Balancing Hormones with Seed Cycling
Many women have trouble with their menstrual cycles. We can experience menstrual cramps, back aches, PMS, low energy, irregular cycles, uterine fibroids and more. This is due in part to hormonal imbalances, in particular an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone.
Menstrual Cycle Hormone Balance
The female reproductive cycle involves an interplay of hormones that normally results in cyclical changes in the ovaries and uterus. Each cycle takes approximately 28 days to complete and involves the development and release of an egg from the ovaries and the preparation of the uterus to receive a fertilized egg. If fertilization doesn’t occur, the endometrial (uterine) lining is lost through menstruation (day 1). Estrogen and progesterone are two of the key hormones that regulate this cycle. Estrogen levels increase during the first part of the cycle; whereas, progesterone levels increase while estrogen levels slowly decrease during the last part of the cycle. It is the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone throughout the cycle that contributes to the symptoms of PMS, menstrual cramps and irregular cycles.
The good news is that this can often be corrected with seed cycling. Seed cycling works to benefit the regularity and health of the entire cycle by supporting our hormone production, binding and metabolism. Different seeds contain different types and amounts lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans help our body bind up excess hormones, whereas fatty acids help with our hormone production. Together they work on balancing hormones throughout the entire menstrual cycle. It’s best to have flax and pumpkin seeds during the first phase of your menstrual cycle and sesame and sunflower seeds during the second phase.
- Flax and sesame seeds are full of lignans, which block excess estrogens.
- Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for the liver detoxification
- Pumpkin seeds high in zinc,which supports progesterone release
Together, these seeds will balance your cycle when taken in the appropriate phases of your cycle.
Monthly Seed Rotation Plan:
- Day 1-14: 1 Tbsp freshly ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds daily
- Day 15-menses: 1 Tbsp freshly ground sunflower and sesame seeds daily
It usually takes about 3 months before you will start noticing the improvement in your menstrual related symptoms (credit patrick). So give it time, be consistent and if after 3 months you haven’t noticed much of a difference stop by the office to ask questions and book an appointment.
Dr. Kristy, Naturopathic Doctor San Francisco