The pineal gland, also known as the pineal body, conarium or epiphysis cerebri, is a small endocrine gland in the vertebrate brain. It produces the serotonin derivative melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of sleep patterns in the circadian rhythms and seasonal functions. Its shape resembles a tiny pine cone (hence its name), and it is located in the epithalamus, near the centre of the brain, between the two hemispheres, tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies join.
Calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride deposits in the pineal gland have been correlated with aging, showing that, as the brain ages, more deposits collect.
Dr. Rick Strassman, who conducted research on the psychedelic dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in the 1990s at the University of New Mexico, has speculated that the pineal gland plays a role in the production of DMT in the human brain. Strassman has also advanced the controversial hypothesis that a massive release of DMT from the pineal gland prior to death, or near death, can result in a near-death experience (NDE). Strassman has suggested that the pineal gland is responsible for DMT production because enzymatic material needed to produce DMT is found there in substantially greater concentrations than in any other part of the body,
The secretory activity of the pineal gland is only partially understood. Its location deep in the brain suggested to philosophers throughout history that it possesses particular importance. This combination led to its being regarded as a “mystery” gland