Seed Cycling - Mature Model in Tan Sheet

The Beginner’s Guide to Seed Cycling


Seed Cycling 101

Some of us are trying to learn more about our menstrual cycle while getting regular while others want a better understanding of their ovulation timing so that they can get down and dirty to baby-making (or avoiding). Others are coping with painful cramps, hormonal acne, or symptoms of perimenopause. The truth is, every system in our bodies is influenced by reproductive hormones, so the more we can get those hormones under control, the better off we’ll feel. 

So how do we deal with these changes and regulate naturally? Everything starts in the gut, and that means it starts with what we eat! We can hurt or heal our bodies with food, and have found that seed cycling can be a useful tool that can help to regulate our hormones throughout life’s many different stages — from puberty to pregnancy to peri/menopause.

Now, keep in mind seed cycling isn’t the only way to help regulate your hormones. For some, it isn’t a viable option, especially if you’re allergic to nuts and seeds (duh), or are trying to balance your Omega 3 and Omega 6 intake.

Call us realists, but we like proof. It’s definitely easy to maintain healthy habits when you can feel (and see) that it’s working. So it’s important to understand your estrogen and progesterone levels as they ebb and flow throughout your monthly cycle and track them regularly. 

So without further ado, let’s explore how seed cycling can help you take control of your cycle at any stage. 

READ MORE Taboo Questions About Puberty, Pregnancy & Perimenopause You Weren’t Allowed to Talk About (But Definitely Should)



What are the benefits of seed cycling for hormone balance and/or fertility?

Seed balancing involves a specific combination of four ground seeds over the course of your menstrual cycle. The unique combination helps to support estrogen production during the first half of your cycle with pumpkin and flax seeds, and promotes progesterone levels in the second half with sunflower and sesame seeds.


Can seed-cycling help induce ovulation or help with irregular periods?

Both! Seed cycling, which helps your body balance it’s estrogen and progesterone levels, can assist with successful ovulation and irregular periods. As your body learns to produce the appropriate amounts of estrogen or helps eliminate excess estrogen, your ovaries are better able to not only properly mature a follicle into an egg, but to release that egg. The rise in progesterone helps that egg travel through your cervix and successfully implant into the wall of your uterus. 

Model Draped in Beige Cloth and Seed Cycling Box



Are there any other benefits to seed-cycling that you know of? Clearer skin? Better digestion? 

Yes! Seed cycling can help with other pesky PMS symptoms, such as hormonal acne, bad cramps, hot flashes, minimizes mood swings, helps with PCOS symptoms, and lessen menstrual related migraines. 


What are the two "phases" of the menstrual cycle, and what seeds do you recommend during each?

Menstrual cycles are complex to say the least. Most of us don’t really understand how they work to be honest. 

Each month our bodies go through a number of changes to prepare for the possibility of pregnancy, whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not. During each menstrual cycle, an egg develops and is released. The lining of the uterus builds up in anticipation of being fertilized. If pregnancy doesn’t happen, the uterine lining sheds and presents you with (drum roll please) your period! Then, it starts all over again.

Seed balancing involves consuming a specific combination of four ground seeds over the course of your menstrual cycle. The unique combination helps to support estrogen production in your body during the first fourteen days of your cycle and promote progesterone levels in the second fourteen days. Pumpkin and flax seeds are used during the first half, or Follicular Phase of your cycle and sunflower and sesame are used during the second half, known as the Luteal Phase.

We’ll break down the benefits of each seed below during their recommended phases below. 



READ MORE How Each Phase of the Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Immunity


Stage 1: The Follicular Phase Days 1 – 14 

The Follicular Phase begins when your period starts and officially ends when you start to ovulate. It averages days 1 through 14. During this phase, hormones are low but estrogen is starting to rise. 


Pumpkin Seeds

Used during the Follicular Phase, pumpkin seeds contain zinc and magnesium. This combination combats PMS and other annoyingly prevalent side effects of owning a vagina. While magnesium helps with PMS symptoms, zinc is a powerhouse. Pumpkin seeds contain 15% of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) per ounce. Menstrual cramps and inflammation are caused by prostaglandins and zinc works to help reduce the metabolism of prostaglandins, thus encouraging more oxygen flow to the uterus and reducing the occurrence of menstrual cramps. It has also been noted that Zinc can reduce the severity of menstrual blood flow.Overall, pumpkin seeds are beneficial to aid in progesterone production.

Contains: Zinc, Magnesium 


Flax Seeds

These little guys work alongside pumpkin in the first phase of your cycle to remove excess hormones, reduce inflammation and aid in the reduction of painful PMS cramps. They contain a powerful three-fold punch. These seeds will help regulate estrogen quantity. During reproductive years, our bodies contain a compound called oestrogen. Lignans act similarly to oestrogen, too, but they don't stimulate reproductive tissue. When our bodies overproduce oestrogen (such as during PMS), lignans compete with your own oestrogen, and regulate the quantity by keeping it in balance. This balancing action is due to lignans ability to competitively lock onto our estrogen reception sites. 

Contains: Lignans, Omega-3,  Vitamin B  

Stage 2: The Luteal Phase Days 15 – 28 

Right after ovulation and ending when the period starts, the Luteal Phase typically occurs on day 15 through day 28. After ovulation, estrogen drops suddenly and progesterone begins to rise.


Sesame Seeds 

Sesame seeds, used during the Luteal Phase, have been shown to modulate inflammation and support cholesterol metabolism. Sesame Seeds contain zinc and selenium, which work to block excess estrogen. Sesame seeds have also been shown to modulate inflammation and support cholesterol metabolism. Given that sex hormones are made from cholesterol, any influx in inflammation can cause a response from the adrenal gland, which can lead to a hormone imbalance. 

Contains: Zinc, Lignans, Selenium


Sunflower Seeds

Last but not least are sunflower seeds! These babies are paired with sesame seeds during the second phase and contain Vitamin E, which helps to boost progesterone levels and combat inflammation.

Contains: Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin E 



Probiotic Bottle on White Background





Two Salve Bottles Around White Flowers 


Further Reading

Below the Folds: What’s the Difference Between My Vulva & Vagina?

How Each Phase of the Menstrual Cycle Affects Your Immunity

Decode Your Vaginal Discharge

Learn What Your Period Blood Is Telling You About Your Health

The Intersection of Sexual & Mental Health 

A Gut Feeling: How Stress Wreaks Havoc on Your (Vaginal) Microbiome





Momotaro Apotheca and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on Momotaro Apotheca is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

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