The Benefits of Seed Cycling
In our practice we treat a lot of women with hormone imbalances, and many coming in particularly for fertility support. With each patient, we form a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis and treatment plan - which most likely includes acupuncture, herbs and diet modification. We often get asked what else they can do assist in this process. Our usual response is seed cycling!
What is seed cycling?
It’s consuming specific seeds at particular times in your cycle to support and encourage hormonal shifts.
Seeds in general are pretty amazing. They are anti-inflammatory, high in EFA’s for hormone production, a great source of amino acids for blood sugar regulation, and high in fibre to promote a healthy and natural hormonal detox.
How to seed cycle:
Follicular Phase: (cycle day 1 to ovulation day) we recommend taking 1 tablespoon of both ground flax seeds and pumpkin seeds every day. This is particularly helpful with PCOS and supports estrogen production and modulation of androgens
Luteal Phase: (from ovulation to menstration) we recommend 1 tablespoon of both sunflower seeds and sesame seeds per day. This supports progesterone production and detoxification of estrogens.
Many studies show pumpkin seeds are high in Zinc (which supports progesterone release) and flax seeds contain lignans (which block excess estrogen). Sesame seeds also contain lignans, while sunflowers seeds provide the body with Selenium (which assists in liver detoxification).
How does TCM fit into this equation?
In Chinese medicine, seeds enhance reproductive health and fertility by tonifying the Kidneys and supporting ‘essence’. It’s kind of like treating ‘like with like’; we consume seeds to create & grow a seed (fetus). Isn’t that kind of adorable?!