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The Seed Protocol

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Many of my Clients hear me talk about The Seed Protocol! It is a simple and easy 'self-help' for women who are wanting to regulate their hormones - whether they are wanting to address their menstrual cycle, their fertility or their general hormonal status.


All of these can be influenced by stress, lifestyle, diet and exercise. They are also naturally changeable at different periods of our life.


Hormone imbalances are implicated in various diseases, including Thyroid Dysfunction, PCOS, Menstrual & Fertility Issues, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Acne.




To adopt the Seed Cycling Protocol as a means of assisting hormonal regulation, firstly, you will need to know when your Menstrual Cycle starts.


For some women this is easy, but for others who have irregular periods, or unusual 'bleed' times, this may be a little more difficult. Here are a few different Cyclic Approaches for you to consider, if you are one of these ladies...


First Cyclic Approach - Lunar Cycles

The majority of women begin their menstrual cycle on the period of the NEW MOON (although this is not true for all women). If your menses are few and far between, and you have no idea when your last period was, then you may wish to start on this protocol - following the Moons Cycle (every 28 days it will return back to the New Moon Phase).

If you chose this option, begin the protocol on the day of the New Moon - and treat this as Day 1 of the Seed Protocol. Continue the protocol cyclically through every 28 days.


Second Cyclic Approach - Your Next Menstrual Cycle

Prepare your food cupboard in advance and have your seeds ready to take when you start your own menstrual cycle. This is more appropriate for women who have slightly erratic menses, or who simply do not know when their cycle begins.

Day 1 of The Seed Protocol commences when you start your own menstrual cycle. Once you begin The Seed Protocol, you will continue it and maintain the 28 day cycle for as long as possible - and watch to see how your cycle begins to regulate.


Third Cyclic Approach - Your Most Common Cycle

If you have stopped your menstrual cycle, or have a history of your menses starting at a common time (i.e. there are a few women who start their menses on, or around the FULL MOON, rather than the New Moon), then apply this day as your Day 1 of The Seed Protocol.

If you chose this option, begin the protocol on the day of the Full Moon - and treat this as Day 1 of the Seed Protocol. Continue the protocol cyclically through every 28 days.


The Seed Mix

Prepare your seeds in two batches.

The First Batch will be taken on Day 1 of your Cycle, and you will maintain this for 14 days. This is the period of time from the commencement of your menstrual cycle (being day 1). It is known as the 'Follicular Stage' of your Cycle.

The Second Batch will be taken on Day 15 of your cycle, and will be maintained for 14 days. This is known as the 'Luteal Stage' of your Cycle.

To learn more about these two stages, see my upcoming blog 'The Different Hormonal Stages of your Menstrual Cycle'.


In total the 28 day cycle is divided into two halves - both 14 days each.


The First Batch: Follicular Stage

  • 1-2 tablespoons flax seeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

The Second Batch: Luteal Stage

  • 1-2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds


The Seed Protocol

When you have decided which Cyclic Approach you will apply, and you have your Seed Mix prepared into the two Seed Batches (remember to clearly label them if you decant them into two separate jars or containers), you are ready to start The 28 Day Seed Protocol:


Day 1

Take 1 Tablespoon of the First Batch on Day 1 of your Cycle.

Continue to take 1 Tablespoon every day, ideally at breakfast, for 14 days.

Day 15

Take 1 Tablespoon of the Second Batch on Day 15 of your Cycle.

Continue to take 1 Tablespoon every day, ideally at breakfast, for 14 days.


IDEALLY: Repeat The Seed Protocol every 28 days.

If taking the Seeds at Breakfast time: Sprinkle them upon your cereal, or mix into a smoothie or some natural yoghurt.

If taking the Seeds at Lunch or Supper time: Sprinkle them upon your food.

Drink plenty of warm water (ideally with a slice of lemon) with the seeds.


Individual Adjustments

If your Cycle is generally a couple of days longer or shorter than 28 days, then you can make a slight adjustment to the protocol in the following ways:

If your menstrual cycle is naturally 30 days long, then adjust the protocol to 2 x 15 days for each batch.

Similarly, if your cycle is naturally 24 days long, adjust your protocol to 2 x 12 days for each batch.


Scientific & Anetdotal Evidences

Unfortunately, there is little scientific research to supports the efficacy of seed cycling as studies have not been done on this subject. However, I have personally seen that this protocol can support significant hormonal rebalance and regulation of Menstrual Cycles.


As with all natural healing practices, there is often little in the way of scientific research and we are therefore often reliant upon Anetdotal evidence.


Whilst studies have not been carried out with regards to seed cycling for hormone balance, we do have scientific evidence which correlates the specific nutritional components found in flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds with hormonal adjustments which may support natural hormonal cycles.


The Follicular Phase

Pumpkin seeds and flax seeds help improve our estrogen levels while preventing excess estrogen.

  • Flax Seeds contain lignans which bind to excess estrogen.

  • Pumpkin Seeds are high in zinc, supporting progesterone production required up to and during the second phase of your cycle.


The Luteal Phase

Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds help boost progesterone production.

  • Sesame Seeds are a rich source of zinc, helping boost progesterone production.

  • Sesame Seeds contain lignans that help block excess estrogen while progesterone rises.

  • Sunflower Seeds are high in Vitamin E, helping to boost progesterone production.

  • Sunflower Seeds are also high in Selenium, which helps detox the liver of excess estrogen.


As we can see, the nutritional components of Zinc, lignans, Vitamin E and Selenium are all important in hormonal regulation. Let's just look at how these nutrients support this.


The Nutritional Value of Seed Cycling


ZINC

Pumpkin (1st stage) and sesame seeds (2nd stage) both contain high levels of zinc. This mineral helps to improve the formation of the corpus luteum in the uterus. The corpus luteum is responsible for producing progesterone and stimulates the uterus to thicken in preparation for potential implantation. (1) (2) 


OMEGA-3S, OMEGA-6S + VITAMIN E

Both flax and pumpkin seeds (1st stage) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s promote blood flow to the uterus, increase progesterone secretion, and help maintain healthy cell membranes. (3)

In addition, Vitamin E has been linked to reducing PMS symptoms. (4)

Research also shows that Vitamin E, omega-3s and omega-6s found in pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and flax seeds are essential for hormone production and follicle function.


SELENIUM

Sunflower seeds (2nd Stage), high in the trace mineral selenium, supports estrogen detoxification in the liver. (5) (6) This helps reduce excess estrogen during the luteal phase when estrogen declines and progesterone rises. 



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