Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance – Gentle Ways to Restore Normal

Seed cycling for hormone balance is one of those things that seems far too simple to ever work, but work it does! It’s very gentle nutritional support that encourages your cycle to follow it’s natural rhythm and gives the hormones gentle nudges in the right direction.  Best of all, it’s done with whole foods, not with supplements or drugs, so it’s entirely natural, simple, inexpensive and gives you a whole different way to keep in contact with your body. Not only that, it can be helpful in situations that you might not think of right away – like for women post menopause, and for men looking to boost fertility. Yup, men.

What is Seed Cycling?

Seed cycling is a gentle way to help your body balance your hormones naturally by adding different seeds into your diet at different phases of your menstrual cycle. Simply adding seeds like flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds to your diet at different times in your cycle can promote healthy hormones by encouraging your body to either produce or detoxify certain hormones. It is literally using foods to either promote estrogen detoxification, in the first half of your cycle, or to increase progesterone production in the second.

Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance – What Does That Actually  Help?

Seed cycling for hormone balance helps your body to smoothly find it’s way to a more normal balance and therefore can help with almost any symptom related to hormones including:

  • Acne
  • PMS
  • Irregular Cycle
  • Infertility or sub-fertility
  • Too light or too heavy bleeding
  • Peri-menopause
  • Post-menopausal hormone symptoms like low libido or depression
  • PCOS
  • Irregular cycle

Now – having said that, seed cycling for hormone balance is NOT a quick fix – you’re working to re-establish the rhythms of your body and that takes time.  Typically you will start noticing changes after 3-4 months (3-4 cycles) but the great news is that because this is simply using foods it is safe to combine with other therapies and can help to enhance their actions.  If you have one of the more serious hormonal issues like PCOS, then probably seed cycling isn’t going to fix it, but it can certainly help other measures to work better and help your body to find it’s rhythm.

Quick Review of Your Cycle and The Moon (And Why  Those Two Things Go Together):

This is how your cycle and the moon go together. Ovulate on full moon (day 14) and bleed on the new moon (day 1)

This is how your cycle and the moon go together. Ovulate on full moon (day 14) and bleed on the new moon (day 1)

At heart, you are all wild animals.  You love to pretend to be civilized and to wear a veneer of the tame, but truly and deeply your body belongs to the forest. In the “wild state” of being you wouldn’t have been exposed to artificial light and so very powerful signals were sent to your brain by the changing light of the moon, and this was one of the ways your body kept rhythms, including your hormone rhythms.  Women’s typical hormone cycles are 28 days, which happens to be the length of a full lunar cycle as well (actually 28 and a fraction days). This is not a coincidence! You are designed to be at peak fertility, meaning ovulation, at the full moon (coincidentally when nights are brightest and you’re more likely to enjoy the sight of a partner). Fertility is lowest, meaning menstruation, at the new moon when nights are darkest.  Men’s fertility follows women’s in this scenario so that we’re all most fertile at the same time – it works best that way for the baby-making.

How Do I Seed Cycle?

Seed Cycling for hormone balance adds seeds into your diet following the rhythm of your body or the moon.

Seed Cycling for hormone balance adds seeds into your diet following the rhythm of your body or the moon.

This is literally eating different seeds for different parts of your monthly rhythm because they help to restore your body to balance.  You’ll recall that for women our hormones change in a predictable way with our cycle.  Men have fewer hormone fluctuations through the month, but their peak fertility still should match with women’s – and everyone’s peak fertility is typically at the full moon (we are wild animals underneath it all).

Day 1 – 14 (Follicular phase):

1 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Day 15 – 28 (Luteal phase):

1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Eat your 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds every day according to your cycle. The seeds should be ground in a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or vitamix and added to smoothies, soups, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, salad or however else it’s easy to get them into you.  Also of those four seeds try not to add them in other times as snacks because it makes things confusing- so snacking on sunflower seeds on your flax/pumpkin days is probably not going to help your body to find it’s rhythm.

If you feel like you need a little extra push in the right direction, then you can also add supportive oils to this picture.  Fish oil, about 1500 mg combined EPA and DHA can be added to Days 1 – 14 and Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) can be added to days 15 – 28.

Why These Seeds?

The pumpkin and flax seed combo is a potent one to help your body detoxify the extra estrogen that can plague this time of the month (the lignans especially from the flax seeds bind to excess estrogen and help your body to eliminate it) High zinc levels in pumpkin seeds prevent the estrogen from converting to harmful forms of testosterone and also prime your body for progesterone production which will happen in the second half of the cycle.

The sunflower and sesame combo used in the luteal phase of the cycle has a much lighter dose of lignans from the sesame seeds, but is rich in zinc and selenium which helps progesterone production.  These seeds are also a rich source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid which can convert to gamma linolenic acid, which also helps the balance between progesterone and estrogen.

The seeds should be organic and raw if  possible and ground fresh every day or two just because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground for too long.  You can add the seeds in anywhere that it’s easy for you and if you completely hate eating seeds you can mix them into a small glass of juice and gulp it down.

If you’re working on getting pregnant and need more information about how seed cycling and pregnancy go together then read this post – seeds are a tremendous support to your own little sprout. 🙂

The Big Picture of Seed Cycling

The big picture of seed cycling for hormone balance. Because your cycle follows the moon.

The big picture of seed cycling for hormone balance. Because your cycle follows the moon.

If you want a handout form – it’s right here:  Seed Cycle for Hormone Balance

Also – if you don’t know the moon’s current phase, here’s that info. Thanks reader Zahra for reminding me that this isn’t here!


375 thoughts on “Seed Cycling for Hormone Balance – Gentle Ways to Restore Normal

  1. Sarah-Science teacher

    HI Dr. Amy,
    Thank you for sharing this with the world! The only thing that it misleading is the rotation of the moon in the images… (it actually revolves going counter clockwise) so if people are looking at the images, it is misleading. Days 1-14/15 of the lunar cycle is on the right side, starting at the new moon and going through the waxing stages. then Day 15-28 would be on the left side, starting at the full moon and waning to the new moon.

    Thanks again! Looking to start this with the lunar cycle as my menstruation is all over the place.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sarah-Science teacher!
      You are completely right, and it bugs me too. I have to take the time to sit down and make a better image, I just haven’t managed it yet! So, I’m curious – did you try the seed cycling? What happened for you? Thanks for being here and thanks for the comment.

  2. Farhina Mawani

    Hello Dr. Amy,

    I have been doing seed cycling since April 2020.
    I also started intermittent fasting since July 2020.
    I am also walking outdoors 4 days in a week and I do intense cardio 5 days a week.
    When I take sprintec ( birth control pill) I get my period, since I want to get them naturally I have stopped the medication since April 2020 and I have not gotten my periods ever since then. I have PCOS and I would like to cure it naturally.

    Thank you!

    Farhina Mawani

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Farhina,
      Oh my goodness, it sounds like you are doing everything right! With the PCOS, it matters to be on a low-carb diet (you sound very knowledgeable, so you’re probably already doing that). Other things that can be useful are inositol – about 4 g per day, or I’ve heard of some people using NAC – 1500 mg per day (taken away from food).) Those can both really help to normalize hormones and bring some balance. Great job with all of the changes you’ve made!

  3. Jamie

    I’ve recently started doing this. I’m excited to see if it helps balance my hormones! I have noticed pretty strong effects On my cycle with flax seeds in the past by accident. Anyways, I was wondering if tahini would count as the sesame seed portion or would it really need to be more of a whole form? I’m doing well with consuming the other kinds of seeds, but it seems a bit strange for me to just eat sesame seeds for some reason. Thank you for this knowledge and for taking the time to read this!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jamie,
      As long as the tahini lists the only ingredient as sesame seeds, I think that would be a great option! How is it going for you now?

  4. sarah waninger

    do you need to continue seed cycling after regaining a lost period? do you recommend doing it lifelong?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sarah,
      Great question. I do have some clients who seed cycle lifelong but many use it as a tool to regain hormone balance and then either modify it for their needs (like I will probably take some flax seeds most days for the rest of my life), or let it go completely. Just depends on your particular hormone picture.

  5. Karen D

    Hello. Thank you for this information. In a previous time, I did seed cycling and it worked! It took me from bleeding 15 days a month to a normal period. Eventually, I wrongly convinced myself I was ok without it and stopped. I have sense had many issues. Fibroids, endometriosis and ovarian cysts were surgerically removed in 2001. Now back with a vengeance. Softball size fibroid + others, etc. VERY high estrogen and cortisol. I take 30 Chinese Herbal pills daily and doing acupuncture twice a week. As far as seed cycling goes, would you suggest any modifications? Thanks again!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Karen,
      Sounds like hormones have been a big challenge for you! If seed cycling with the standard protocol worked well for you before then that sounds like a good place to start. Flax seed does really help to moderate the estrogens and the fiber content binds to estrogens that are being detoxified in the digestive tract, so if the standard protocol isn’t enough then you could add an extra dose of flax later in the day for the fiber content. Here’s a whole article about the benefits of fiber. I hope this is helpful and keep everyone posted!

  6. Lillie

    I started seed cycling three weeks ago (mid-way through my period) and am almost done with my first week of sesame/ sunflower. I noticed I was getting some breast tenderness about three or four days after I first started with the flax/pumpkin, and it has gotten worse each day. I have often had some breast tenderness before my period, though not always, but never during the middle of my cycle. It’s also much more tender and uncomfortable than I’ve ever experienced. I don’t believe there is any chance that I am pregnant, so I’m really wondering what’s causing this. Have you ever heard of seeds causing symptoms like this? Thank you so much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Lillie,
      I’m so sorry for the extremely delayed response – this one got buried somehow. The first couple of months of seed cycling can be a bit strange, especially if you’re extremely hormonally sensitive (which it sounds like you might be). Still, your symptoms sound quite severe. Step one would be to do a pregnancy test (I’m sure you’ve done this by now) and if you’re not pregnant than maybe cut down to half of the dose of seeds until your body is more used to the protocol. I do have clients who are sensitive enough that they get more benefit from a lower dose, so it is well within the realm of possibility. You have probably taken steps since September so feel free to comment back with an update. I hope this helps!

