Seed Cycling for Hormone Regulation

blur-close-up-dry-691175.jpg

What is Seed Cycling?

Seed cycling is a simple tool using a ‘food as medicine’ principle to help regulate your hormones. This super easy technique includes rotating various seeds into your diet which helps the female body to naturally re-balance our levels of estrogen and progesterone. When a woman consumes these different types of seeds (usually flax, pumpkin, sesame or sunflower) during the two different phases of her menstrual cycle (the follicular and the luteal phase), she can gently help correct underlying hormonal imbalances.

Who Is It Good For?

Seed cycling can be helpful with regulating women’s hormones at virtually every stage in her life - menstruating, menopausal, or post-menopausal.

Seed Cycling & Fertility

Amazing results in the area of fertility have been seen with the use of seed cycling. Ultimately, anything that’s going to help a woman normalize her cycle will also help boost fertility. In my clinical experience using this tool, I’ve witnessed countless women overcome fertility issues and go on to conceive after implementing just this protocol.

Both phases of a woman’s cycle must be in sync in order for the ripening of a robust egg and sufficient growth of a lush uterine lining for implantation to occur. So, it is important not only to have a strong follicular phase (day 1 of your menses through ovulation) where estrogen is the main hormone in play, but also to have a strong luteal phase (from ovulation until menses starts) where progesterone is the helpful hormone in ripening that uterine lining to welcome a fertile egg. Seed cycling encourages hormone balance and regulation in both phases of the cycle, and so can help boost fertility in this way.

Seed Cycling & Hormone Regulation

Seed cycling is not just helpful for women trying to conceive, but is also helpful to any woman looking to naturally regulate her hormones. Since it helps to balance hormone levels, it can be quite useful to use across many different types of hormonal issues.

Estrogen and progesterone are two of our critical sex hormones which help regulate the menstrual cycle. Estrogen levels rise during the first half (follicular) of the cycle, whereas progesterone levels rise during the second half (luteal) of the cycle. When estrogen and progesterone swing out of this normal state of balance, this can lead to various emotional and physical symptoms.

In following this seed cycling protocol, women have noticed hormone symptoms (such as mood swings, cramping, insomnia, and headaches) have been reduced or completely disappeared within many times just a few months of beginning the protocol. Short cycles have lengthened and long cycles have shortened, and periods that were missing have even come back.

Here are just some the issues that seed cycling can help with:

  • Infertility/Sub-fertility

  • Endometriosis

  • Ovarian Cysts

  • Fibroids

  • Post Birth Control Syndrome

  • Hair Loss

  • Weight Gain

  • Irregular Periods

  • PCOS

  • Anovulation

  • Bloating

  • Low Libido

  • Headaches

  • PMS

  • Fatigue

  • Cold Hands and Feet

  • Anxiety/Depression

It is an incredibly natural and inexpensive way to restore the female body to a state of balance.

How It Works

PHASE ONE - Follicular Phase - Days 1–14  of the menstrual cycle

The follicular phase is the estrogen-dominant phase of the cycle. During this phase, supporting estrogen helps us to build the uterine lining. To support proper estrogen production, consume daily:

  • 1 Tablespoon of organic raw, ground flax seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon of organic raw, ground pumpkin seeds

These seeds are both rich in omega-3 fatty acids which promote healthy cell membrane and hormone signaling. Flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds contain components called lignans which helps balance estrogen metabolism. Lignans are also phytoestrogens, which can help boost estrogen if it’s too low or lower estrogen if it’s too high. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium and zinc which support progesterone production and preparation for the second phase of your cycle.

PHASE TWO - Luteal Phase - Days 15–28 of the menstrual cycle

The luteal phase is the progesterone-dominant phase of the cycle. This second phase begins with ovulation as the body shifts from estrogen production to progesterone production. To support proper progesterone production, consume daily:

  • 1 Tablespoon of organic raw, ground sesame seeds

  • 1 Tablespoon of organic raw, ground sunflower seeds.

Sesame seeds are high in lignans, which will help balance and block excess estrogen levels. At this time in the cycle, estrogen should be lower while progesterone rises and lignans can support this shift. Sesame seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acids which help cellular membrane and hormonal signaling.

Sesame and sunflower seeds contain high amounts of Vitamin E which can directly improve production of progesterone in the luteal phase. Sunflower seeds also provide the body with selenium, which also has been shown to increase progesterone and improve overall hormonal balance.

If you feel like you’d like a little extra nudge in the right direction, then you can also add supportive oils to this program. About 1500 mg combined EPA and DHA of a plant-based algae oil (Ovega-3 is my favorite) or fish oil, can be added to Days 1 – 14 and Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) can be added to days 15 – 28.

How To Use Seed Cycling To Fit Different Cycles

For women with amenorrhea (no cycles), follow the phases of the moon. Take the flax/pumpkin seeds from full moon to new moon. T hen take the sesame/sunflower combination from new moon to full moon.

For women who have just slightly longer or shorter than a 28-day cycle (within 1-3 days longer or shorter), start your follicular seeds from cycle day 1 (the first day of your period) to ovulation. Then, switch to luteal phase seeds after ovulation.

For women who are menopausal, you can start seed cycling anytime of the month. Just take the flax/pumpkin seeds for the first 14 days, and then switch to sesame/sunflower seeds.

Key Points

  • Hormonal changes takes time. Allow for at least 3-4 cycles before noticeable changes are seen, so be patient.

  • Use organic seeds when possible.

  • If you have digestive discomfort with ingesting these seeds, soak them overnight before use.

  • It is helpful to continue seed cycling, even after substantial changes are noticed

  • Grinding seeds fresh is best. If you need to save time, you can grind about 5-7 days worth of seeds at a time and keep in the fridge to prevent oxidation.

  • Always use raw (unroasted, unsalted/seasoned, unhulled) seeds to ensure they have their medicinal properties in full.

  • Purchase whole seeds and use a coffee grinder to grind them.

  • Seeds can be eaten with other foods. They taste great in a smoothie, salad, soup, or grain bowl. If you are eating them with warm temperature foods, just add them to the dish at the end.

References

  1. The Chalkboard - http://thechalkboardmag.com/how-to-seed-cycle-for-your-period-hormone-health

  2. Nicole Jardim, The Period Girl - https://nicolejardim.com/seed-cycling/

  3. Natural Fertility Info - https://natural-fertility-info.com/seed-cycling-for-menstrual-cycle.html

  4. No Period Now - https://www.noperiodnowwhat.com/research/seed-cycling-for-no-period-nope

  5. Hormones and Balance - https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/how-to-use-seed-rotation-to-rebalance-your-menstrual-cycle/

  6. Dr. Jolene Brighton - https://drbrighten.com/seed-cycling-menopausal-hormones/

  7. Herbal Academy - https://theherbalacademy.com/seed-cycling-for-hormonal-balance/

Laurie Terzo