Seed cycling provides natural support for hormone balancing. It can help with almost any symptom related to hormones including pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), acne & other skin complaints, normalising the menstrual cycle, peri-menopause, post-menopausal hormone symptoms like low libido or depression and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Seed cycling is a simple concept where you add certain seeds to your diet on a daily basis with the aim of helping to balance your hormones. There are two phases to seed cycling each of 14 days. You take different seeds during the different phases and each seed has its own qualities and functions to support your hormones. What I like about seed cycling is that it is natural, simple and inexpensive because it is done with real food i.e. seeds and not with supplements or drugs.
When you have a regular menstrual cycle you take the seeds according to your own cycle. However, if your menstrual cycle is irregular, absent or if you are post menopause, you follow the cycle of the moon.
The concept is fairly simple. The seed hulls contain lignans, which are chemicals that help bind up excess hormones, while the seed oils contain essential fatty acids that provide the building blocks for making hormones. The seeds can assist the body in either producing more of a needed hormone or processing and eliminating excess hormones.
The first half of the cycle is the oestrogen-dominant phase and starts on the first day of your period and the 14 days that follow OR if you are following the lunar cycle, between new and full moon. You take 1tbsp flaxseed and 1tbsp pumpkin seeds daily. The pumpkin and flax seed combination helps your body detoxify the extra oestrogen that can be a problem at this time of month. They also provide the body with omega 3 fatty acids, which promote healthy cell membranes, allowing hormones to reach their destinations within the body. The lignans from the flax seeds bind to excess oestrogen and help your body to eliminate it. Additionally, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which helps hormone production.
The second half of the cycle is the luteal phase of your menstrual cycle beginning with ovulation when your body shifts from oestrogen production to progesterone production to the day before your next period. OR if you are following the lunar cycle, from the day of the full moon to when there is no moon 14 days later. You take 1tbsp sesame seeds and 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds daily. Sesame seeds, which also contain lignans, help to block excess oestrogen while sunflower seeds provide the body with selenium, a mineral that assists the liver in its detoxification process and thus overall hormonal balance (old hormones are detoxified by the liver). These seeds are also a rich source of linoleic acid an essential fatty acid, which can convert to gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which also helps the balance between progesterone and oestrogen.
For extra support you can add fish oil and evening primrose oil. Add 1500 to 2000 mg combined EPA and DHA and about 1000mg Evening Primrose Oil on a daily basis.
Proper seed preparation is very important. It is best to buy whole seeds (raw, organic and un-hulled) and use a coffee grinder, mortar & pestle or Vitamix to grind them. Grinding seeds releases the nutritional benefits. If you eat seeds whole you are only benefiting from the fibre and they would pass straight through your digestive tract. Only prepare a 2 or 3-day supply at a time as the ground seeds are susceptible to oxidation and can go rancid. You can store the ground seeds in an airtight container or jar and keep them in the refrigerator to maintain maximum freshness.
The easiest way to eat them is in yoghurt, cereal, smoothies, salads, soups or however else you can get them. It is also recommended not to add the four seeds at other times as it can disrupt your rhythm and cause hormonal confusion!
Seed cycling for hormone balance is NOT a quick fix. It takes time to re-establish the rhythms of your body. Typically you will start noticing changes after 3-4 months (3-4 cycles). Because this protocol is using foods it is safe to combine with other therapies and can help to enhance their actions. If you have a more serious hormonal issue like PCOS, seed cycling is unlikely to fix it but it may help other actions to work better and help your body find its rhythm.
Finally it is fascinating to understand the connection between the lunar cycle and our hormonal rhythm. We are all wild animals at heart. In the ‘wild state’ you wouldn’t have been exposed to artificial light and so very powerful signals were sent to your brain by the changing light of the moon, and this was one of the ways your body kept rhythms. Women’s typical hormone cycles are 28 days, which happens to be the length of a full lunar cycle. This is not a coincidence! Women are designed to be at peak fertility (ovulation) at the full moon. Fertility is lowest (menstruation), at the new moon when nights are darkest. Men’s fertility follows women’s in this scenario so that we’re all most fertile at the same time.
Give seed cycling a go, you’ve got nothing to lose! I have been feeling more balanced hormonally since I’ve been doing it. If you don’t see an improvement after 3-4 months, please do not hesitate in contacting me for additional help in balancing your hormones on 07747 780035 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.