I became intrigued in the topic of Seed Cycling after seeing the Seed Rotation picture on blogs and social media posts. I wanted to research into it further and see what the theory was behind it. Here is my understanding of this hormone rebalancing method to get periods back on track!!!
The environments that we live and work in are optimal for disrupting our hormone levels. Hormonal disrupters are abundant;
- ● Pesticides & Herbicides
- ● Environmental Toxins
- ● EMF’s (Electromagnetic Fields)
- ● Electric lighting which interferes with sleep inducing hormones
- ● Xenoestrogens in plastics
- ● Chemicals in cosmetics
- ● Fast food and sugar
- ● Food Sensitivities
- ● GUT Imbalances
- ● Caffeine
- ● Alcohol
- ● Hormone injected meats and poultry
- ● Medication
- ● Stress leading to elevated cortisol levels
The above disruptors cause Oestrogen Dominance and an array of issues. For more information on this topic please read my previous post on PMS “The Dreaded Monthly”.
Now getting back to seed rotation. This method of hormone regulation helps balance the menstrual cycle by using different seeds at different times of the menstrual cycle either to boost oestrogen in the first half of the cycle or progesterone during the second half of the month.
The method of rotating seeds can be useful for any female experiencing irregular periods, menorrhagia (heavy periods), amenorrhea (no periods), PMS, acne flares and cramping. The technique is also useful for females experiencing perimenopausal symptoms.
FLAXSEEDS + PUMPKIN SEEDS PROMOTE PHASE 1
From Day 1 to 15 (first day of blood loss to ovulation) oestrogen is required to build up the endometrium lining (uterus lining) which is eventually sheds when the period arrives. This stage of the menstrual cycle is known as the Follicular Phase, the oestrogen boosting seeds required being flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds. Flaxseeds and Pumpkin Seeds contain lignans which contain chemicals which bind up excess hormones and block the harmful type of oestrogen. Pumpkin seeds are high in the mineral zinc, which amongst many other functions, promotes the release of progesterone. They also have phyto-oestrogenic properties, enzyme alpha-5 reductase, which helps to modulate androgen levels (good also in PCOS) + phytosterols. The omega 3 oils contained in pumpkin seeds also act as an anti-inflammatory and the essential fatty acids (EFA) provide the building blocks required to make hormones.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS + SESAME SEEDS ARE USED TO PROMOTE PHASE 2
The second part of the cycle known as the Luteal Phase runs from days 15 to 30 (ovulation until the end of the cycle). The corpus leteum (temporary endocrine structure involved in ovulation) begins to release progesterone which is known as our happy, calm inducing hormone. Progesterone helps thicken the uterus lining and prepares it for implantation should that occur. Sunflower seeds contain the mineral selenium, which is a potent antioxidant that helps the liver detoxification process of excess hormones and protects reproductive tissues and cells. They also contain phytosterols & fibre and promote progesterone. Sesame seeds are high in lignans, antioxidants, EFAs & phytosterols.
If you are perimenopausal or not menstruating seed rotation can still be useful. In this case use flax seeds and pumpkin seeds for 15 days followed by sunflower & sesame seeds over the next 15 days. Should you be menopausal the seed combination is up to you however it’s ideal to still maintain the 15 day turn over.
It’s important to note that the seeds must be freshly ground in order for better absorption and bioavailability. Allow for 3 to 4 menstrual cycles to gain the benefits of seed cycling.
Organic Flax Seeds Organic Pumpkin Seeds
1 tablespoon each freshly ground raw flax seeds and pumpkin seeds daily.
Organic Sunflower Seeds Organic Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon each freshly ground raw sunflower and sesame seeds daily.
How does this relate to Chinese Medicine?
In TCM seeds are said to help tonify and strengthen the kidneys and Jing (essence) which is the basis of our reproductive development and growth according to Chinese Medicine Principles. TCM practitioners will often recommend our kidney deficient patients eat black sesame seeds to support and strengthen kidney essence. Seeds are great for fertility, after all you need a seed to create a seed don’t you?