Reprinted from Nature's Field
The Pineal Gland: Mysterious Composer
by Steven Horne
Until recently, medical researchers have thought of the pineal as a useless holdover from evolution like the appendix and tonsils. Sages and mystics, however, have referred to it as the "third eye" and considered it "the seat of the mind". They have called it the spiritual gland and taught that it was responsible for altered states of consciousness and phenomenon like inspiration or intuition.
Dorothy Hall, the Australian Naturopath, who developed the analogy of comparing the glandular system to an orchestra, says the following about the pineal gland in her book, What's Wrong With You? "Animal instinct is preserved in humans in this gland, though in a vastly less useful manner than through the pineal glands of dogs, cats and most other animals. Humans who listen to that still small voice within, have a great advantage over those who ignore it as '˜irrational' or 'illogical', or even worse 'not proven scientifically.' Dr. Hall maintains that animal instinct is derived from this gland and points out: "Animals have much larger and more active pineal glands than do humans."
A Biological Clock
Although medical researchers have not shown that the pineal gland is the source of inspiration, they have discovered that it does have some very important functions. It appears to be a sort of "timing clock" which affects sleep, mood and reproductive maturation and behavior. For example, it secretes a hormone which inhibits sexual maturation until the appropriate time. This same hormone also appears to help regulate sleep cycles. Other research indicates that the pineal gland influences the reproductive cycle in women. In his book, Vibrational Medicine, Dr. Richard Gerber states: "Medical research in the field of chroniobiology has recognized the pineal as one of the bodies internal clocks."
Perhaps the mystics were not too far off, for it also appears that the pineal gland is sensitive to light. In lower animals it has been shown that the gland actually does possesses photo-receptors which can detect light. It is possible that this may be true in human beings as well. Some researchers feel that light passes through the eye where the retina not only sends the signals of what is being seen to the brain, it also passes information about the type (color) of light through electrochemical impulses to the pineal and pituitary glands and the hypothalmus. These glands in turn regulate the rest of the endocrine system. The kind of light which passes through our eyes has effects on every cell in our body through the endocrine system. Hence, we might think of the pineal gland as the source of "enlightenment."
Light is a Nutrient
Light is an important "nutrient" for a healthy body. When people do not get sufficient exposure to light, they can become depressed. This is due to an alteration in the hormones secreted by the pineal gland. This phenomenon occurs in far northern climates during the winter time and is known as "winter blues" or "cabin fever."
But it isn't just the amount of light the body is exposed to that's important to good health, its also the kind of light we are exposed to. Time-lapse photographer John Ott found that different wavelengths of light caused plants and animals to grow in different ways.
In his book, Health and Light, Ott reports that when he changed from incandescent lighting to fluorescent that plants would suddenly cease to grow in one pattern and grow in another. His discoveries that light affected the growth of plants influenced him to start testing the effects of light on animals. He learned that they were also affected by different kinds of light.
For example, pink fluorescent lights caused mice to develop tumors and die in an average of 7-1/2 months. Their tails would also wither and fall off after a time under pink fluorescent lights. Under a certain dark blue fluorescent, the cholesterol level in the mice rose sharply. Males become obese, females did not. A red filter caused the heart cells of chicken embryos to weaken and rupture. Other types of light caused problems like aggressiveness, hyperactive behavior, aimlessness and disorientation, as well as sexual changes in mice, rats and other animals.
The discoveries of John Ott demonstrate that sunlight, which has the full spectrum of light waves in it, is an important "nutrient" for a healthy
glandular system. Because of his discoveries, many people are now using various types of full-spectrum lights indoors, which duplicate the wavelength patterns of sunlight.
The Pineal Gland and Melatonin
The pineal gland is a small, pea-sized gland located in the center of the brain. It is associated with biological responses to light and regulation of the body's circadian rhythms such as sleep.
Exposure to light inhibits the secretion of melatonin, a pineal hormone, and darkness stimulates it.
Secretion of this natural antioxidant peaks around midnight and troughs in the morning.
Melatonin production decreases with age.
A Natural Crystal
An odd thing about the pineal gland is that it contains a crystalline structure. Dr. Richard Gerber, M.D., mentioned earlier, makes the following
comments about this crystal in our brain: One particular crystalline structure...is the pineal gland and more specifically, the pineal calcification: a crystal that lies in the center of the brain. Long recognized as a structural landmark for judging x-ray parameters of symmetry within the human brain, the true function of the pineal's crystal has never been known. Some scientists have gone so far as to suggest that the more the calcification, the lesser the capacity for physiologic function left within the supposedly atrophied and aging pineal gland. It is interesting that many modern watches contain a "quartz crystal" which helps to operate the watch. Crystals are also used in science to help "tune into" and stabilize various vibrational signals. Isn't it interesting that our own internal biological clock and "light receiver" makes use of a crystalline structure?
There appears to be a pineal body type. Physically, the pineal type would look like the pituitary type, but there will be some personality differences.
A person with a dominant pineal gland would tend to be very spiritually aware, perhaps even someone of a religious "fanatic" or mystic. They
would be very idealistic and highly creative. To the average person, they would also appear to be somewhat impracticeal'”lost in the "clouds" if you will. The author has known at least two people who could be considered pineal types. Both were unusually gifted people.
Little is known about the herbs which work on the pineal gland. My own results with muscle testing suggest that herbs for the pituitary also hep the pineal gland. Hence, the pineal is probably benefitted by Herbal trace minerals or MasterGland Formula. As we have noted, sunlight is also an important nutrient for the pineal.
The pineal gland is also loaded with a hormone called "serotonin" which is remarkably similar to LSD. Therefore, we might speculate (although this is not documented fact) that mind-altering herbs and chemicals have a strong affect on this gland. It is also likely that a strong and active pineal gland leads one towards a more spiritual and creative life. However, like many great artists, the pineal gland remains a mysterious recluse whose secrets have yet to be fully understood.
Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber
Health and Light by John Ott
What's Wrong with You by Dorothy Hall
"Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Part Three", Mother Earth News, Jan/Feb 1979.
This information is for educational purposes only. Consult with a qualified health practitioner for all serious or persistent illness. Copyright © 1999 by Robinson & Horne,L.C., P.O. Box 1028, Roosevelt, UT 84066. This material may be duplicated for educational purposes only (not for resale) provided it is not altered in any way.
Distributed by: Four Winds Nutrition - Webnat.com