  7. Angie

    Will pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds not have the same effect if they are eaten whole? Thank you.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Angie,
      Whole or ground pumpkin and sunflower seeds will have the same effect as long as you chew them well. It is mostly the flax that needs to be ground just because they have that harder outer skin and they’re easy to swallow whole. I hope this helps!

  8. Heather

    Hi! I am on day 18 of seed cycling for the first time. I have been diagnosed with 2 simple ovarian cysts (1 at a time, both on right ovary) in past 6 months, so after researching cysts, it seems like estrogen dominance is the cause… However, I have very few symptoms of EO. My period is extremely regular, I have appropriate discharge/cramping during ovulation & can time it down to the hour some months. However, about 2-3 hours before my period starts I do get a headache & 1 hot flash that lasts a minute or 2. It has been this way since I stopped breastfeeding 15 months ago. I want to stop creating these cysts, but I’m worried that I may not see any true difference since my symptoms are not blatant and aggravating. The first cyst ruptured and caused stomach pain which led to an dr visit & 2nd was found because I’m very anxious and have been getting more internal ultrasounds than needed to see what’s happening in there ? Is there any other way to know is the seed cycling is helping, without going to the GyNo for an ultrasound that she doesn’t think is needed?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Heather,
      My guess would be that since your cycle is so regular and your ovulation is so predictable (you go girl), that the most we could hope for is reduction of the headache or hot-flash type symptom. It isn’t much to go by, but I do think it’s worth a shot to see if you can get your body to stop forming the cysts. In terms of tracking, some women are able to feel that their ovaries are more tender when they press on them from the outside of the body if they have a cyst forming, but outside of just poking them, the ultrasound is the only real way to tell if they’re there. I would certainly say the seed cycling can’t hurt – you could try it for three months and see how you feel, if there is any change in your symptoms, and also if you’re concerned about it do a follow up ultrasound at the end of those three months to evaluate the cysts (or just wait and see how your body feels). Does that make sense? I hope this helps!

      1. Heather

        Thanks for your reply! I am on the second month of seed cycling now, day 16. Last month my period came on day 27, one day early for me, which I was fine with… Normally when I’ve had a cyst, I’ve had one day of brown spotting before a flow started but no brown spotting with first period trying the seed cycling. This month, so far, I ovulated on day 13. I have always ovulated on day 14/15 but is it possible the seed cycling is shortening my cycle by a day or so? If so, is that okay & should I continue with another month? No symptoms of cysts.

  9. Ali

    Hi! I have had problems with fluctuating hormones since I first started my period. I’ve had blood tests that say my testosterone is too high, only to come back totally normal a couple months later. I haven’t had any tests done lately but have felt completely out of wack (my periods are normal and actually always cycled with the Red Moon). I’ve gone on and off birth control for several years seemingly without problem, but last September I went off and became very depressed and started losing a lot of hair. I recently went back on birth control to see if that would help with the hair loss and it seems like it is. However, I would prefer not to be on birth control, but I’m afraid to go off and lose more hair. Can seed cycling be done while on birth control? I’m assuming not, in which case I wanted to know if ending birth control and immediately starting seed cycling would help combat any negative effects of going off of birth control. Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Ali,
      Periods can be so crazy, right? Seed cycling can be done while you’re on birth control, but the birth control is always going to be a far more powerful boost to your hormones, so mostly I would suggest it for one or two months before you discontinue the birth control just to hopefully buffer your negative side effects. Again, the seeds are SO gentle compared to the pill, but it might help your body adjust and smooth things out during the transition. Also, make sure your doctor has checked your thyroid recently – sometimes going on or off birth control can make thyroid issues worse, or at least exacerbate mild thyroid issues. Making sure your thyroid is working well could also help with hair loss and minimize some of the negative effects. I hope this helps and keep me (and everyone else) posted!

      1. Ali

        Thank you for your advice! One more question – can I take flax oil in addition to the seeds?

        I did have my thyroid checked and it was normal. I was diagnosed with PCOS years ago but then it was redacted after tests showed I had no cysts on my ovaries, and weight-wise I have mostly been underweight most of my life. Very recently I have suspected I perhaps have insulin resistance which is affecting my hormones, so I’ve been following more of a low carb diet to see if that helps (posting that info mostly for others that might be in the same boat!). I am starting seed cycling today so I’ll report back down the road with the effects.

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Insulin resistance can be a huge factor – it sounds like you’re doing all the right things! And yes for the flax oil with the seeds – use the flax oil in the cycle the way fish oil is suggested. They’re both strongly anti-inflammatory across the board. Keep us posted, Ali!

  10. Krystal

    Hello, I am just starting seed cycling, but my periods are so irregular almost non existent. So I thought I would just start with Flax/pumpkin seeds days 1-14 of the actual month of June and then switch on day 15 of June. But after reading all the comments etc, should I be doing something different? Thanks

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Krystal,
      If your periods are almost non existent than I think picking an arbitrary day is as good as any. Lots of people like to follow the moon phases – so will choose day 1 to be the new moon and start the flax/pumpkin then, but it’s not necessary. You can just start and switch on day 15 and then switch again on day 29. Your plan sounds great! Let me know how it does for you =- typically with highly irregular periods it takes a few months to really see any kind of a difference, but often ladies report that they start feeling more balanced before any difference shows up in their actual cycle. Let us all know how it goes!

  11. Pingback: Seed Cycling For Fibroids | To Health With That!

  12. Martina

    Hello! I just found your site and read all the comments, I would appreciate if you could help me. (English isn’t my first language, so bear with me:) ).
    My cycles have always been 30-32 days. Until 2016. when I went on LCHF diet and ate bread that I made with flax seeds every day. My cycle prolonged to >40 days. It took me almost 1,5 years to connect the two. I stopped with the flax and my cycle is back to normal (it has been so for over a year now).
    I have a fibroid, but no symptoms (no pain or heavy bleeding), however it is growing for maybe 6 years now.
    I am very interested in this method because I hope that it could stop it from getting bigger.
    Was my cycle longer because the flax prolonged the folicular phase? Does it mimic estrogen or get rid of excess?
    How should I take it? Just 1-14 days, and then nothing 15-28?
    Please help, thank you

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Martina,
      So, I’m guessing here because we don’t have enough information for cause and effect, but it sounds like the flax seed did contribute to the change in cycle length. The way I understand it, flax seed works in two ways to REDUCE the effects of estrogen on the body. In one aspect, the lignan content is a phytoestrogen, meaning a plant-based estrogen which mimics 2-alpha-hydroxyestrone. In this way it increases estrogen levels, but this type of estrogen is biologically far less active than other estrogens. Here is a great research article that goes into far more detail about this process. The fiber in flax seed also acts as a natural detoxifier, helping your body to trap and eliminate estrogens from the gut (humans tend to reabsorb estrogens from the gut so that they are never fully eliminated). Here’s more on fiber. So my guess would be that the overall effect is one of lowering estrogen. For a fibroid, lowering your estrogen levels will help to keep growth to a minimum. It probably won’t be strong enough to shrink the fibroid, but if we can prevent growth that would be wonderful. Progesterone has been shown to promote the growth of fibroids as well, so I don’t think you should do the full protocol. Here’s an article about the progesterone link. I do think it might be worth doing the sesame seeds in the second half of the cycle. They are also lignan-rich, but have been shown to have strong anti-tumor effects including anti-proliferative effects that might also slow tumor growth. I have never seen research specifically on sesame seeds and hormone levels – this article on lignans is the closest – so this is a guess, but I think alternating the flax and sesame seeds and excluding the pumpkin and sunflower would be a good place to start. Make sure you are working with your physician to monitor growth so that we can see if there are any changes – in theory this should help, but we need to be watching in case the theory is wrong.

  13. Missycheffman

    What other seeds can I use in place of the pumpkin and sunflower seeds as I couldn’t find them in my area
    Please I need your help

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Missycheffman,
      This is really hard because very few seeds have the same properties. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which we believe is the reason they boost healthy ovulation so well. I haven’t seen any research on this, but hemp and squash seeds are also high in zinc so you could try substituting those. Sunflower seeds do so many things, but the selenium in them especially helps hormone regulation. If you can tolerate tree nuts, Brazil nuts might be a good substitute. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. If you really can’t source any of these seeds, then just use flax and sesame. I hope this helps!

  14. Kim

    I definitely feel that I have a hormonal imbalance after being on the birth control pill for too long. I have been off the pill for almost 2 years, but something still doesn’t seem right. So I decided to try seed cycling. I have been doing it for about 2 months now. I am basically just switching the seed combo every 14 days no matter what is happening with my cycle. I did it that way because my cycle seems irregular (the time between periods is anywhere between 20-31 days). Is it okay to do it that way? Based on my last 2 periods, I am now completely opposite with the proper seed combo. I will be starting the flax/pumpkin seed combo tomorrow, but I believe that is my luteal phase. I don’t want to confuse my body.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kim,
      Hmmm. I can sympathize with the post-birth control problem. It can be so hard for your body to regulate again. My gut feeling is that in your situation, I would actually follow your body’s cycle for a while with the seeds instead of trying to get your body to follow the seeds. Does that make sense? It feels like it might be a more gentle way to ease your body in. So, do that flax/pumpkin for the first 14 days of your cycle and then switch to sesame/sunflower until you start to bleed again (no matter how long that is). I think it will help your body to normalize more smoothly. Having said this, if you’re seeing improvements these last couple of months and don’t want to change, then that is probably fine too – there isn’t a right answer here, it’s just a gut feeling. I hope this helps!

