How to Get Started with Seed Cycling: 14 Tips and Recipes

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How to Get Started with Seed Cycling | What is seed cycling? Does it help balance hormones, increase fertility, and reduce period and PMS symptoms? While the research on the effectiveness of this type of alternative medicine is scarce, many women report these health benefits - and more - from adding seeds containing lignan into their diet based on their menstrual phase - follicular and luteal / new moon and full moon. Click for more info plus our fave seed cycling recipes!

Seed Cycling is a topic of conversation that has been all over the internet, made popular by herbalists, naturopaths, acupuncturists, and alternative medicine practitioners.

A woman’s menstrual cycle can be influenced by changes in hormone levels – specifically progesterone, estrogen, and androgens. These changes could cause side effects including changes in weight, hair growth, acne, irregular cycles, and infertility.

To help control these symptoms, most doctors recommend a form of hormonal birth control. However, there are many women who prefer not to use hormonal birth control or they’re actively trying to get pregnant. Therefore, they’re looking for a more natural alternative.

Many women have begun seed cycling as a more holistic option to maintaining balanced hormone levels.

So what is seed cycling, and how does it work?

What is ‘Seed Cycling’?

The concept behind seed cycling is to help regulate any hormonal imbalance you may be experiencing during any stage in your life, from early menstruation to post menopause.

Seed cycling involves supplementing your diet with seeds including flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. These seeds contain a plant compound called lignan, which may mimic the effects of estrogen. Lignan may influence your menstrual cycle and what goes along with it, including ovulation, menopause, and fertility.

You eat these seeds during the two main phases of your menstrual cycle, follicular and luteal, in order to balance your levels of estrogen and progesterone.

The follicular phase makes up the first 14 days of your cycle and the luteal phase makes up the following 14 days. If your hormones are balanced, your estrogen levels should rise during the follicular phase and your progesterone levels should rise during the luteal phase.

Seed cycling is said to help regain this balance when you need it. In order to do so, you consume a certain combination of seeds during each part of your cycle:

Follicular phase – Days 1 to 14

  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds

Luteal phase – Days 15 to 28

  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground sesame seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground sunflower seeds

Since some women don’t have a 28-day cycle, they can adjust the number of days they take each combination of seeds. If you have irregular periods or you miss one, you can then use the cycles of the moon to help you determine what seeds to consume and when. For example:

New Moon to Full Moon – Days 1 to 14

  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds

Full Moon to New Moon – Days 15 to 28

  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds

What Are the Benefits of Seed Cycling?

Seed cycling is considered to be alternative medicine. There are currently no published studies and the benefits have not been proven. Even so, women have been utilizing the process for many years. They believe that they have seen positive results including:

  • Balanced hormone levels
  • Reduced PMS symptoms
  • A noticeable reduction in period cramping
  • Less pain during ovulation
  • Increased fertility
  • Reduced acne
  • More regular periods

How to Get Started with Seed Cycling: 6 Tips for Beginners

If you want to get started with seed cycling yourself, here are 6 tips that are perfect for beginners:

    1. Always make sure to use raw seeds since roasting them can destroy the nutrients. Organic seeds can reduce exposure to harmful pesticides.
    2. Grind your seeds whenever possible to help your body better digest them. You can use either a spice grinder or coffee grinder.
    3. To help maintain freshness, store your seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark place such as your refrigerator or freezer. This will protect your seeds from going rancid.
    4. Keep track of your cycle to help you determine what phase you are in at any given time.
    5. Prioritize your well-being by getting enough sleep, eating well, reducing stress, and staying hydrated.
  1. Give yourself time to see any benefits – it generally takes three to four months.

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