the people who own your health care systems and have vested interests in getting you to become hooked on their synthetic drugs for pure control. Dig deeper and the truth will be revealed.


All should google agenda 21. When the actual government documents can be read by all, there isn't any room for speculation.

There is a real enemy on the loose and until his time has come to an end, the pestilence will continue. It's simply a sad thing that mankind is used to try to discredit God the creator and cause mass confusion.

There is nothing hidden that will not be made manifest.


Is the pineal gland affected when you smoke weed?


I am a neurobiologist in a major US university (30 years in academia). Two years ago a very stressful period led to me having chi/prana brain activation. As I write now I am circulating energy round my pineal gland. I found my thymus gland and other things by inner observation without knowing of their existence. My view is that when science gets better we will understand this, and there will be no conflict between science and the core of spiritual traditions. The current rampant mudslinging on both sides is purely a function of primitive science and overly exoteric spirituality trying to defend/promote their inadequate structures, just like egos resisting gnosis.

The living system, at a first approximation, is biomolecules and water. Now it appears structured water domains form driven by ambient electromagnetic fields (Gerald Pollack, Alexander Konovalov, Emilio del Giudice, Mae Wan Ho). This work looks solid to me, but the mainstream hasn't noticed it yet. If they are right, we are not only quantum entangled internally but also with the furniture in our rooms and who knows what else. Standard physics arguments against this,like Tegmark's involving kT are invalid as they are derived from equilibrium thermal models built from the statistical mechanical analysis of closed systems like gases.

Water, on the other hand, is a nonequilibrium structure interacting with EM energy. It appears to be a magic substance that can dynamically form and uniform quantum coherent EM antenna/receivers 100nm in diameter and more. If they are right, there will be a revolution in biochemistry involving an active relationship of biomolecules with water and EMF's. We will understand finally how the cell and the body internally organize and communicate. Our current theory is that "it is written in the DNA like a code", but this has really just been a placeholder for a better understanding to come.

The lesson for me in all this is that scientists have been just as stupid as everyone else in our society, me included. But we scientists do still have our hands on the data. And I now also fundamentally believe spiritual people have had their hands on something beyond wonderful all these millennia. So in summary, there is no conflict in the coming synthesis, except with bigotry on either side. We will walk forward into a magical human future.


@anon953308 - Post 38: Actually there is some scientific evidence that the Pineal gland may create DMT. In 2013 a paper was published documenting the presence of DMT in the pineal glands of live rodents (Barker et al).


Fluoride is scientifically proven to calcify the pineal gland. When it's calcified it becomes inactive. Says who? One research study from 2003 which in 10 years can't be replicated? You clearly know nothing about science.


Just adding another voice to the fact that Dr. Rick Strassman was merely hypothesizing about DMT production in the Pineal gland, read: "DMT, The Spirit Molecule". DMT is also found in cerebrospinal fluid but there is no evidence for or against its being produced by the Pineal gland. But there is some evidence that for it being a byproduct of our metabolism, a chain of chemical events leading to its and many other chemicals' production from amino acids.


DMT is not proven to be secreted by the pineal gland. This was theorised by Strassman, but has not been proven or disproven. It is present in our brain and nobody official knows why.


Vestigial organs? Just because you can live without something doesn't mean you don't need it. You can live without your eyes, arms, legs, etc., but that doesn't mean you don't need them. The way I understand it, the appendix is part of the immune system.


Awesome. Can someone also post anything that debunks the myths by radicals that the pineal gland and melanin makes blacks "superior"? I get so tired of lazy, jobless, uneducated/street educated/jail educated people of my race, talking this conspiracy crap.


Some people just listen to these new age culture creators and want so bad to believe in these bullcrap stories they tell you. They are misleading you; it is a religious form of control. Try to understand this. They are luring people with fairytale stuff that is compelling and nice to believe in. Of course, people want to think that they magically will evolve to a higher consciousness and all that crap, but it's just putting people to sleep, really.

It is sad that the world is a cruel place with no justice, but running away from the truth is what got it that way in the first place. Please don't believe in fairy tales. Demand hard evidence and be sceptical about all information. Try to be good individuals, not some ideology's brainless puppets.


Nice to read a sensible article not full of pseudoscience nonsense. People will really believe anything and then try to make the science fit.


This is happening to me. I went through a traumatic event and I was put on hospice. I never could get to sleep either. I didn't die, to everyone's amazement. I just didn't believe I was dying. I kept telling them I am not dying and no one would listen

When I sleep I have vivid dreams and they all come true. I even predicted the swarm of earthquakes in the NW. This time I had proof that I said "swarm" of earthquakes while talking to a friend on yahoo messenger.

I even went to have dentures made and that was in August 2011 due to my illness sucking out my calcium. The DDS has tried so hard and he doesn't know what is happening. I had a dream before I started this process that I would never get them. I told my DDS that meant I was going to die before I get them. It wasn't that. I saw this article and just now have figured it out. Wow.

The Pacific Northwest will be hit by a huge earthquake which will trigger a tsunami, my gland tells me. I am not scared at all for some reason. I am getting supplies together and heading for Mt Rainer above 6,000 feet on that day.

I have a feeling an arm is going to come out of the ocean and kill millions of people down the pacific rim. I hope I am wrong, and then again I might just die before I could ever have top teeth.


All this talk about the pineal gland is making the inside of my head vibrate. I think I feel it, and the rest of the little glands in that area: hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal. Sit and feel it. Seek and ye shall find.