  15. Cynthia

    Great article! I just started seed cycling four days ago. I’m curious if you’ve had much luck with post menopausal women still having sleep issues and trying to lose the weight they gained in perimenopause?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Cynthia,
      Glad you’ve started with the seeds – keep us all posted on how it goes. I have certainly seen women have success with post-menopausal sleep issues, but the weight is hit or miss and depends a lot on other lifestyle things you’re doing. The seeds won’t be enough to take the weight off by themselves, but they can certainly make it easier if you’re following a diet or exercising. I hope this helps!

  16. Tinisha

    Oh TY for that clarification. And just so I’m understanding, when the 1st day of bleeding starts that my Day 1 of pumpkin seeds & I eat for 14 days? Then go to Sunflower seeds for 14 days or I start bleeding again?

  17. Tinisha Daniels

    I love this article TY! I have PCOS so mentration is very irregular. I started Seed Cycle on Day 1, New Moon this month. My menstation has now started! Wow so cool! Do I keep eating seeding while I’m menstruating? Then start seeds again when I finish?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Tinisha,
      Eeee! I’m so happy for you. So the first day that you start to bleed is considered “day 1” and you start over with the flax/pumpkin combo on that day. With PCOS it takes a while to find a rhythm, but hopefully, this will help keep you cycling. Keep us posted!

  18. Alexandra Radway

    Hi Dr Amy,

    I am currently 11 months pp, and have yet to have my cycles return. I am hoping to conceive again in the next few months, and would like to help have a healthy cycle return. I currently eat all of the above seeds in relatively large quantities (~1/4 cup) daily, especially pumpkin seeds, as a part of my normal diet. I try to eat a lot of pumpkin seeds to maintain copper-zinc balance as a vegan. I can alter this so I only eat the seeds in each phase, but my question is, would it be problematic to eat seeds in larger quantities and multiple times per day? Also do you think my current consumption could be delaying the return of my cycles? Thank you so much for the wonderful information on your blog. Your article on lecithin for gallbladder sludge has helped me so much with postpartum gallbladder pain!

    Warm Regards,

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Alexandra,
      Ooooh – great question. Seed cycling is such a different situation with vegans because so much of a healthy vegan diet is based around seeds. First, in terms of your cycle: if you’re still breastfeeding then that is the most likely culprit in terms of not yet having your cycle. Also, if you’ve lost too much weight too quickly or are underweight. Obviously, I have no idea about your particular scenario, but those are the biggest factors I typically see. Outside of that, age, mental-emotional status, and hormone status pre-pregnancy have a lot to do with how quickly or slowly your cycle comes back online. In terms of seed cycling as a vegan, I do think it’s important to exclude the seeds from the other half of the seed-cycling alternation in each phase of the month. So when you’re therapeutically eating flax/pumpkin don’t include the sesame/sunflower. I honestly don’t know about 1/4 cut per day and I’d say you have to use your own good judgment and knowledge of your body’s processes. I can say for myself that I would have negative hormonal effects at that dose. I tend to be hormonally sensitive and could never manage to take birth control or synthetic hormones, but honestly, even the 1 tbsp of seeds is sometimes too much for me, and in hormonally sensitive women that is not uncommon. I didn’t notice the hormone effects as much when I was only using the seeds as a food and not for my hormones so I think those effects become more potent when you are following your body’s natural rhythms anyway and also when you’re alternating between the two combos. I would start at the recommended dose and switch your food-related seeds to ones that are thought to be more hormonally neutral like chia and hemp as well as nuts like walnut, almond, pecan, etc… which are considered to be hormonally neutral. Also, hemp seed itself has long been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a hormone balancer and stabilizer, so it may have independent beneficial effects. There is not much research on this effect yet, but I expect it will become more prevalent as hemp seed is more commonly used as a food in the West. Here’s one article on a rat study, which is as good as we’re going to get for now. 🙂 Good luck and I hope this helps!

  19. Rebecca

    HI Dr Amy,

    I am 42 and have been seed cycling since mid-April. I have noticed benefits such as a reduction in sugar cravings and mood swings. However, I have noticed weight gain in general and weight fluctuations at different times in my cycle, an increase in facial break outs and a much more intense ovulation time, almost like PMS, none of which I experienced prior to starting on the seeds.

    I started with 1.5 tsp of each seed ground, measured after grinding. I am generally a less is more person. I am at the point where clothes are not fitting and am considering discontinuing the seeds. Any thoughts as to what could be going on?

    Thanks so much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Rebecca,
      It sounds like you are blessed with a highly responsive hormone system. It’s actually a good thing, but can feel like a bad thing because your body responds to tiny fluctuations in hormones in a really vivid way. I would take a month off to assess your symptoms now. Hopefully, this month will be enough time for the breakouts and weight to normalize (also the intense ovulation symptoms – which are probably an indicator of a great ovulation, but if you’re not going for fertility it can be a big pain in the butt). If it isn’t enough time then give your body another month or two to rest. If you notice the sugar cravings and mood swings coming back then re-start the seed cycling but at a much lower dose. It could be that even 0.5 tsp of each seed will be enough for you. For some women, even this is unnecessary. I did the seed cycling for about a year and a half faithfully, and now use it a month here and a month there if I’m noticing some imbalance, but my body mostly regulates by itself. My theory is that I had to go through a pretty intense hormone detox in that first couple of years – leftovers from experiments with synthetic birth control in my youth and a variety of genetic factors. Now that the worst of that is behind me, the seeds can be used as an as-needed thing. Does that make sense?

  20. Laura

    Hi! I have been trying the seed cycling now for about 2 months. I feel like I am experiencing the hormonal fluctuations in my cycle such as PMS like symptoms but still no period. Should I increase the amount of seeds? Or just be patient? Also I noticed that for extra support you suggest adding in fish oil and evening primrose oil. Is there something besides fish oil I can use as I am vegan? What is the best way to take evening primrose oil—capsule, liquid?? Thanks so much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Laura,
      I’d say patience is the best course. The goal is to ease your body into it, not force it anywhere. The fish oil/ EPO alternation can just push a bit harder and is still gentle enough for your body. In terms of alternates to fish oil – we’re looking for high sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA. There are algae sourced oils that are quite good, although more expensive, and also flaxseed oil but for whatever reason, this seems to be harder for some people to tolerate. If you try the flax oil and it doesn’t sit well, just switch to something else. The EPO is typically in capsules – I can’t remember ever seeing a liquid one, but I think either would be fine if you can find it. Good luck and keep us posted!

      1. Laura

        Hi Dr. Amy,
        So I added in the evening primrose oil last Sunday. Wow! I was stunned on day 3 when I had some spotting, which I also had then on days 5 and 7. Today on day 8 I have had some heavier spotting. When I was getting my period it was always very light, so I’m not really sure if this is actually spotting or my period. My question is, since I’ve had some spotting, should I keep to the 14 days of sesame seeds/sunflower seeds/evening primrose oil combo or should I switch to the pumpkin seeds/flax seeds/flax oil combo early? Intuitively I’m guessing it’s better to stick to the moon cycles, but was curious what your thoughts were. Thanks so much! I am truly amazed that I am seeing such results!

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Laura,
          Wow! That’s awesome. Yes – trust your gut and stick to the moon cycles. I’m so looking forward to hearing how it goes.

  21. Iris

    Hi Amy,

    I’m 48 years old and experiencing perimenopause these days. I’ve had longer or shorter period and spotting all the time in the past two years. I’ve been following the seed cycling but it has not resolved the issue. Shall I follow the moon calendar instead? If so, do I need to wait until the new moon?

    Thank you

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Iris,
      In this situation, I think it’s a good idea to talk with your OB-GYN about hormone testing and also the symptoms you’re having. Two years is a really long time to be spotting, so it would be a good idea to make sure there isn’t something else going on. Ask her about things like endometrial lining thickness, fibromas, etc… If your OB-GYN doesn’t find anything significant, then take 3 months off of seed cycling and try restarting at the new moon, just to see if your body responds to that any better. Make sure you’re getting a full Tablespoon of each seed as well – sometimes it’s just not enough if you don’t measure. Keep us posted!

      1. Iris

        Thanks Amy. I’ve done all the tests /exams, nothing is wrong with me except progesterone level is low compared to estrogen. Is there reason why I need to take 3 months off of seed cycling?

        Thank you

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Iris,
          If your OB-GYN ruled out all the dangerous things, then no. No reason to take 3 months off. You could just take a break until the new moon and restart with that as “day 1” and see if that harmonizes things a bit better. Keep me posted – I’d love to know what happens!

          1. Iris

            Hi Amy,

            I had really good 3 months of regular cycles until 2 months ago, my period has become a mess. Non-stopped spotting happens throughout the cycles, it’s very hard to predict when the period will arrive. I’m still following protocol based on the moon phases. What would you recommend to stop the spotting?

            Your help is much appreciated.


  22. Emma

    Hi Amy, I have a low egg count with an FSH level of 2.2, the doctor has said that lower than 10 is concerning. Would seed cycling be advisable for me to help regulate my hormones?


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Emma,
      I haven’t seen any information for seed cycling and FSH levels specifically, but it does help to regulate the estrogen and progesterone, which may in turn help to regulate the FSH. There are no known side-effects or reasons not to try it unless you have an allergy to one of the seeds, so I think it would be a great support. It certainly helps a lot of women to boost fertility, and I hope it helps you too. All the best!

  23. Midrand

    Thanks so much Dr. Amy. Now I’m in the 2nd phase of the cycle, I will definitely give a try when the next cycle arrives. (2 TBSP flax seed and 1TBSP pumpkin seed). I’ll also do the castor oil packs at the mean time. Can I use the castor oil pack when I’m spotting?

