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Coffee is the most widely consumed mind-altering drug in the world. Not only is it completely legal, but it is heavily promoted. Hundreds of millions of people start their day with this stimulant. Coffee shops are everywhere and the trend is accelerating in the developing world. Coffee has become associated with productivity and success, so many workers drink it throughout the day to stay focused. We know it is addictive and hard to quit, but unlike other drugs, having an addiction to coffee is not seen as a problem.
If you search online about the health consequences of coffee, you will find many websites telling you about all its incredible benefits. Apparently, scientific studies show a myriad of health advantages. But is it really good for you? We have written before about how mainstream health information may not be trustworthy, you can read the article here.
Recently we came across some extremely concerning information about coffee, that it shrinks the pineal gland. The study can be found here. This should be of particular interest to the spiritually minded amongst you and may explain why coffee is so heavily promoted in today’s materialist world. Certainly, when it comes to health and spirituality, modern society often promotes what harms us and conceals what heals us.
The human brain is the most complicated thing in the known universe, and the pea-sized pineal gland can be found right at its centre. Unlike the other parts of the brain which are mirrored between the left and right hemisphere, there is only one pineal gland. It has attracted considerable attention from scientists as well as mystics and philosophers. Descartes referred to it as “the seat of the soul”, and many believe it is the physical equivalent of the Third Eye Chakra (the centre of our imagination, intuition, and psychic powers).
The doctor turned modern-day mystic, Rick Strassman carried out experiments with the psychedelic compound DMT. He was astonished to find it caused participants to enter into completely alternative worlds, with many reporting similar experiences. In his book, the “Spirit Molecule”, Strassman hypothesized that DMT was released by the pineal gland when a person dies, facilitating the soul’s journey. He believes that near-death experiences featuring encounters with alien or spiritual entities were caused by a release of DMT. There has been some evidence to back this up, DMT has been found in very high concentrations in the pineal gland.
Modern science is not so concerned with supernatural experiences, so research on the pineal gland has mostly centred around melatonin and sleep. Melatonin is the hormone the body uses to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It is produced by the pineal gland and makes it possible for sleep to occur.
Caffeine, the primary active ingredient in coffee, disrupts the normal function of the brain by effectively tricking the pineal gland into producing less melatonin. The signal to produce melatonin is given by adenosine, and the caffeine molecule blocks the adenosine receptors. Basically, the brain is tricked into thinking sleep is not needed. This is why coffee produces a feeling of wakefulness.
Disrupting the normal balance of a system as sophisticated as the human brain will have consequences. Coffee drinkers have been shown to experience many more sleep problems than people who abstain from the beverage. Previous scientific evidence shows that the smaller the pineal gland, the less melatonin is produced (and there are more sleep problems). But up in till 2018, nobody had studied the link between coffee consumption and the size of the pineal gland.
The Korean study (linked above) found something astonishing. People who had drunk a considerable amount of coffee ( the equivalent of 2 cups a day for 30 years) had pineal glands 20% smaller than those who drank less, or no coffee. The heavy coffee drinkers also experienced more sleeping problems.
Why does coffee shrink the pineal gland? The authors give three possibilities.
Firstly, it may be due to the decrease in melatonin caused by caffeine blocking the adenosine receptors (we already know lower melatonin production is associated with smaller pineal glands). Secondly, another part of the brain, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, also has adenosine receptors which are blocked by caffeine. This part of the brain regulates the circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) and when it is disrupted, brain damage can occur. The third way coffee may shrink the third eye is because it contains flavonoids which have shown to decrease melatonin in animal studies.
While the researches focus on sleep quality, there will likely be other consequences of a shrunken pineal gland, If this truly is the seat of the soul then it is something you do not want to mess with! We do not want to speculate too much, because we are concerned with facts, not theories. But it does seem that a population bereft of intuition, imagination and psychic facilities would be easier to control. We already know that Fluoride (found in our toothpaste and sometimes our water) calcifies the pineal gland. If you think this is a conspiracy theory, look it up. So, coffee may be adding to the problem. As we have said, when it comes to spirituality and health, the modern world provides many pitfalls.
So, what can you do if you want to quit coffee? People generally drink coffee because they are sleep deprived and lacking energy, many things can be done to remedy this.
Since coffee tricks the brain into thinking you have had more rest, the best thing to do is to get more rest. Try to wind down in the evening and avoid electronic devices. It is best to sleep in total darkness to allow the pineal gland to function correctly while you sleep. Many people find black seed oil helpful for sleep and we have previously written about its relation to the pineal gland via melanin (also produced in the pineal gland).
Energy comes from what you put into your body, avoiding sugar and processed food can hugely boost your energy levels. If you are lacking energy, it may be you are eating something that you are allergic to. Fasting can be a great way to detox the body and restore your energy. People who fast are often surprised at how much energy they have considering they are not eating.
If your morning routine is downing a strong coffee and reading the news, you may want to replace it with something more wholesome. We recommend opening a window and taking 9 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Then you can use an affirmation to set a positive intention for the day. Breathing exercises are an incredibly powerful way to give the body a natural energy boost. One of our favourites is the Wim Hoff breathing technique.
If you are suffering from low energy and want to give up coffee, you are welcome to come for a free health consultation at our store in Brixton. We also provide many herbs that can boost your energy by working with the natural rhythm of the body.