One of the many things this article seems to forget to mention is that the pineal gland has numerous characteristics similar to the human eye.

A large reason the gland is inactive is due to many things being added to our food and water. Fluoride is scientifically proven to calcify the pineal gland. When it's calcified it becomes inactive. The fluoride stifles our imaginations and "mystical" powers, and causes these kids to go through puberty at younger ages every year.

Yoga and Qigong are excellent ways to begin to decalcify your pineal gland, and begin to awaken who we really are and what we're really meant to be.


I had a 3cm tumor in my pineal gland that was diagnosed and treated in '06. For about half a decade I was misdiagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and eventually schizophrenia. I could not tolerate any treatments at all meant to treat my mental illness; in fact, the many things I did to attempt to treat my symptoms had devastating consequences, even some deadly ones on a couple occasions.

I begged my doctors then to give me a CT scan - no good. That's where having health insurance pays off - I did not have health insurance. I'm mostly confused because I still am so sensitive to even the smallest herb or vitamin, alternative treatment, etc. which tend to bring on a systemic rush that feels like poison running through me coupled with psychosis and these symptoms can last for weeks at a time. I am a painter.


i can honestly say i have experienced the effects of Dimethyltryptamine, more than once. 'DMT' is an amazing molecule that lives inside nearly every living thing on this planet.

And it's something that everyone must access, via meditation, lucid dreaming and or dmt extracts.

Yhat being said, the experience cannot be described properly or be given true justice unless one tries it for oneself.


To anon111092 and all: Hi, I have just been told i have a cyst on my pineal gland and over the past three or four years I have experienced both dizziness and vertigo and headaches and loss of depth perception and extreme constant tiredness even after nights sleep.

My doctor who did my MRI scan found the cyst and has referred my results to a neurologist for further in depth analysis I will post again when i have results of this.

In the meantime I have been referred to a physiotherapist for some physiotherapy with a view to this helping with my dizziness. I will let you know if this helps or not too.

Did the naturopath help and if so what helped? Thanks.


Just curious. This is the second time your site turned up in a search. Anyway, what is anon90300 saying about dominant genes being the evidence of a normal functioning gland while having dominant recessives genes (that is to say sets of recessive genes) means your glad (assuming anon90300 is talking about pineal gland) is non functioning? Why does anon90300 say this and can it be supported?


the guy who sees everything in 3d is spot on. I thought I was the only one who noticed this.


this gland according to ayurveda (indian ancient medical science) is able to affect various vital body functions, like sleep patterns, metabolism rate etc. read ayurveda for more detailed information


We don't have all the answers as yet but I sincerely believe that there is some substance to this theory. If the pineal gland is not capable of this psychic transfer, then what is? We have this ability. It is only a matter of time before we uncover the truth. I am excited about this pineal gland and want to learn more about it. So if anyone out there sees my note and wants to talk more about the topic, feel free to leave me a message.


I just recently got diagnosed with a viral infection that is stemming from my pineal gland. It was causing extreme dizziness, terrible dull headache and a warped perception like everything was in 3D. I felt that way for almost seven months until I recently began treatment with a naturopath. Has anyone else felt like this?


Fascinating, how could i lived this long without hearing of this?

Have looking for a tangible connection to the Third Eye for years. Just ran across this.


to anon41815: The pineal gland does not produce DMT. This is a myth. No scientific evidence has ever concluded that the pineal gland makes this substance, contrary to what you may have read on a website. Read "The Spirit Molecule," by Rick Strassman and it is clearly spelled out for you.


I believe at one time the human race started in Africa. And at that time we ate certain foods that contain the proper minerals( no meat sugar or acid) that stimulated the pineal gland which gave us the ability to perform extraordinary acts.(pyramids) normal functional gland produce dark skin, brown eyes, dark hair. non functional produces blond hair, blue or hazel or grey eyes, pale skin.


I have a cyst on my pineal gland. I'm not sure what it will do to me, though. Can anyone tell me please?


Okay I have a daughter of a friend who has an arachnoid cyst on this gland.

what she cannot find is a surgeon to remove it and This kid has to suffer electric shocks and all kinds of medicine. the young lady is 25 years old and is totally homebound.

I saw a surgeon remove a similar cyst on the gland successfully but did not get his name or where he was from. He was on the tv program called "The Doctors."


Just thought i'd chip in my two pence, Just listening to Graham Hancock, who wholly believes that DMT is present in the pineal gland. Also it's widely known that all the chemicals we are now being exposed to is dumbing us down suppressing the use of this gland. Look up fluoride.


actually this should go more of the category of psychiatry.

In my opinion 'scientists' have an idea that there is something beyond 'reality.'

Whatever. I don't like my assumptive labeling of what each individuals' ideals might be through their profession. And yes I do agree with you anon43126, but now it's just a matter of the answer.


Question to be asked is why is it inactive in the first place? Were we meant to be the way we are?


now that i am making my research about the third eye, i can say that i am really confused.


Thank you anon41815 for clarifying that so perfectly.

It's funny how "scientists" are afraid to acknowledge what really empowers existence because it doesn't fit into their textbook ideal of "reality".


the pineal does secrete a psychedelic. it is called DMT. it is a strong psychedelic when used you have a outer body experience. DMT is also everywhere in nature and in animals.

this is how buddhist monks and mazatec shamans reach the state of enlightenment -- by tuning into the pineal gland and activating the dmt.

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