    Thank you

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Midrand,
      Yes! The castor oil packs are safe for any time and if you’re having an especially painful period they are a great help for the pain – you can use them over the uterine area or the low back (or both). I hope it helps!

  24. Midrand

    Hi, I’ve been following the protocol for a few months now. I can see the benefit of seed cycling. It has helped me with the luteal phase, I have less spotting prior to the next cycle arrives. However, I’m having issue with the follicular phase. My period (true bleeding) stops in 5 days, then spotting continues for another week or longer. Since I have endometriosis, my estrogen level is already high, I’m wondering if the flex seeds and pumpkin seeds increase the estrogen level and cause the spotting as the progesterone level is too low? Your help is much appreciated!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Midrand,
      Great question. With endometriosis, your estrogen levels are far higher than the average woman with high estrogen, if that makes any sense. Typically for clients with endometriosis I suggest doing extra flax seeds during the first half (so 2 TBSP flax seed and 1TBSP pumpkin seed) and see how that does for a couple of months. Also, for you castor oil packs over your uterine area can really help in the time around your cycle to decrease inflammation and help to detoxify extra estrogens in the region. Also, if castor oil packs are too intense or you don’t have time, there’s a great “lazy” way to do them here. If you try this I’d love to hear how it goes for you after a couple of months! All the best. 🙂

  25. Pingback: Episode #9: Genevieve Mama Natural - How to Have a Healthy, Natural Pregnancy

  26. Amber M Dimico

    Hi. I just started the seed cycling. I’m on day 8. I’ve been having some slight headaches, I usually get a terrible migraine the day before my cycle starts. These are not bad, but I was wondering if I should keep going or stop. Also I have been getting terrible cramps right after eating the flax and pumpkin with my yogurt. I’ve read pumpkin seeds can cause cramps and stomachache. Any suggestions?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Amber,
      I would say if the headaches get worse or if they’re happening more regularly than usual then this might not be agreeing with you and it’s best to either stop or cut the dose of all the seeds in half and see if that is better tolerated by your body. The cramps don’t sound lovely. One thing that I’ve seen make a big difference is hydration – if you’re a little bit dehydrated then the cramps and stomachache are a bit more likely (especially with a big load of fiber – which those particular seeds are very high in). Try having 16 oz of water before that morning meal (15 minutes before if you can manage it) and see if that makes a difference. If not, then again try cutting the dose in half and see if your body likes that better. Cramping certainly isn’t something that should be expected with this, so if it persists that’s a problem. Let me know how it goes!

    2. Jody

      Just wondering if you’re grinding the seeds before eating them. We don’t digest seeds well in general. I am grinding my seeds in a coffee grinder for seed cycling, but sometimes munching a handful of whole seeds in between. I overdid the whole pumpkin seeds the other day, eating several handfuls. I had found an unopened packet from before seed-cycling when I used to snack randomly on them. I noticed my stomach was not very happy. I have read during seed cycling research that this can happen if you’re not grinding the seeds. Linseeds in particular are known to pass through wholly undigested.

      1. amyneuzil Post author

        Hi Jody,
        Great question. I always grind the flax, but often eat the pumpkin, sesame and sunflower whole. Just depends on the day. You’re entirely right about the flax seeds though – we don’t break them down especially well if they are whole because they have a tough outer hull. Thanks for commenting!

  27. Ali

    Hello. Thank you for the article it answered some of my questions. I am new to seed cycling. Are there side effects due to the body getting back in gear? The reason I ask is because I have been on it for only seven days now and the best way I can describe it is I am experiencing PMS but I am not on my monthly. I am hungrier than usual too. Before starting the seed cycling I rarely had PMS or intense hunger. Is this normal? Does it go away? Thank you

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Ali,
      It is entirely possible, although not common, to have symptoms during seed cycling. I would say if the symptoms continue, decrease the dose to half of the seeds (same seeds at the same times, just half the amount) and see if that is more tolerable. It’s hard to believe but for some women, it’s just too much and too strong and if your body is that responsive to it then we need to make sure we’re not pushing too much. Does that make sense? Let me know how it goes.

  28. Jenny

    Thank you for this helpful article!

    Would making fresh seed milk dailyhave the same impact as eating the ground seeds? Flax/pumpkin milk for the first half and sesame/sunflower for the second half?

    I’d like to try this but want to make sure it would work well. Thank you so much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jenny,
      Such an interesting question! My gut feeling is that it might not work as well, because the actual fiber from the seeds (especially flax and sesame) is useful too and that part wouldn’t stay in the seed milk, but I honestly don’t know. It could be that it would be an even gentler version of seed cycling but I haven’t seen anyone try it. If you do try with the seed milk, please let me know how it works out!

  29. Laurie

    Good Day Dr. Neuzil,
    Let me start by thanking you the information on your website has changed my life!
    I’ll make this as short as possible, I’m 53 my cycles were completely imbalanced for the last year. My gyno ran several tests and labs believing I was ED. Labs came back normal also showed that I was no where near menopause. Tests revealed a cyst on Ovary and a fibroid. The Dr. prescribed 400 mg of Progesterone for shedding I made to day 10 had to go off the progesterone due to migraines. I decided to try seed cycling I’ve had much success in just a short time I’ve had two normal 28 day cycles. However this time I noticed spotting on day 20 of my luteal phase I will continue sunflower & sesame seeds till my 28th. My question is: If I start flowing though should I start flax & pumpkin? Or stay on the S&S? Thank you so much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Laurie,
      I am so excited to hear about your successes!
      I think if you have a true flow, then consider that day 1 and switch to the flax and pumpkin. If it’s just spotting, then keep to the normal 28-day routine. Thanks so much for writing!

  30. Laura

    I’m interested in seed cycling as I have lost my period and want to use nutrition as a means to regain it. In addition to incorporating the seeds mentioned in the post, when is the best time during this cycle to consume/avoid soy-based foods like tofu or soy milk? Also when would be the best time to consume/avoid chia seeds as like flax they are high in ALA? Are there any other foods you would recommend for different times of the month?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Laura,
      Great questions! Soy is really difficult because it seems to have different hormonal effects depending on whether you are of an Asian background, or not. The theory is that asian cultures which have used soy as a staple food for centuries are genetically adapted to reap the benefits, while cultures that historically haven’t used soy don’t have the same adaptation. Here’s a link to some of the research. For that reason, I tend to try to moderate soy intake generally and keep it reasonably steady through the month. I don’t think it’s a great thing in large amounts unless it was a part of your culture and diet.

      Chia, although they are high in ALA, have not been shown to have a strong hormonal effect so those are safe throughout the month and don’t need to be moderated. I hope this helps!

      1. Laura

        Thanks so much for the above answers and advice! I appreciate the research link as well!

  31. sa

    Hi Dr. , i’m 42 years old, i’m very interested in this subject, i had irregular period 3 years ago and my LH and FSH are high, and i don’t have menstruation for the last 6 months, now i’m taking Provera (type of progesterone) for 3 months, can i take these seeds with this drug or wait till i finish the three months, i realy appreciate your interest.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi sa,
      I think you could start the seeds any time. They are nourishing and help to gently encourage cycling even when you’re doing a progesterone protocol. Chances are you won’t actually have a cycle until you stop the provera though. Let me know how it goes – I’d love to hear your experience.

  32. Sarah

    I’m 33 and my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 7 months. I have a very regular 28 day cycle. Do you think that I could still benefit from seed cycling? If so, would I start it according to my cycle or the moon?

    Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sarah,
      It’s hard to say whether you would benefit or not, but given that the seeds are nutritive and common in foods, I think it is safe to say that it certainly won’t hurt. If you do choose to start it, follow your cycle. When you are so happily regular then it’s best to just trust your body. I hope this helps.

  33. Isabelle

    Hi Dr.Amy,
    I have started seed rotation this month for literal phase after reading your article. My luteal phase is always 14 days, but my follicular phase goes between 17-27 days ( late ovulation), which cause irregular cycle .my questions are:
    1. Do I switch to sunflower seed on day 14 still? Or how long do I continue with pumpkin seeds?
    2. I’m not sure how to line up the cycle with the moon schedule. For example today (3/3) it is full moon, but my period is due in 2 days. From my understanding you mentioned the full moon should line up with ovulation?

    Thank you so much for answering .

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Isabelle,
      Good questions! For you, I would switch around day 16 for the first three or four months, then reduce to day 15 as your cycle is shortening up. Does that make sense? So we’re trying to pull that ovulation back by switching the seeds just a little early. As for lining up with the moon, many women find that they line up with the moon over time with seed cycling, but it isn’t a priority. Just let it happen naturally. Also, remember that seed cycling is very gentle so change takes time. Good luck and keep us posted!

  34. Jami

    Hello! I have a 25 day cycle and just started seed cycling. If my cycle starts at day 24 this month, do I stop and start back with Day 1, or do I continue to day 28 (which would be day 3 of my cycle) and then start back with pumpkin/flax in day 4 or so for the next 28 days?
    Also, I was looking at Oatmeal that had seeds in it – are you not advised to have, say flax seed, at all on days 14-28?
    Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jami,
      Great questions! So, if your cycle has been regular at 25 days for years then it might continue that way and that could just be your body’s normal. If that is the case then adjust the whole schedule so that you’re on a 12/12-13 split (we want a really good luteal phase, so try to add the extra day to that half if you can). If your cycle was historically longer and it’s become shorter with age, then still switch at day 12 for a couple of months, then move back to day 13 for a few months, then day 14. We’ll see if we can get it to lengthen. With the oatmeal – if it’s a small amount of flax seeds it should be fine, but if it’s anywhere close to a Tablespoon then I’d say skip it. Good luck and keep us posted!

