Seed cycling for hormone balance is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while now. I first learned about it a few years ago from one of my favorite blogs but never thought to put it into practice, because honestly, I thought it was just too easy. How is it that simply eating seeds can alter our hormones? I just didn’t think it was that simple.
Now it’s years later and I’m still battling hormone imbalance. In the past year or so there has been a lot happening that has taxed my ability to positively react to stressful situations and it’s taking its toll. My cycle is a bit off, never missed, but just late every month. It used to be that I could tell almost to the hour when it would start, but now? It’s hard to know. The PMS symptoms have also dramatically increased leaving me feeling cranky, out of energy, and just not myself. It’s been a rocky road for almost a full year.
I’ve begun seed cycling this month and plan on documenting my journey. Hopefully all goes well!
Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance and Happiness
So what’s all this about seed cycling you might ask? Does it work?
From what I’ve gathered over the years, it’s a very simple protocol where you rotate specific seeds during the month in order to balance progesterone and estrogen in the body. It’s a completely natural approach that guides our body into a natural rhythm that nudges hormones in the right direction by either detoxification or stimulating production. Excess hormones can be processed and eliminated while deficiencies can be increased as needed in order to balance irregularities, reversing amenorrhea, and easing cramping and PMS symptoms.
For women in particular, it’s important to have the right amount of each hormone, not too much, and not too little.
The Moon and Your Cycle
Long ago, before we became surrounded by artificial light, our bodies were in tune with the waning and waxing of the moon. This was one of the ways our bodies stayed in a balanced hormonal rhythm which is 28 days; the same time it takes for one lunar cycle to complete (give or take a fraction of a day). This is not merely a coincidence! We are in fact supposed to be most fertile during the full moon and the least fertile during the new moon. Seed cycling embodies this natural rhythm making it an easy and all natural protocol your body will recognize.
What Can Seed Cycling do for You?
Seed cycling can help ease and even eliminate some of these hormone related symptoms:
• Adrenal issues
• Bleeding that is too light
• Excess abdominal fat caused by sugar overconsumption
• Excessive sweating
• Heavy bleeding
• Insulin resistance
• Irregular periods
• Low libido
• Painful periods
• Post menopausal symptoms
• Sleep issues
• Thyroid disorders
However, seed cycling should not be considered a quick fix from the get-go. Some people may experience relief in the first month, others may take 3-4 months before they start to notice improvements. Every body is different and it’s important to allow it to ease into a natural rhythm. Also note that severe cases of hormonal irregularity such as PCOS may not be totally reversed but eased.
How to Seed Cycle
First, you will need a way to grind your seeds daily. I recommend using a coffee grinder, blender, or food processor. A coffee grinder is by far the easiest method aside from chucking the seeds into your blender while making a smoothie (my personal favorite).
Also, keep your seeds in the fridge if possible to retain freshness.
Phase One- the Follicular Phase (days 1 through 14 of your cycle)
The follicular phase begins on the first day of your period and lasts until ovulation. If your cycle is absent, begin seed cycling on the new moon.
The goal during the follicular phase is to regulate the absorption and production of estrogen. The roll of estrogen is to prepare the body for ovulation. Having too little estrogen can inhibit ovulation from occurring while having too much estrogen can aggravate PMS symptoms.
Consuming balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids during this phase promotes healthy and permeable cell membranes that allow for easy hormone circulation.
To do this with seed cycling you need to:
The high amount of lignans in flax seeds are converted into enterolactone which block estrogen receptors. This ques the body to halt excess estrogen production.
Pumpkin seeds contain high amounts of omega-6 and zinc which supports reproductive health, immunity, and protein absorption.
If you suffer from low estrogen then you should omit the flax seeds or use them sparingly during this phase. I highly recommend getting your hormones tested before delving into hormones related protocols on your own.
Phase Two- The Luteal Phase (days 15 through 28)
The beginning of this phase is marked by ovulation.
The main goal during this phase is to raise progesterone levels by consuming omega-6 rich seeds to stimulate its production. The main task of progesterone is to build up the uterine lining in preparation for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone naturally decreases and the lining is shed during the first day of your period. Progesterone balance is key not only for a healthy pregnancy but also for easing painful menstrual cramps.
To do this with seed cycling you need to:
Sunflower seeds are high in omega-6 and Vitamin E; a fat soluble vitamin that supports reproductive health. They also help the liver detox. An overburdened liver has been linked to painful cramping and menstrual irregularity among a number of other hormone imbalances.
Sesame seeds increase the bioavailability of sunflower seeds making them a perfect addition during this phase. They also contain high levels of lignans.
If you have low zinc levels, you will want to avoid using sesame seeds as they contain high levels of copper. When copper levels are high, zinc levels become low. If this is the case, simply omit the sesame seeds and just use sunflower seeds during this phase.
How to Take the Seeds
Taking the seeds is pretty easy! The only thing is they must be raw when you consume them so you can’t get the same benefits if they’re added to recipe that needs to cook like pancakes, muffins, etc. You can add the seeds to any dehydrated recipe (like flax crackers etc) or my favorite, just throw them into your morning smoothie.
You can also use the ground seeds as a topping on oatmeal, cereals, and yogurt.
Seed Cycling and What to Expect
As I mentioned, this process can take a few months before you really start seeing results. You have to keep in mind that your hormones didn’t become imbalanced overnight. The first symptoms you should feel improvement in will be mood, less cravings, and less severe cramping. After about 3 months or so you should feel more centered, have less water retention, fewer breakouts, practically non-existent breast soreness, and be in tune with the moon!
Frequently Asked Questions About Seed Cycling
I currently am not menstruating but would like to use seed cycling to bring it back naturally. What day should I start?
If you do not have a defined period, it is best to begin seed cycling on the new moon. By following this phase of the moon, your menstrual cycle may come back quicker.
After a few months, I got my period back while I was still taking the sesame and sunflower seeds on day 25. Do I continue taking the sunflower and sesame seeds or switch to the flax and pumpkin seeds?
Keep going with the sunflower and sesame seeds until day 28. After a few months, day 1 of your period should begin closer and closer to day 28.
My period started after switching from flax to sesame seeds. Do I continue with the sesame seeds or switch to the flax and pumpkin seeds again?
Keep going with the seed cycling as usual. It may seem strange, but your body will balance to the 28 day menstrual cycle.
My period started on day 35, how do I continue the seed cycling?
Continue with the 28 day seed cycling protocol. After a few months, your period should match up with the 28 day cycle.
Do the seeds have to be ground?
Yes. The grinding process allows the body to better absorb the essential fatty acids in the seeds. If you do not have time to grind your seeds daily, grind a batch once a week and store it in the freezer for easy use.
Do the seeds need to be soaked?
I highly recommend soaking the seeds if possible especially if you have digestive issues. Nuts contain a high amount of phytic acid, tannins, and goitrogens that are enzyme inhibitors. If you don;t have time to sprout your own seeds, try these options:
You can watch the video below for more information:
Have you tried seed cycling before? How did it work out for you?
Be sure to check these other hormone article below:
Can You Balance Hormones with Carrots? + a Recipe!
Liver Cleanse Recipe and How to do a Liver Flush
3 Steps to Improve your Female Hormonal Acne – Anyone Can do It!
How to Treat Hormonal Acne Naturally
The Seed Rotation Diet: How to Regulate Your Menstrual Cycle with Food