Seed cycling is based on the idea that consuming certain seeds at different times of the month can help regulate and restore your menstrual cycle. It may sound bizarre but holistic practitioners and naturopaths are swearing by this practice, especially when it comes to amenorrhea.
…So how does it work?
Phase 1: The Follicular Phase
The first phase begins with the follicular phase, which starts on the first day of your cycle (the day your period starts), and typically lasts for 14 days until ovulation. Oestrogen should be higher here and is needed to start building the lining of the womb. However, any excess oestrogen does need to be bound, preventing it from creating all sorts of high- oestrogen related symptoms (think heavy periods and PMS).
During this phase, 1 tbsp of ground flax and 1 tbsp of ground pumpkin seeds should be consumed daily. The flax has lignans to bind the oestrogen as well as omega 3 which can help reduce inflammation, and pumpkin seeds contain zinc, preparing the body for effective ovulation. (Another supplement worth considering here is a good quality fish oil, rich in omega 3 to help reduce inflammation and regulate follicle stimulating hormone (FSH))
Phase 2: The Luteal Phase
The luteal phase begins after ovulation and requires a rise in progesterone in order to sustain the uterine lining. Typically this is from day 15- 28 of the menstrual cycle, however it will depend on how long your cycle is. Short luteal phases indicate that there is not enough progesterone in the body, which can lead to fertility issues as the egg can fail to implant.
During this phase, 1 tbsp of ground sesame and 1 tbsp of ground sunflower seeds should be eaten each day. The sesame is higher in omega 6, and the sunflower seeds are rich in selenium, which helps detoxification of oestrogen in the liver. (Evening primrose is also worth considering here for the omega 6!)
No Cycle? Follow The Moon
Don’t panic if you don’t actually have a cycle, or it’s completely off. It’s been found that following the cycles of the moon can actually help bring things back into balance. Start as if your follicular phase is on the first day of a new moon and continue with flax and pumpkin seeds for 2 weeks, then begin with your sesame and sunflower mix.
Things To Note
Be patient! It can take 3-4 cycles for hormones to balance out so if you’re going to try this method, ensure you give it some time to work. Additionally, ensure that you use organic, raw and freshly ground seeds throughout the process. If you buy ready -ground seeds, they can oxidise and you can loose the benefits. Store seeds in the fridge for optimal freshness too.
Whilst this method is a relatively easy and cost-effective method to try at home, sometimes you may need to dig a bit deeper to get to the bottom of your hormone issues. For an individual consultation or to have a FREE 15 minute chat, please get in touch