Seed Cycling : natural hormone balance

Posted on May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

Supporting your cycles!!!

A lot of us have troubles at some point of our cycle.  The more I research, the less surprised I am of this phenomenon.  Our environment is rapidly changing, and not all aspects of this change support our health, I’d say the majority of the changes are negatively affecting us.  Did you know that despite most  of your friends that experience cramps, pain, bloating and moodiness (dysmenorrhea), they are not normal, common yes, but not what our system wants as normal!  Our body doesn’t naturally need to experience pain and cramping in order to shed the uterine lining.  This is an imbalance!  The most common cause of this imbalance is stagnation.  Some of us are stagnant because of a hormone imbalance, some of us don’t get enough exercise, others have a few too many beverages on average, some of us have stress. All of these things lead to stagnation causing us un-necessary pain during one or both phases of our cycle.

 

There are two main phases of the menstruation cycle:

From the time menstruation starts until ovulation is Phase 1. The production of estrogen is essential during this phase. Phase 1 begins on the first day of menstruation and lasts until you ovulate, which is around 14 days.

From ovulation until menstruating is Phase 2. Progesterone is being made and utilized during this 2nd phase. Phase 2 is from when you ovulate, day 14 until the day your menstruation starts.

Seed cycling works to benefit the regularity and health of the entire cycle.  As I mentioned previously there are many factors that can influence our hormone levels which regulate what is happening in our bodies and when.  Estrogen Dominance is a term I just became familiar with.  Estrogen dominance can include estrogen levels that are low, normal or high, but the progesterone levels are not high enough to balance it.  The symptoms range from uterine fibroids to menstrual cramps, bloating, headaches, decresed sex drive, allergies, depression with anxiety, dry eyes, cervical dyplasia and more. Lots of chemicals in our environments can affect our production of estrogen like, plastics, car exhausts, pesticides, soaps, chemicals in carpets and others. Our diets these days contain a lot of estrogen! Dairy and meat products are estrogenic and every soy product has estrogen in it too.  Soy lecithin is something that is in most of our processed foods, right down to that natural chocolate bar you only have a square of from time to time.

How seed cycling works is to use seeds and oils that help your body to fight the negative environmental impacts on our health and support a natural way to balance our hormones.  There are a handful of hormones that are active and responsible for menstruating, but we are going to focus on the two that are previously mentioned.  How it works is the lignans, which are an aspect of the seed, contained in the hulls (or the shells) to chemically assist in aiding our receptor sites for the hormones to do their job during each phase. Additionally the fatty acids of the seeds support the each phase of the cycle to synthesize the hormone balance we are needing.  I also encourage you to utilize the essential fatty acid supplements from two different types of oils during each phase.

PHASE 1:
From day 1-day 14. 1st day of menstruating until ovulation (usually about 14 days)
Every day 1-2 Tablespoons of  ORGANIC,  RAW and GROUND FLAX seeds, PUMPKIN seeds or whole CHIA seeds. These seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acid.
Every day take Fish Oil. This can be taken in a capsule or a teaspoon of a liquid. (Be sure to find a high quality oil at a health food store and store it in the refrigerator to avoid the oil turning rancid)

PHASE 2:
From day 15-28. 1st day of ovulation until day 1 of your cycle (1st day of menstruation is day 1).
Every day 1-2 Tablespoons of ORGANIC, RAW and GROUND SESAME and/or SUNFLOWER seeds. These seeds are high in omega 6 fatty acid.
Every day take Evening Primrose Oil (EPO). This is usually found in capsule form at your local health food store. Same applies to the Evening Primrose Oil in terms of consuming a high quality oil (check packaging for storage details).

It is important to grind the seeds to ensure the lignans are adequately available and can be absorbed by your intestines so the constituants can be used. The easiest way to eat them is on salads or smoothies, seeing that the raw aspect is so important.  In a pinch I have been known to mix the ground seeds in a small amount of water and down it. The consistency of ingesting the seeds daily is important, as we are going for balance here.  I have designated a coffee grinder for the soul purpose of my seeds, and I got lucky to find a cheap one at a second hand store, and with a good couple of washings, I was ready to grind.  I store my ground seeds in an air tight container in the refrigerator so the integrity of the oils within can stay fresh and effective.

I urge you to try this method.  Lots of health care professionals have been recommending it for years.  It’s a good idea to already be tracking your cycles and symptoms to best monitor the effectiveness of this method.

For people that are looking for hormone balance because of symptoms like menstrual cramping, PMS and headaches, I recommend using the seeds to support the timing of your cycle as it already is.  Once your body regulates towards a more balanced cycle, then you can start to link your cycle up with the moon, if desired.  Commonly we would like to menstruate during the New Moon (the darkest phase of the moon) and ovulate during the full moon.  If you currently are experiencing amenorrhea (the absence of menstrual bleeding) you could choose to take the seeds according to the phases of the moon to encourage your cycle to be on the same schedule.

Red Raspberry Leaf tea is very good for all phases of our cycles as well.  You can get loose tea from an herb store like Clary Sage Herbarium or The Herb Shoppe and drink tea daily during the particularly difficult phases of your cycle.

Men can restore the natural balance of hormones too.  The cycling of seeds is done opposite to the women’s schedule.  From the new moon until the full moon: 1-2 tablespoons of ground sesame or sunflower seeds and from the full moon until the new moon: 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax or pumpkin seeds.

Seed cycling is beneficial to our rhythms not only because we are supporting our hormones, but it also assists us in getting in touch with our bodies and we can pay attention in conscious and healthy ways! Go forth and use plants as your allies to live as harmoniously as possible.  Please remember that if your body is giving you signals such as pain or discomfort it is communicating to you! Take the first step and just listen.