  35. sofia

    Hi! good post. I have started with seeds cycle for some months ago and feel more balanced. I have hormonal imbalance and I dont hav my period (im 23 years)
    I hav two question can I take fish oil on luteal phase? and can I take for example sesam seed butter instead of sesam seeds? best regards sofia

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sofia,
      I’m so glad the seed cycling is helping you! Yes – the fish oil can be taken for the whole cycle if you’re using it for inflammation etc… You don’t have to cycle it. Sesame seed butter is great! Just use the same amount as you would if you were using seeds. Just make sure it doesn’t have other seeds or sugar in it. Have your doctors tested for PCOS? Keep me posted!

  36. Mary

    Are the effects of the seeds drastically reduced if I do not grind them prior to consumption? I’ve been adding while seeds to my salads and oatmeal.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Mary,
      Some of the seeds are easy to chew (like pumpkin and sunflower and even sesame). The flax is really hard to chew, so the benefits would probably be reduced by using whole seeds vs. ground.

  37. Lawrence

    I have seen that men should do the opposite of women in regards to seed cycling. I’ve seen it in MANY places. Are you sure men should follow the exact same thing as women, ie, Day 1 – 14 (Follicular phase): is the flax/pumpkin seed mix and Day 15 – 28 (Luteal phase) is the sunflower/sesame seed mix?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Lawrence,
      This is such a great question, and I honestly don’t know. I was taught using both genders on the same cycle, but I have also seen the opposite on all kinds of blogs. What I can’t figure out is *why* it should be the opposite cycle. Here’s my logic on the whole thing but please if you can find some sources that make a good argument for the opposite, I’d love to hear it!! Granted, men don’t menstruate, but if their women are most fertile around the full moon (or whenever they ovulate) then men should also be most fertile around that time. Their sperm production should be highest so that they can effectively respond to the ovulation. The first half of the seed mix lowers estrogen and also raises testosterone, which seems like it would be most helpful with spermatogenesis, hence fertility. So I still suggest the same pattern for both men and women, but again – if you find good resources giving reasons why it should be opposite I’d love to see them. Also, if you find that you personally feel better doing the opposite then by all means. We humans are complex and so there is never really a good one-size-fits-all solution. I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

      1. Lawrence

        Thank you so much for your detailed response. The thing is, I have not seen anything that says definitively to do the opposite of women on seed cycling. I just have seen it as the opposite in at least a half dozen other places on the internet. However, when I ask those who posted it this same question, they don’t know. Seems like they may just be posting what they’ve seen other places. Your response makes sense to me and I plan to follow what you’ve put out here. Thanks again!

  38. Rachel


    I’ve been seed cycling for five months now in hopes of treating my hormonal acne. I consistently have horrible, cystic break outs the days leading up to my period and at days 13-15 of my cycle. I’ve been doing 1 tbsp each of flax and pumpkin seeds with 1000mcg supplement of flax seed oil days 1-15 and then 1tbsp each of sunflower and sesame seeds with 1000mcg supplement of evening primrose oil days 15-30 (I tend to have 30 day cycles). However, if anything, this acne has just become worst. Any suggestions?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Rachel,
      In five months I would expect you to have seen results if this was going to fix it. What that says to me (plus the fact that it’s cystic acne, which usually indicates some kind of detox issue) is that possibly it’s hormonal (because of the consistent timing) with some detoxification mixed in there. So – essentially it’s like having fleas and ticks on the same dog. I’d keep doing the seed cycling, but start to look at detoxification and liver support – starting with good elimination. Think of the basics like fiber and water or lemon water first because if toxins can’t effectively be released through your GI tract, then they’ll come out through your skin. Hormones have to be detoxed too, so the whole picture says detox to me! Good luck and keep me posted, please. 🙂

  39. Rachel

    Hi Dr. Amy,
    A friend recommended seed cycling and I found your article. I started it last month but found that I was having digestive issues (cramping and bloating). I was grinding the flax and pumpkin and then using 1TBSP of each ground. Is it possible that was too much? I’ve read some posts below that state measure before you grind. How much would you use for ground? Otherwise would soaking the seeds help? And if so could you explain what that process would be? Would I dry them after, etc? Sorry for all the questions- thanks for your help!!!!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Rachel,
      It can be a big change because it’s suddenly a lot of extra fiber added to your diet! The 1 Tbsp ground should be fine (measure after you grind). Try backing down on the amounts to just 1 teaspoon of each and slowly working your way up. Also, make sure you’re drinking enough water because adding a bunch of fiber with no water can create something like a digestive plug (not fun.) If that doesn’t help then you could try soaking the seeds but the flax gets super goopy – it absorbs a bunch of water and gets really gelatinous, so some people like it and others find it gross. If you do want to try soaking then grind first (this won’t be sprouted, just soaked). Grind and then add at least twice as much water as seeds and let them swell up for a couple of minutes. If you do it this way you might want to mix it in with a smoothie or something. Give a smaller dose a shot first and if that isn’t helpful then try soaking. Let me know how it goes!

      1. Rachel

        Hi Dr. Amy,
        I have given reducing the amount a try for about a week or so and it has been much better! I plan to increase gradually. Thank you for your help!

  40. Bonnie

    Hi Dr. Amy!

    Thanks for all the great info you provide! I started seed cycling for the first time in January 2017. My period has always been regular (never missed a cycle) and my cycle is usually 28-30 days. It took about 6 months to find my rhythm using the seeds and to be in sync with the moon cycle. Over the last year and half I have also been battling parasites which I know is also affecting my hormones. I am using natural parasite cleanses to teat this. I also have an under-active thyroid and I’m taking desiccated thyroid meds for that (according to my blood tests all is good with my thyroid). This last year has been a stressful one and over the summer we were super busy and I lost track of my seed cycling and ended up taking my pumpkin/flax combo for 3 weeks until I realized I needed to switch!! I immediately switched to the sesame seeds and then just kept following the normal protocol hoping that my body would naturally correct itself. Well, this minor mistake really messed me up!! My body has felt “out of sync” since the summer and now my cycle is completely opposite to the moon cycle (I’m ovulating at new moon and menstruating during full moon). My last period started on November 5th and ended on November 13th. I’m currently taking the sesame seeds. HELP!!! How do I get my body back in sync with the moon cycle?! **Also wanted to mention that I’m sensitive to sunflower seeds, so I’ve just been doubling up on the sesame seeds (hopefully that is OK).**

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Bonnie,
      Isn’t it amazing how much those little seeds can do?!? Totally crazy. So – honestly I’d try taking a few months off of the seeds and seeing what happens. I’m hoping your body will start to drift back to its own normal, or at least feel less out of sync. Also – some women have what is called a “red moon cycle” at some times in their lives. I *love* this idea and have gone through some red moon cycles in my life as well. Red moon cycling is essentially when you ovulate on the new moon and menstruate on the full moon. There are theories that this is linked to other aspects of the feminine psyche (outside of the fertile mama feminine). Here’s an interesting article about the red moon cycle idea. Check in with your body and see if it feels like you’re supposed to be in a red moon cycle right now. If you are, then just keep going. If you really do feel out of sync, then take time off and give your body a chance to drift naturally back. Also – should be okay doubling up on the sesame! Keep me posted – I’d love to know if the red moon idea resonates with you at all. 🙂

      1. Bonnie

        Thanks, Dr. Amy! I’ve never heard of the Red Moon Cycle, but it is an interesting theory! It could be possible that I am experiencing that right now, but with the parasite cleanse that I’m currently doing it is hard to say (these nasty things affect so many functions of our bodies!!). Outside of the fact that my body is not currently following the moon cycle, my menstrual cycle is completely normal. If I take a break from the seeds, what is a good amount of time…2 -3 months?? or longer? I just don’t want to mess things up with my cycle and have everything out of whack. I do also take the Fish Oil and Primrose Oil along with the seeds.

  41. Jenna

    Hi – I’m super intrigued by this, however have a sensitivity to sesame seeds. Is there another option or just skip and stick with sunflower only?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jenna,
      Hmmmm. Good question. I’d say do twice as much sunflower seed with just a small amount of ground flax seed for the lignans (maybe 1 teaspoon?) Hopefully that will be a good workaround.

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Jessica,
          So – chia seeds are amazing for health (plus yummy) but as far as we know they don’t have any beneficial effects on hormones with the possible exception of insulin. The sunflower seeds are specifically beneficial to progesterone levels – as shown through historic use but also medical research (mostly on animal models to improve fertility in cattle etc…). So sadly not chia seeds.

  42. Kim

    Hi Amy,

    I have been seed cycling for 3 to 4 months because I had been very irregular alternating between short cycles that lasted every 14-21 days up until May but then my last two cycles lasted up to 90 days each. I continued seed cycling the whole time sticking to 14 days flax-pumpkin and 14 days sesame-sunflower, coordinating with the moon phases. Last cycle my dr prescribed progesterone to induce my cycle but it didn’t work so she then prescribed me estradiol with progesterone. That rx combo worked. I am now at Day 21 and naturally just started my cycle again. Should I switch back to flax-pumpkin or should I continue with the sesame-sunflower through day 28? I am 35, ttc for 2 years. Last blood tests said slightly elevated fsh, extremely low amh at 0.023, no PCOS, no endometriosis. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kim,
      I’d say switch back and try following your natural cycle for a while. When your cycle length really varies it might be helpful to take your average (which sounds like 21 in spite of those couple of really long ones) and split that time in half – so you’d be switching seeds every 10-11 days instead of every 14. Does that make any sense? Keep me posted!

