As a clinic that focuses on promoting and supporting women's health at all ages, we encounter a variety of hormonal related issues such as:
- Regulating an irregular/painful period
- Difficulty conceiving and/or miscarriages
- Coping with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Transitioning into menopause
What do all of these issues have in common? Hormone imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. Specifically, most women are dealing with estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance often develops from excessive amounts of estrogen in our environment, called xenoestrogens. Examples of xenoestrogens:
- Cosmetics (parabens)
- Plastic products (BPA, phthalates)
- Hormonal birth control
In addition to the issues listed above, estrogen dominance due to xenoestrogens can lead to more serious issues like thyroid dysfunction or cancer of the breasts, ovaries, or uterus.
So how can you help your body find balance? In addition to avoiding xenoestrogens where you can, a gentle, natural method is seed cycling. Seed cycling incorporates different seeds and oils into your diet during different phases of your menstrual cycle, which will help promote estrogen detoxification and progesterone production. Overall, helping to restore natural hormone balance in your body.
How to seed cycle:
- Follicular Phase (Day 1-14):
- Flax seeds (ground) - 1 TBS
- Pumpkin seeds (ground) - 1 TBS
- Fish or Flax Oil - 2 capsules/2x day
- Luteal Phase (Day 15-28):
- Sunflower seeds (ground) - 1 TBS
- Sesame seeds (ground) - 1 TBS
- Evening Primrose Oil - 2 capsules/2x day
Getting started may feel overwhelming; however, you may be able to find all of this at your local grocer if they have a well stocked natural/organic section, but if not check your local co-op. Personally, I purchase Bob's Red Mill brand seeds and like Garden of Life or NOW brand as over the counter supplement options. I would recommend starting on Day 1 of your menstrual cycle. To simplify the process, grind your organic, raw seeds one to two days in advance and store them in the refrigerator to preserve the healthy properties. Then eat your mixed seeds (2 TBS) and take your oil supplements daily. I like to add my seeds to a smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal. Avoid snacking on the whole seeds throughout the day, as it will decrease their efficacy. It takes time to balance your hormones and re-establish a healthy menstrual cycle; typically, three to four months. Therefore, it's important to be patient and gentle on yourself as you start making lifestyle changes that will impact your overall well-being.