Hormone Support: Seed Cycling

Modern medicine should address modern health issues. Many of my patients state that they feel not well due to hormone imbalances. Many times this may be related to estrogen dominance. When looking through traditional allopathic medicine databases the term “estrogen dominance” does not appear, because it is not a recognized medical issue. Indeed, there is only one article that I located referencing “estrogen dominance” in PubMed.

Modern living and the stressors it brings through environmental exposures, light cycle interruption, increased lifetime exposure to estrogen due to reproductive and breast feeding trends can lead to hormone imbalance. Environmental exposures lead to endocrine disruption through xenoestrogens found in the environment, which include: BPAs in plastics, phthalates in fragrance, PCBs and parabens in preservatives.

A monthly ebb and flow of changes in the body is normal, but should not be debilitating.

In order to support healthy hormone balance, the following may be helpful:

  • Exercise

  • Stress management

  • Healthy plant based nutrition, as organic as possible

  • Adequate sleep

  • Healthy body weight

  • Limited exposure to toxins

  • Vitex

  • DIM

  • Seed cycling 

Seed cycling is a method to support the body throughout the month by integrating different types of seeds during the menstrual cycle to achieve a better hormone balance.

  • The seeds used throughout the cycle include flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower. These seeds contain different nutrients that may be beneficial during specific times of the month. Lignans in sesame seeds and flax seeds can help the body bind excess estrogen.

  • Use organic seeds.

  • Sprinkle ground seeds onto salads, healthy smoothies etc.

  • During the first half of the cycle, the follicular phase, 1 tablespoon each of freshly grounded raw flax seeds and pumpkin seeds each day should be incorporated into nutrition.

  • During the second half of the cycle, the luteal phase, 1 tablespoon each of freshly ground raw sunflower seeds and sesame seeds each day should be incorporated into nutrition. If you do not need to limit oxalate exposure, use unhulled sesame seeds.

The data concerning cycling of nutrition for women is lacking in the medical literature. Indeed, if you search seed cycling in PubMed there are no results. Flax has been studied however and may lead to a lengthened luteal phase, increased ovulation.

 If you try seed cycling, keep a journal and be patient. Remember most natural therapies take time as they are adjustments and support, and not a medicinal treatment.