Hormone harmony is something we take for granted. And when our hormones are even slightly out of balance, its noticeable in our appearance, energy, mood and menstrual cycles. Seed cycling is a practice that integrates seeds to support the various phases of our monthly cycles to smooth out hormone levels, relieve PMS, boost fertility and decrease perimenopause symptoms. It’s growing in popularity in wellness circles because it’s said to stimulate menstruation and support the body in addressing more serious conditions like ovarian cysts, PCOS, Adenomyosis and endometriosis just to name a few. Seed hulls contain lignans that bind up excess hormones and seed oils contain essential fatty acids which are the hormonal building blocks.
Seed cycling is a natural and affordable way to nurture the hormonal system while supporting the body. This method can be used alone or in conjuction with other healing modalities to work toward and achieve hormonal harmony.
What is Seed Cycling? It’s the ingestion and rotation of different seeds over the course of our two central menstrual cycle phases helping to regulate hormone production and secretions within the body and hormone excretions that leave the body.
The Follicular Phase begins with menstruation (Days 1-14 on a 28 Day cycle)
Eat: 2-4tbsp of Ground Flax & Pumpkin Seeds Daily
The Luteal Phase starts after ovulation (Days 15-28 on a 28 Day cycle)
Eat: 2-4tbsp of Sesame & Sunflower Seeds Daily
A healthy menstrual cycle may range anywhere from 21 to 35 days. Although we used to bleed closer to and in line with the moon’s rhythmic phases over a 28 day period. Modern accelerated living and poorly manages stress in addition to forced male work patterns contribute to the collective shift in our cycle length and being out of alignment. Seed cycling is one of many ways you can help to set your menstrual phases in sync with what is right for your body at this particular time in your life.
Some people note an immediate shift in their cycles, although it can take up to four cycles before any changes are notable.
PHASE I – The Follicular Phase
The follicular phase lasts about 14 days, starting on the first day of menstruation. In this phase, our estrogen levels start low and steadily increase in preparation for ovulation (the release of an egg) and potential pregnancy. Rising estrogen levels increase luteinizing hormone (LH) levels, while decreasing estrogen levels cause the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) When estrogen levels are balanced, LH and FSH levels will be as well. The lignans in flax and pumpkin seeds bind to estrogen receptors and help to modulate estrogen production. Along with phytoestrogens, seeds that are high in omega 3s are also beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body, regulating FSH levels and support reproductive membrane function.
If you want to boost the efficacy of this practice, add an Omega 3 that contains EPA and DHA- we love Needed, which makes a powdered based supplement from Algae.
PHASE II – The Luteal Phase
The luteal phase should last at least ten days. Progesterone is responsible for maintaining the endometrium (uterine lining), facilitating egg implantation. The luteal phase is brought on by the sudden drop in estrogen, FSH and LH, which occurs just after ovulation. This is when progesterone levels should begin to rise steadily. Estrogen levels also increase during the early part of this phase, and if they get too high, you can experience mild to intense PMS symptoms and a painful or symptomatic cycle. Progesterone help keep estrogen levels in check, modulating healthy progesterone levels is vital for reproductive health. Progesterone is the precursor to cortisol so when cortisol is high, progesterone levels are low- deeply impacting fertility and the reproductive health.
Omega 6s convert into gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in the body, supporting progesterone levels and reducing inflammation in the body related to PMS. In addition to the seed cycling, evening primrose oil (EPO) supplementation during the luteal phase can be helpful as well! It’s another source of omega 6s and helps to reduce PMS symptoms and boost fertility.
Seed Cycle Shopping List:
- Organic Flax Seeds
- Organic Pumpkin Seeds
- DHA /EPA Supplement
- Organic Sesame Seeds
- Organic Sunflower Seeds
- Evening Primrose Oil