The first time I learned about Seed Cycling, I was like, “Nah, Hippies” that’s not a thing and you’re preaching fake news. Fast forward to when I came off of birth control and needed to get my hormones back in check (yes, post birth control syndrome is a real thing!) and I decided to give this “seed cycling” thing a go. Yes, there is most definitely a Natural Alternatives to Birth Control post coming up, it’s such an important topic!
What is Seed Cycling?
Seed cycling, is an old remedy that utilizes seeds to help bring our hormones back into check and helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. Seed Cycling is also used by some women who do not get a regular period and has been shown to be effective in helping women regain hormonal balance and regular periods.
How does Seed Cycling Work?
With seed cycling, we use seeds with estrogenic effects in the first half of the menstrual cycle and seeds that trigger progesterone production in the second half of the cycle.
Seeds which trigger estrogen production in the body are:
– Flax Seeds and Pumpkin Seeds
Seeds which trigger progesterone production in the body are:
– Sesame Seeds and Sunflower Seeds
The first half of the menstrual cycle is estrogen dominant. The combination of flax and pumpkin seeds taken in the first half of the cycle work to detox any excess estrogen while also preparing the body for adequate progesterone production in the second half of the cycle.
How to do Seed Cycling
In order to track if seed cycling is working for you, you’ll want to keep a journal of how you feel ideally before you start seed cycling and then how you feel once you start seed cycling. Keep track of how long your phases and cycles are, both before and during seed cycling.
As I mentioned before, you can also use seed cycling, if you are currently struggling with amenorrhea or loss of your period. At the new moon, you’ll want to begin with the estrogenic seeds (pumpkin and flax) . With the full moon you’ll use the progesterone-enhancing seeds (sunflower and sesame) and keep following that cycle.
Follicular Phase (Days 1-14)
On Day 1 of your period, which is also day one of the the Follicular Phase, you’ll want to add 2 TABLESPOONS OF RAW GROUND FLAX OR PUMPKIN SEEDS to your diet. You can add them into a smoothie, top your oatmeal, or add them to your salad. You’re going to have 2 tablespoons of raw, ground flax or pumpkin seeds until ovulation or Day 14, if you are not sure when you ovulate.
Day 1-14 (approximately) you are going to add 2 tablespoons of ground flax or ground pumpkin seeds or 1 tablespoon of both ground flax and ground pumpkin seeds.
Luteal Phase (Days 15-28)
On Day 15 until Day 28-30 which is also known as the luteal phase, you’ll want to add 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND RAW SESAME OR SUNFLOWER SEEDS to your diet.You can add them into a smoothie, top your oatmeal, or add them to your salad. You’re going to continue eating these seeds until Day 1 of your cycle or if you are working at getting your menstrual cycle back, you’re going to eat these seeds until Day 28 or the first day of the New Moon.
Day 15-28 (approximately) you are going to add 2 tablespoons of ground sesame or ground sunflower seeds or 1 tablespoon of both ground sesame and ground sunflower seeds.
Sowing the Seeds
Flaxseeds: high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids and fibre. These seeds help to
eliminate excess hormones and wastes, which helps to keep menstrual pain at bay. Flaxseeds also contains lignans, a phytoestrogen that stops your body from producing excess estrogen.
How the flax works: Once you have eaten flaxseeds and it arrives in your large intestine, bacteria gets to work converting the lignans in flax to enterolactone and enterodiol. These go into your estrogen receptors and block them from creating excess estrogen.
Pumpkin Seeds: high in Omega 6 fatty acids and zinc which is crucial for reproduction and healthy immune function. Zinc inhibits 5-Alpha-Reductase which is an enzyme that converts testosterone into it’s more potent and dangerous counterpart dihydrotesterone (DHT), especially important for women who struggle with PCOS.
Sesame Seeds: high in Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E which is essential for fertility. Sesame seeds also contain lignans which block excess estrogen. Vitamin E is important in increasing progesterone levels, which is crucial for fertility. Vitamin E also improves luteal function.
Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and lignans which are anti estrogenic. Sunflower seeds important for the second phase of the cycle. Their vitamin E content is what sets them apart from flax seeds.
Have you ever tried seed cycling? Would you ever try seed cycling? Let me know!