Seed Cycling; Is It Really Worth It?

flax seeds

Women’s health and hormones are an inseparable discussion. Estrogen and progesterone, the most known of the female reproductive hormones because of their critical role in a woman’s reproductive health. These two hormones are responsible for menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. It is recommended that estrogen and progesterone levels balance. What happens when they do not? Is there a way out?

Hormonal medication is the most popular treatment until recently when seed cycling became a trending alternative treatment. Seed cycling is a naturopathic remedy that balances the hormonal levels by regulating the estrogen levels in the first half of the menstrual cycle and progesterone levels in the second half of the menstrual cycle. This form of treatment can be used at any stage and has been proven to help with post-birth control syndrome, irregular periods, acne, PCOS, chronic fatigue, and thyroid disorders.

Why seeds? Do they work or is it just another nutritional and wellness fad?  Seeds contain hulls that possess a polyphenol known as lignans that helps modulate the hormonal pathways. A recent study conducted in 2007 supported the use of flax seeds in treating symptoms of PCOS whereas one conducted in 1993 suggested that flaxseeds can have a minor but positive impact on the regularity of the menstrual cycle.

It is estimated that more than 20% of women experience irregular cycles. Practicing seed cycling throughout the monthly cycle has been shown to support hormonal health. Seed cycling involves rotating seeds throughout follicular and the luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. The seeds involved are high in essential fatty acids which are necessary for regular hormonal production. Additionally, they can also be used in binding and excreting excess hormones.

How to Seed Cycle

  • Eat pumpkin and flax seeds from days 1 through 14 (the follicular phase).

The first half of the cycle which is the follicular phase begins with the onset of menses all through to ovulation (day 14). During this phase, the endometrium is thick with nutrients to nourish an embryo. With no embryo present, estrogen and progesterone levels are decreased. However, progression towards ovulation leads to an increase in estrogen levels. In this phase consume 1 tablespoon of freshly ground pumpkin seeds and 1 tablespoon of freshly ground flax seeds. Flaxseeds have weak estrogenic properties but also help with the elimination of excess estrogen to prevent estrogen dominance.

  • Eat sesame and sunflower seeds from days 15 through 28 (luteal phase)

In the second phase of the cycle known as the luteal phase (day 15-28), progesterone levels increase. Take 1 tablespoon of freshly ground sunflower and 1 tablespoon freshly ground sesame seeds. Polyphenols in sesame seeds inhibit the increase of estrogen levels while Vitamin E in sunflower seeds helps boosts progesterone levels.

Nature has a way of sustaining our health; seed cycling is one of the ways. While scanty scientific data exists on seed cycling; peri and postmenopausal women and those with irregular cycles can consider this remedy. The seeds ought to be raw and ground for one to get the nutrients as is without any probability of nutrient loss. This remedy takes time for noticeable benefits; exercise patience and consistency. It will take 3 cycles to see results. Like the usual saying where an apple a day keeps the doctor away, the right seeds will help keep hormonal imbalance at bay.


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