  43. RTM

    What would you suggest for someone who has cycles that vary between 28-34 days? Should I keep using the sesame/sunflower seeds until my period starts?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Yeah – so there are two ways to do it. One is to keep taking the sunflower sesame until your next cycle starts, the other is to stick to a pure 14-day alternation. Typically I suggest continuing the sunflower sesame until your next cycle starts for a few months to see if that progesterone boost int he luteal phase will normalize your cycle. Lots of times it does, which is great. So try that for at least three months, but six is probably better. If it isn’t working then switch to a pure 14-day alternation and see what that does. Good luck and keep me posted!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Juliana,
      This is a great question and honestly, I don’t know the answer. Sprouting activates lots of enzymes within the seed and I’ve never seen any research or data about what that does to the hormone-altering properties of the seeds. So the big answer is ‘I don’t know.’ Ha! Sorry about that. I would say if you’ve been seed cycling for a while and know how it feels in your body then you could probably try switching to sprouted seeds to see if it feels the same. If you haven’t seed cycled before then I’d start with un-sprouted seeds until you get a feel for how it works for you. If you do try sprouted seeds I’d love to hear about your experience!

  44. Kerstin

    I am 43, just ended a relationship where we were going to start planning a Family. Now single I am concerned about egghealth and maintaining my posibilities. I am and have always been regular. still 27-28 days cycle, spotting 2-3 days before period onset. I have hemofilia A, so that could be the reason, or perhaps low progesterone, though labwork showed normal progesteron Levels. I know I am periomenopause, low AMH, 2. But still hoping to meet someone. Would seedcycling benefit me in maintaining egg Health or prolonging it? I have no symptoms of anything, feel same as in my 30’s. Thanks

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kerstin,
      I honestly don’t know. Seed cycling certainly helps to boost fertility in women with irregular cycles, but I don’t really know if it will help to increase egg quality or ovarian reserve – there just isn’t a lot of data. Within my client population the women who have used it for fertility have largely had irregular cycles, so clinically I can’t say either. My gut feeling would be that it’s nutritive and certainly can’t hurt, although the degree to which it will help is unknown. Does that make sense? And best of luck to you in the quest for a partner!

  45. Kathy Cole

    Hi Dr. Amy, I am a 53 year old. I am probably peri menopausal. I still get my period but it is irregular and varies in heaviness. My question is how would the seed cycling work for me? Do I take it the same way even with irregular periods?
    Thanks so much.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi KAthy,
      Great question! So, when we’re looking to promote regularity in such a volatile time, I’d start with the first day of your next cycle, but then maintain a 28 day seed cycle no matter what your actual bleeding is doing. So essentially we’re just pretending that your cycle is regular even though at this time it isn’t going to be. It helps to ease the transition. Good luck and keep me posted!

  46. Virginia

    Dr. Amy,

    I am a 48-year-old, I suspect perimenopausal, who has a very heavy flow and bad cramping one day in my cycle. The other days are regular flow and I have a pretty regular 26-30 day cycle. This is after a uterine ablation 6 months ago. Before was 2-3 days of very heavy bleeding but no cramping. I began 4 months ago with awful mood swings and depression plus new weird headaches which all seem to center around my menstrual cycle. I started a herbal supplement with black cohosh and dong quai, but I suspect the dong quai is not helping my heavy bleeding. but it does help some with my mood. I am excited to try seed cycling and hopefully ditch the herbal supplement. I have also just changed my diet to a predominately vegan nutritarian diet, eating only whole foods, lots of veggies and fruits and limited starches and grains.

    My question is I really want to add in the DHA/EPA and EPO, but I am confused about the dosing. Is the 1500mg the amount of Omega 3 I see listed? I am only seeing supplements with anywhere between 200/100 DHA/EPA to 600/200. What exactly am I looking for?

    I really love natural methods for getting my body healthy. Thanks for all the information you provide.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      HHi Virginia,
      I’ll be excited to hear how it all goes for you! Yes – dosing on the omega-3 oils is so darn confusing. I”d say look for one with about 1000 – 1500 mg total omega-3s. I really like nordic naturals ultimate omega and the dose on that one is 2 softgels. For the EPO I think the easiest one to find is by Barleans – it has 2.6 g of oils per 2 capsules and about 250 mg of that is the EPO. The variability in dose between products is extremely wide so thanks for asking such a great question!

  47. Kristine

    I tried posting a comment but it didn’t show , trying again! I was so excited to see this article I am trying seed cycling to help my hormones . I wondered if it was normal to have a few side effects on starting seed cycling …maybe my body is just recalibrating the hormones, I had a migraine which I haven’t had in ages and are usually hormone triggered and some light spotting. I am hoping that’s all it is! Also it sounds like certain seeds stimulate production of certain hormones ? and I actually had my hormones tested and my estrogen was level it was my progesterone that was really wacky and spiking throughout the month . I want to make sure I am not going to be stimulating progesterone production and adding more progesterone by seed cycling. does it just balance it out regardless if you have access or too little of a certain hormone ? Thank you !

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kristine,
      I found the other one – it was buried (weird!) So here’s that answer again. Hopefully one of them will get to you!
      Great questions! It isn’t common, but it’s also not unheard of to have some side effects when you start. Basically anything that begins to change hormones can cause a minor freak-out. ? I have seen seed cycling be tremendously helpful for women with high progesterone as well as women with the more typical estrogen dominance. Listen to your body though – if you notice more migraines, or increasing symptoms then it’s probably not right for you. Good luck and keep me posted!

  48. Kristine

    Hi Amy! So glad I found your site!! So a friend of mine recommended seed cycling , it has helped her immensely with bad pms. I just started this month and wondered a couple of things. First , is it common to have some side effects while your hormones are balancing ? I’ve had some spotting and a migraine (which I rarely get and are usually triggered by hormones .) I’m hoping that is just my body adjusting, too coincidental to not be I would think but wanted some reassurance! Secondly , I see a lot of info on balancing estrogen dominance and increasing progesterone with seed cycling , but I had my hormones tested and my estrogen was fine , it was my progesterone that was spiking up and down like crazy! So do I need to follow a different set of seeds or will this help balance the progesterone that’s already high. I don’t want it increased anymore than it is on its own, and worry since I’m the opposite of most (not estrogen dominate and not low progesterone ) that I could be doing it wrong and that’s why I’m having some side effects. Thanks in advance!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kristine,
      Great questions! It isn’t common, but it’s also not unheard of to have some side effects when you start. Basically anything that begins to change hormones can cause a minor freak-out. 🙂 I have seen seed cycling be tremendously helpful for women with high progesterone as well as women with the more typical estrogen dominance. Listen to your body though – if you notice more migraines, or increasing symptoms then it’s probably not right for you. Good luck and keep me posted!

  49. whitney

    I’m about to try seed cycling and would like to get the maximum benefit with the additional supplements, but I’m allergic to fish oil. Could I use flax seed oil instead? If I just skip the fish oil but do the evening primrose in the second half, would that throw things out of balance?


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Whitney,
      I would think it would be best to just use the EPO for the second half of the cycle and skip the fish oil. Flax seed oil is great for some people, but some really don’t tolerate it well so it might just make things confusing. Does that make sense? Keep me posted!

  50. Grace Hilbert

    Dr. Amy,
    If I ovulate on day 11 or 12 should I switch to sesame and sunflower or keep taking flax and pumpkin until day 14?
    Thanks for the information!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Grace,
      I’d try waiting until day 14. You’re pretty close, and this might help to move the ovulation closer to “ideal.” Is your cycle length normal?

  51. Jackie

    Hi Dr. Amy,

    I’m really intrigued by this seed cycling. I’ve had bad hormonal cystic acne for most of my adult life and nothing I’ve tried has seemed to make any difference. I was on Alesse birth control for about 7 years, but that gave me some pretty severe digestive issues and probably made the skin problem worse. I’ve been off the BC for about 2 years now and been really good about diet (mostly paleo, no alcohol, sugar, caffeine, grains, dairy, or legumes), I’m addicted to exercise and I get good sleep usually between 10 pm and 6 am. Nevertheless, I’m still seeing severe cystic breakouts along my jawline that I’ve noticed occur around the full moon every month. I’ve also lost my cycle in the past year, probably due to stress, as I know I had adrenal fatigue and hormone imbalances from testing (hardly producing any estrogen). I’ve been trying to decrease stress and practice meditation and positive thinking, also been taking pregnenolone and dhea under the supervision of a functional medicine doctor for the past 4 months, but these are hard to get in Canada (I have to drive to the States to pick them up). Nothing seems to be bringing my cycle back or making the acne any better.

    I’m wondering if seed cycling would help and also whether I’d have to be careful of other seeds/nuts/fish I’m consuming at different times of the month. Also, would this be ok to do while continuing the pregnenolone + dhea? Lastly, should I start the seed cycling as soon as possible, or is it better to wait until the new moon?

    Thanks so much,

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jackie,
      The cystic acne can be so hard – honestly I’ve seen a lot of women struggling with it after long-term birth control. Totally makes me wonder what the BCP is doing to us. Awesome about your diet and the changes you’ve made – it certainly sounds like you’re on the right track! It is safe to start the seed cycling while you’re using the pregnenolone and DHEA, although if you aren’t cycling the pregnenolone then talk with your functional medicine doc – it can sometimes suppress a normal cycle if it’s used continuously. If your cycle has been gone for a year I don’t think you need to wait until the new moon – just go ahead and start, but start according to the moon phase (so that you’ll switch seeds at the full and new moons). Does that make sense? Also it’s important to be careful of the particular seeds in the seed cycling protocol, but not so much of other seeds in your diet. Most seeds are hormone neutral, it’s mainly the flax, sesame, sunflower and pumpkin that push your hormones. I’ve heard some people say hemp does too (estrogenic) so maybe watch that one. Keep me posted – I’ll be excited to hear how it goes!

