Seed cycling is the practice of consuming specific seeds at certain times during the menstrual cycle with the aim of balancing the hormones.
SEED CYCLING USES
Seed cycling can be useful for balancing our hormones; thus, it can be used for many different hormonal complaints.
Commonly, seed cycling can be beneficial for:
Menstrual cycle irregularities (dysmenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea etc…)
Hormonal conditions such as PCOS
Menopause & menopausal symptoms
The menstrual cycle is broken up into two parts, the follicular phase & the luteal phase.
The follicular phase of your menstrual cycle is commonly the first 14 days of your cycle, though it can vary from person to person. The first day of your menstrual cycle is the day you start your period.
From day one to approximately day 14, your estrogen levels should be rising, and progesterone levels should be fairly low, as seen in the table below.
Around day 14, ovulation begins, our estrogen levels start to decline, and the progesterone levels start to rise. This is when we’re now in the luteal phase of our menstrual cycle, as seen in the table below.
How seed cycling works is we consume specific seeds during certain phases of the menstrual cycle to support the hormones that are prevalent during that phase.
The seeds consumed during the first 14 days, or the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle are pumpkin & flax seeds. These seeds are both phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. They work as estrogen modulators, meaning they modulate your body’s own natural estrogen to balance the hormones optimally.
The seeds consumed during the last 14 days, or the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle are sesame & sunflower seeds. These seeds have been shown to support optimal progesterone production in the body. They are high in minerals that are needed to support sex hormone production, namely in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
You can start seed cycling at any point during your menstrual cycle, you just need to know where you are at in your cycle in order to determine which seeds to start with. It will be best to track your menstrual cycle during this time.
Importantly, not everyone ovulates at the same time during their cycle, it’s not always day 14, so once you determine which day you ovulate, you will have a better idea of when to switch your seeds.
The first 14 days of the menstrual cycle, during the follicular phase, you will be consuming 1 tbsp of freshly ground flax seed & 1 tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds daily.
The second 14 days of the menstrual cycle, during the luteal phase, you will be consuming 1 tbsp of freshly ground sunflower seeds & 1 tbsp of sesame seeds.
Like with any treatment, consistency is key. You’ll want to practice seed cycling for a few full cycles before you may notice a difference.
Dr. Samantha Allen, ND