Hormone Balancing With Seed Cycling – Part 2
I have received many questions about seed cycling and the menstrual cycle so thought I should write another blog post answering them.
Seed cycling works to benefit the regularity and health of the entire menstrual cycle by supporting our hormone production, binding and metabolism. It is particularly useful for women with irregular menstrual periods, complete absence of a menstrual period, PMS and for those women having difficultly conceiving. Seeds contain natural compounds called lignans and essential fatty acids. Lignans help our body bind up excess hormones, whereas essential fatty acids work to promote optimal hormone production. Together their actions contribute to optimal hormone levels and a balanced 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 pumpkin seeds are full of lignans, which block excess estrogens. They also contain high levels of essential fatty acids.
- Sunflower seeds are high in selenium, a trace mineral that is essential for the liver detoxification and thus overall hormone balance.
- Pumpkin seeds, sesame and sunflower seeds are high in zinc, which helps promote hormone production and supports our immune and nervous systems.
Together, these seeds will balance your cycle when taken in the appropriate phases of your cycle.
Monthly Seed Cycling Rotation Plan:
- Day 1-14 (Day 1 is the first day of your menstrual period): 1 Tbsp of freshly ground flax seeds AND 1 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds daily
- Day 15-28: 1 Tbsp freshly of ground sunflower AND 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds daily
Seed Cycling Questions and Answers
I currently don’t have a menstrual period but would like to try seed cycling to bring it back. What day should I start the seed cycling ?
For women without a defined menstrual period, it is best to start the cycling either with the new moon or full moon. By following the moon phases your menstrual cycle may come back quicker.
After 2 months I got my menstrual period. It came while I was still taking the sunflower and sesame seeds on day 25. I have another days days until I reach day 28. What should I do?
Continue with the sunflower and sesame seeds until day 28. Then make the switch to the flax and pumpkin seeds as usual. After a couple more months you should start to see your menstrual period occur closer to day 28.
After a couple months of seed cycling I got my period a few days after switching from flax to sesame seeds. Should I continue with the seed cycling cycle I was already doing or should I start with the flax and pumpkin seeds on that first day of my period?
Continue with the 28 day seed cycling you were already doing. I know it may seem strange, but after a couple more months you should start to see your cycle become closer to the 28 day menstrual cycle.
I have started to get my period between day 30 and 35. What should I do about the seed cycling?
Continue with the 28 day seed cycling as before. After a couple more months you should start to see your menstrual period occur closer to day 28.
Do the seeds need to be ground?
Yes, they do need to be ground. The grinding process allows the essential fatty acids to be released and thus easier absorbed and utilized in our bodies. It is important to freshly grind your seeds everyday at home. If you buy already ground seeds the essential oils can go rancid (depending on how long they were on the store shelf). If you don’t have the time to freshly grind your seeds everyday you can do it once a week and store them in the freezer. This will prevent the oils from going rancid. An electric seed grinder (similar to a coffee grinder) is quick and works great.
Do the seeds need to be soaked and dried before grinding them?
I haven’t seen this make a difference, so I don’t think it’s necessary.
Can I use nut butters instead?
Raw nut butters should work as well. The only disadvantages I see are that the oils will not be as fresh when compared to freshly ground seeds and that some nut butters have sugar and other contaminants added. If the essential fatty acids are not fresh their beneficial effects will be lessened. I prefer freshly ground seeds over nut butters.
It usually takes about 3 months before you will start noticing the improvement in your menstrual related symptoms. So give it time, be consistent and if after 3 months you haven’t noticed much of a difference call or stop by the practice to schedule an appointment for an individual hormone balancing program.
Dr. Kristy Vermeulen, ND