  52. Tamar Harrington

    Are you still likely to see some benefit from eating roasted seeds? I could only find roasted at the grocery store. Also, I have really long follicular phases, which is one of the reasons I want to try seed cycling. Should I switch from eating flax and pumpkin seed to eating sesame and sunflower seed on/around Day 14 (when I want to ovulate) or after I actually ovulate? (I keep track of my ovulation through recording cervical fluid, basal body temperature, and cervical position, so I know–in retrospect–when it happens.)

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Raw seeds are best, but if you can’t find them then you’ll still get benefit from roasted. I would say switch the seeds around day 14 just to see if you can trigger a more even cycle. Do you know what day you typically ovulate on? Awesome that you’re keeping track so closely – it really helps when you know your body’s signals. Keep me posted!

      1. Tamar Harrington

        Thanks for your response. My cycles have been varying all over the place the last several months. I used to ovulate pretty consistently, around day 20-27 or so, but lately it’s been much later–after day 30 and sometimes after day 40. Once I didn’t ovulate until about day 60. After I started seed cycling, I had one cycle when I ovulated around day 25, and I thought things were improving, but now I’m on day 31 of the next cycle and I don’t think I have ovulated yet. (It’s hard to tell because a number of things are throwing off my observations.)

        I had a couple more questions. Is it really necessary to grind all the different types of seeds? I have just been grinding the flax and sesame because it seems like the pumpkin and sunflower seeds are big enough and soft enough chewing them would have the same effect as grinding. Also, I see you say 1500 mg of fish oil is good, but I have 1200 mg capsules. Should I err on the side of more or stay as close to 1500 as possible with those size capsules? Also, how much EPO should I take each day in the luteal phase?

  53. Karen Thompson

    Hi Dr Amy
    I started seed cycling because i had short cycles, heavy bleeding and needed antibiotics to control my hormonal skin breakouts. 4 months later and the heavy bleeding has reduced and I don’t need antibiotics for my skin. The second half of my cycles is still really short (i have pcos) and I’ve noticed that my skin is better in the first half than in the second. Do you think I need to tweak the seed amounts or take a supplement? Thanks. Karen.

  54. Laura

    Hi Amy- This might be a long one for you. I’m a 32 year old who was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a year and a half ago. I was hoping that was the reason for my 10-14 days long periods that would come every 24 days. It sucks only have 10 days a month where you don’t have a period. On top of that I had soul crushing cramps for at least 1 day out of every cycle. I was going through an ultra tampon in an hour! I should have bought stock in those damn companies! I was hoping once I was treated for my hypothyroidism that everything would go back to normal. I was wrong. I finally went back to the doctor when I had enough of the bleeding and pain. She ended up doing an ultrasound and found some fibroids. Long story short I am now 7 weeks post op of having 17 fibroids removed and 2 orange sized cysts on BOTH ovaries. My TSH is not exactly stable yet but I just got results back that it’s currently at 2.63 which is great considering 6 weeks ago it was at 11.08. I’m telling you all this because I can’t wait to start trying this. I’m wondering if you have any tips or suggestions for me. I’m planning on taking the evening primrose and I’m currently already taking vitamin D3, a probiotic, I would like to add in a supplement for tart cherries and I’m on the fence about the fish oil. I do eat a lot of fish 2-3 times a week as is and I’m eating a lot of eggs with omega 3’s in them. Since I just ended my period and this is my first week going off birth control do you think I should wait until my first day of my next period to start this? Do you think I need the fish oil during the first phase? My goal for this is to try and regulate my hormones so that hopefully I don’t grow back these fibroids and hopefully now that I’m off birth control and free of those monsters an easier period is an added and much needed bonus. Right now since i’m still so close to being post op my last 2 periods have been horrendous. I’m a pretty healthy person. Try to eat organic, get at least 10,000 steps a day (obviously not right after my surgery but on average) I don’t eat fast food, I’m excited to start doing yoga and barre exercises again soon. But it just seems like my hormones are all out of whack! Any suggestions would be so appreciative. Thanks again for this great article and I’ll keep you posted on my outcome. I know it’s not a quick fix but anything natural that can help with all this is what i’m looking for!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Holy moly. That’s a lot of fibroid! I’m so glad you got them removed and that you’re working on balancing thyroid – that will make a huge difference to how you feel on a day to day basis as well. I would say you can start with this cycle, but honestly when you’re both recovering from surgery AND adjusting your thyroid expect it to take a few extra months to really see what your new normal is. I would say do add the fish oil but only for half of the cycle so that there is a clear “cycle” between the fish oil and EPO. It may be overkill, but might as well over-do instead of under-do at this point because your hormones have obviously been a little out-of-whack for a while. I’m so excited to hear how it all goes for you! Please do keep me posted if you have time.

  55. Yadhavi

    Thank you for this informative post on Seed cycling. Can you please confirm on whether the pumpkin seeds have to be skinless or can be had with the skin?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Yadhavi,
      The tablespoon measurement is for the skinless pumpkin seeds (so the green inside part). If you use the whole seeds with the white skins on then you will need a higher dose because the white skins take up a lot of room. They have great fiber though and are very healthy! I would guess it would be about 3 tablespoons, but that is just a guess. 🙂

  56. Monique

    Hi Amy,
    Is it possible for women(Im a mother of three) of 44 with regular cycles ,but with very heavy periods and bad pms, to have PCOS???

    So Im going to test for cortisol and adrogyn levels on the 21 day of my cycle of 26 days. While Im at it Im curious to know what my estrogen and progesterone levels are. Can I test progesterone on the same day as the adrogyn levels (21st)( cause I don’t know precisely when I ovulate)?

    And Im going to give the Magnesium a try. Should I take this whith calcium (I don’t eat dairy). At what dose? I hesitate a bit because magnesium promotes the making of hormones, including testosteron. And I guess I have a bit too much of that floating around in my body.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Monique,
      It is possible. PCOS can be genetic or induced by insulin resistance or most frequently a combination of both. While the stereotypical case is someone who has always had irregular periods and fertility trouble, I’ve seen plenty of women who have it who had regular periods and kids. Crazy, right? I think this is why there are so many undiagnosed cases of PCOS. You can test all the hormones on the same day, and typically if you aren’t sure when you ovulate we try to go for day 3 or day 21. The calcium magnesium combo is actually really helpful for hormone balance in a lot of ways. It’s true it can give a bit of a boost to all the hormones, but it also helps detoxify hormones so I wouldn’t worry too much about it pushing the testosterone levels up. I’d look for a product that has equal amounts of calcium and magnesium. Let me know what happens – I’ll be curious to hear what they find. 🙂

  57. lyss

    Okay, so I am new to seed cycling, but am giving it a try. I’m tired of pms and awful cramps. Figured this is worth a try! Can you clarify the amount of seeds to be consumed each day? I just ground my flax and pumpkin seeds in a coffee grinder. 1 T. of each made about 4 T. of fluffy powder. So my question is, do I measure before or after grinding? And if after, do I measure it fluffy or packed down? Thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Lyss,
      Great question! I measure before grinding and then just use all of it, however big it gets. I’ll be excited to hear how it goes for you! If you have a chance let me know. 🙂

  58. leigh

    Your site has been so helpful for me!! I have an interesting sitauton:

    So, I have been seed cycling for several months due to heavy periods, shorter cycles and hair loss/thinning. My cycles have been gradually lengthening and my periods have remained heavy but shorter in I was going in the right direction. Only thing that had not changed much was my hair loss/thinning. I noticed a slight decrease in fall out but definitely still growing in very think and not growing much at all as far as length..which I was told was likely dht issues.

    I found out the hair loss/thinning was due to two issues: low iron and dht. The low iron is being addressed with an iron supplement and that seems to be helping my energy. But my dermatologist (who discovered the dht) wanted me to get on rogaine and finasteride…which both did not sound like good options! So, I decided to look elsewhere and saw your post to another lady about using saw palmetto and zinc for this. So, I decided to try this and started taking the saw palmetto/pumpkin oil supplement just about a week ago on about day 15 of my cycle. So far, I love this supplement because it seems to increase my energy. But the strange thing is that my period has now suddenly started early…on day it seems I have gone backwards in that respect. Could this have been caused by the saw/pumpkin supplement..even though I was only on it for about a week? And on that note, how would I incorporate saw pal/pumpkin oil supplement to the seed cycling?

    I’m currently doing: Day 1-15 pumpkin seeds and flax seeds–plus fish oil…. and day 15-period sunflower and sesame seeds–plus evening primrose oil.

    Any other suggestions regarding the saw pal and pumpkin oil supplement, let me know.

    1. leigh

      Oh..sorry I misspelled something! I meant to say that the hair loss itself has improved a tiny bit but the overall growth and extreme thinness of the hair itself is a problem and that is the dht part, I believe, and that has not improved at all..which is what led me to the saw pal.

      1. amyneuzil Post author

        Yes! Got it. I just thought of it, but apparently castor oil on your scalp a couple of nights per week will help too – it stimulates hair growth and helps to detoxify the follicles. A lot of people use it for eyebrow and eyelash thinning, but it can help for head hair as well. Just put an old towel over your pillow because the castor oil is heavy and will stain. It will take a couple of rounds of shampoo to wash it out of your hair, but I’m guessing your hair will be awesome after so many oil treatments. If you try it let me know how it goes for you!

    2. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Leigh,
      Wow – great questions! I’m glad you started the saw palmetto and pumpkin oil. I honestly don’t know if it could have caused the early cycle, but it makes sense that it might. I think I’d just do it continuously through your cycle and give your body a couple of months to balance out. I don’t think it will have a permanent effect on cycle length, it was probably just a weird little adjustment. I think you’re totally on the right track. Keep me posted!

