What Is Seed & Oil Cycling?

September 1, 2019

Seed and oil cycling is a natural and gentle way to help balance estrogen and progesterone. The protocol uses a rotation, or cycling, of different seeds and oils to give your body the nutrients it needs to support the different phases of your menstrual cycle.

But you don’t have to be menstruating to receive the benefits! Seed and oil cycling can be used during many stages of life:

  • Puberty
    • Calms the extreme hormone swings
  • Infertility/Pregnancy Planning
    • When in balance, conceiving is easier.
  • Breastfeeding
    • Balanced hormones in mom = balanced hormones in baby + provides critical nutrients
  • Postpartum
    • Calms the extreme hormone swings
  • Perimenopause, Menopause
    • Eases the transition

Seed and oil cycling uses phytoestrogens to support balanced estrogen and progesterone levels by supporting the body’s natural rhythm by giving it what it needs, when it needs it.

  • Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Flaxseed oil and evening primrose oil (in some cases)

Seed and oil cycling can be used to help with:

  • Acne
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Mood swings
  • Cellulite
  • Fatigue
  • PCOS
  • Irregular periods
  • Heavy bleeding
  • PMS 
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibrocystic and tender breasts
  • Weight gain (hips and thighs)

Seed and oil cycling occurs in two phases: Phase 1 and Phase 2.

During Phase 1, flax seeds and pumpkin seeds support balanced estrogen levels by providing plant-based estrogens along with ways to remove and block excess estrogen. The seeds adapt to the estrogen amounts that your body needs! They also provide lots of omega 3 fatty acids which help decrease inflammation and PMS. Pumpkin seeds also provide small amounts of progesterone during this Phase, which mimics our body’s natural rhythm. Flaxseed oil can be added in some cases for additional benefits.

During Phase 2, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds support balanced progesterone levels by providing zinc and Vitamin E, which help with progesterone production. These seeds also help block and remove the estrogen from Phase 1 that is no longer needed. Sesame and sunflower seeds are rich in omega 6 fatty acids with also help decrease inflammation and PMS. Evening Primrose Oil can be added in some cases for additional benefits.

In addition to balancing your hormones, seed and oil cycling helps detox estrogen in ways that protect us from cancer (including breast cancer!). And, because this protocol is rich in essential fatty acids, it provides wonderful benefits for our nervous system. When our nervous system is well-nourished and well-maintained (like through chiropractic care), our body has the ability to function at its best!

It’s important to work with an experienced seed & oil cycling practitioner (like me!) to create a plan that is specific to you, your body, and your symptoms.