Our periods follow the lunar cycle, with ovulation usually falling on a full moon and flow starting with the new moon (or vice versa). However, many of us don’t have cycles that follow this 28-day cycle. This can be due to hormonal changes such as those seen in PCOS and perimenopause, due to stress, or due to another underlying cause.
Whenever I’m helping a patient regulate their cycle and/or hormones, I almost always add in the seed protocol – it’s an easy dietary measure to add into your daily regimen. The seed protocol used a combination of flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds. Not only are these seeds a source of minerals, fibre, and vitamins, they aid in healthy estrogen and progesterone metabolism to support the menstrual cycle; the fatty acids and lignans in the seeds are the compounds that help with hormone balance.
It is done in two phases – the first to support ovulation, and the second to support menstruation.
The seed protocol is as follows:
Have 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or 2 tablespoons of ground pumpkin seeds (or 2 tablespoons total of a combination of the two types of seeds) every day for 14 days starting on day one of bleeding or with the new moon.
On day 15 of your (or the lunar cycle), switch to 2 tablespoons of ground sesame and/or ground sunflower seeds every day until your period starts or until the next new moon. At this time, you go back to the other seeds.
The protocol is adjusted based on how your cycle is changing, but that’s the gist of it. I usually combine specific homeopathic remedies that follow a similar pattern alongside the dietary seeds for a synergistic effect (and obviously this is in addition to other naturopathic approaches). It usually takes a few cycles for a noticeable shift to be seen.
It is best to buy your seeds whole and grind them yourself – make sure to refrigerate them if they’re ground up in order to prevent them from going rancid!
Read more on How to Eat Your Way to Balanced Hormones.