Inner Peace: The love hormone has many possible uses

    Have you heard about the "love hormone"?

    I, for one, had not heard of this phenomenal little hormone, tucked somewhere in the hypothalamus, until last week. Ordinarily I am not the type of person who goes running to WebMD to find out what's going on in my hypothalamus, but when I heard it hid a love hormone, I suspected it might hold a secret to further happiness.

    So immediately I researched it and discovered the body produces it all by itself at those most delicate times when we are at our happiest. Thus it is familiarly called the "love hormone." Its medical name is oxytocin.

    This little hormone has been injected into humans by data-driven researchers who have charted its effects. It has been found to make stingy folks more generous, uptight folks more relaxed, hostile folks friendl and best of all, frigid folks sexy. The higher your oxytocin level, apparently, the more "out there" you become.

    It works in dogs, too. "Animal studies have shown the oxytocin plays a role in bonding and social relationships," according to researcher Larry Young, Ph.D., of Emory University.

    To date, Big Pharma is behind the eight ball when it comes to envisioning the love hormone's possibilities, but I have every confidence that once they discover its marketing potential, they'll have it mass produced and in every WalMart pharmacy in the world.

    I'm waiting for them to bring it out in spray form. I predict everyone will be walking around with a spray can of oxytocin. Imagine the uses!

    Your hostile boss? No problem. Squirt a whiff of the love hormone and s/he's yours.

    That fundraiser? Do a little song and dance and keep spraying the air as you move; everyone will empty their pockets.

    Ministers will no doubt use it on Pledge Sunday, and it should work better than guns against criminals. Cops could spray them with the love hormone and videotape the perp as his rage evaporates.

    It may even end war, if the military industrial complex doesn't ban it first for fear of financial loss.

    Of course, there are humps to be overcome between the discovery of the love effect of oxytocin and its widespread use. For example, they do not yet know if oxytocin makes people happy or if happier people just have more of it, so there's the little problem of the cart and the horse, but I have every confidence they will iron out that wrinkle.

    Meanwhile, advertisers have already caught on. Why do you see puppies in toilet paper ads, sexy girls in new car ads, and handsome hunky guys smoking? Because when people look at them their oxytocin spikes up and it causes them forget about bowels, car payments and lung cancer.

    Cause and effect; there's a bright new world a-coming. 

    Dorothy Vogel, lives in Talent. She is the author of a mystery that takes place in southern Oregon, called "The Timber Mill Action," available on She's formerly a technical writer for AT&T, writer for the National Council of Churches in Manhattan, and a news reporter in New Jersey.

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