  59. Monique

    Thank you so much for your quick reply! I really gives me some direction to look for!
    I think Im not menopausal, but I do suffer from stress. And I think the stress also gave me melasma. The last five years were very very stressful and although I meditate that might not be enough. So I think its a good idea to have some bloodwork done to find out if my adrenal glands work overtime androgenwise. What is the name of the test I can ask my doctor for? Cortisol? Ive heard that magnesium can be helpful in stressful times.
    And the good testosteron to bad DHT-link is also something to investigate further. Is there a specific bloodtest I can ask for?
    What is a good time in your cycle to test androgenlevels if you don’t know precisely when your ovulation starts?
    By the way: Im just reading a little bit into Zinc , the supplement you’ve mentioned. Its a little confusing though as its used as androgenblocker but also as a testosteronbooster?? I read the same thing about magnesium, so this makes me a bit hesistant…..
    Thank you so much! On my way to healthy hormones and a fuzzyfree life!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Monique,
      So – if you’ve got some melasma it means your blood sugars are probably off a little bit too (which can go with stress and high cortisol, but can also be a sign of PCOS along with the facial hair.) Here’s more info on PCOS, and in terms of testing cortisol, it’s just a cortisol test. No fancy name. It could be a good idea to have your actual testosterone tested too, and if it’s actually high then do follow-up testing for PCOS. If you’re not sure about ovulation then go with either Day 3 or day 21. They’re both in kind of neutral territory and so androgen levels should be reasonably “average” for you. Yes – so zinc is a double-edged sword for testosterone. It does help boost production in men, but less so in women. It also helps the testosterone that’s already there not to be converted to DHT (in both men and women). Magnesium is less strong, but so many women are deficient that honestly I think we should all be taking it by the handfull. Ha! okay – so this was kind of disorganized, if it doesn’t make sense just shoot another question my way. 🙂

  60. Monique

    Hi Dr. Amy,

    Im 44 years old and suffer from heavy periods and bad pms. And I have some hairy issues..that is: the peach fuzzy hair on my upperlip is slowly turning into ..well..something less peach fuzzy. (although no corse hairs). My cycles are regular but since two years shorter: from 28 to 24 days.
    I think Im probably perimenopausal (exess estrogen, low in progesterone), so I dediced to give seed cycling a go for three months. I also used supplements: omega 3 in the first part and primrose oil in the second. And it worked great!!! It actually lengthed my cycle with 2 days and my pms symptoms were almost gone. Yay!!Only…the hair on my face started to grow!!!
    So my question: is there any (hormonal) explanation for this??
    Thank you so much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Monique,
      Okay – AWESOME about your cycle length and the PMS. YAY! Less awesome about the peach fuzz. I honestly don’t know for sure, but as usual I have theories… One thing that I have seen in my practice is that women going into the menopausal transition with higher stress levels also seem to have higher levels of androgens (the male sex hormones). Some of the androgens in women are produced by the adrenal glands and they’re responsible for handling stress so maybe that’s the link? Or possibly as your natural hormones are rising some of the good testosterone is being converted to DHT? (which is the not so good form of testosterone for women). If that’s happening then the best thing to do is find a good prostate supplement. I know that sounds a little crazy because you don’t have a prostate, but Saw palmetto and zinc (which are in most prostate supplements) are also really good at blocking that conversion and they may help out. So – keep me posted?

  61. Megan

    Hi Amy,

    I want to try seed cycling, but I am on a seasonal birth control. Would I be able to do it even though I only have 4 periods a year?

    My libido is basically 0! Please help!


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Megan,
      Great question and honestly I don’t know the answer. I do think the seeds could help balance libido, but what I don’t know is if they will interfere with the action of the birth control because technically you’re suppressing your cycle most months. Hmmm. So – unfortunately there isn’t any research on whether or not it interferes. That means it might be helpful, but the level of actual fertility control might also decrease. Let me know what you end up doing and how it goes – I’d love to hear.

  62. Bonnie

    Hi Amy!! I really appreciate your website and all the information that you have provided. I am new to seed cycling and I just started 2 days ago. My menstrual cycle is regular (usually every 28 days), but sometimes can be early/late by a day or 2 (stress usually plays a large role in this). This month I am 3 days early. I usually have lots of PMS symptoms: headaches, bad cramps, sore breasts, acne, excessive sweating, my hair seems to shed a lot, etc. Over the years, I’ve also had low adrenal function. I also have low thyroid, so I am taking dessicated thyroid supplements. I am wondering if it is safe to do seed cycling when taking thyroid pills? Will seed cycling affect my thyroid? Do I need to take the fish oils or can I do without?

    My husband is also wanting to try seed cycling – is it safe for men? Or are there any adverse side affects? I don’t see a lot of information out there for men on this topic. I would appreciate your insights about this.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Bonnie,
      Great questions!

      I think the seeds will help so much with the PMS symptoms – please let me know how it goes for you. It is safe to do the seed cycling while you’re taking thyroid medications or supplements, but like everything else it’s best to space them out. Having anything in your stomach at the same time as the thyroid medications might interfere with absorption, so please take the seeds and the desiccated thyroid at different times of day. You don’t need to take the fish oils or EPO and generally I suggest starting without them to see how your body does. It’s just an extra kick to the protocol if you need it.

      For your husband – absolutely seed cycling is safe for men and although I haven’t seen any research on the subject, clinically it seems like it also boosts male fertility. Although that might just be that when partners are doing it together they usually get on the same cycle, which means that everyone is most fertile at just the right time. 🙂

  63. Karen Thompson

    Hi Dr Amy.
    I’m at the end of my second month of seed cycling. I go the full 14 days before i ovulate and its obv by the amount and type of cervical mucous that I’m ovulating (sorry tmi). My sesame/sunflower phase only lasts 8 days though before I get my period. Will it take a while to lengthen? Polycystic ovaries were found when i had fertility treatment for my 2 children so don’t know if the seeds can help really?
    Kind regards

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Karen,
      No worries – it’s never TMI. 🙂 Awesome that you’re getting good ovulation signs! Yes – that short luteal phase is really common among women with estrogen-dominant type disorders (like PCOS or endometriosis). It will take a while to lengthen. This is a slow, nourishing way to balance hormones, not a quick aggressive push so really balance could take a year or more of slow adjustment. In good news the seeds are yummy and there aren’t any pills to take so it’s all pretty good. There are a number of other things that can help specifically with PCOS and a blog post about it is on the upcoming list so keep an eye out for it!

  64. Pingback: Black Pine Holistic Healing What can you do about an irregular period? Actually, quite a bit....

  65. Meme

    Hi Dr. Amy, there is a ton of wonderful information on your page. I started seed cycling in November 2016 as a suggestion from my gyn to help with some potential hormonal issues I was having (PMS, moodiness, hair loss, etc.). My cycle was pretty much aligned with the lunar cycle, which I didn’t notice until I started researching seed cycling. Anyway I was always a 28-30 day cycle. I started the seeds on day 1 of my cycle and switched at the full moon then got my period a week early so I was confused and thought I messed something up so I stopped taking seeds. I had a normal cycle 3-4 days. Well it’s now 2 weeks later and I am still spotting every so often maybe every 2 -3 days. I felt better while I was taking the seeds, can I restart at the new moon or should I wait until my period comes back? Also, is it normal for your first month on seeds to get your cycle a lot earlier? Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Meme,
      Not normal for your cycle to get earlier, but sometimes if you’re especially hormone sensitive it can be a little strange or off for a few months while your body adjusts. I’d say start again at the new moon! Let me know how it goes and if things continue to be odd then maybe decrease the amounts a bit – some people really do just respond more strongly than average.

  66. Denise Jones

    When I started seed cycling, I was the pepitas (which are the INSIDE of the pumpkin seed – and are sort of green) that you buy in a food store. Should I be using the WHOLE pumpkin seed (which is what you’d find inside of the pumpkin) where it still is IN the shell? Recently, I started roasting pumpkins and saving the WHOLE seeds. I coat them with coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, and salt . Then I eat them. I find them much more tasty than just the pepitas. Just wondering which ones to use since I don’t know where the nutritional value comes from for the hormonal balancing. The seed or the shell. Thanks for any info on this!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Denise,
      Such a great question! I think the whole pumpkin seed is probably better, but most of the literature is referring to just the inner pepita. My thoughts would be that if you do the whole seed (which is bigger and takes up more space) then increase the amount – maybe even double it. The zinc is in the pepita part (As far as I’m aware), but I think the fiber from the outer shell is probably incredibly beneficial too. I hope this helps!

  67. Katie

    First off I love the seed cycling. I have been doing this for the past 6 months and it has works tremendously! I am very pleased with the results. However I just found out that I have food sensitively/allergies to the flax and pumpkin seeds so I was wondering if there are other seeds to replace those that will have the same affect.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Katie,
      Isn’t it great! I love the seed cycling too. Such a nourishing way to encourage hormone balance. Such a bummer about the flax and pumpkin seed although talk with whoever did the food sensitivity testing – sometimes if your system is inflamed or reactive then whatever you eat on a regular basis will show up as positive just because your body is over-reactive. If they really are problems then what we’re looking for mostly from he flax seeds are lignins. Unfortunately the next highest source that I know of are the sesame seeds, so potentially use twice the amount of sesame instead of flax (because it’s not as lignin-rich). Do you know if you’re sensitive to squash seeds? Raw squash seeds can be a good substitute for the pumpkin although they’re harder to find. You might have to actually just buy squash and harvest your own. I’ve never tried them raw, but they’re nice if you toast them like pumpkin seeds. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’ll be close! If you have a chance please let me know how it goes – I’m always curious about the alternative seeds, especially since you’ve been doing it with the conventional seeds for a while and know how it goes.

  68. Karen Thompson

    Hi Amy, not sure if you’re away or if my question on 28nov didn’t post properly?? I also wanted to say that i take a low strength antibiotic for my skin which i am still taking alongside the seeds ( my skin is still recovering from when i stopped taking them!) and do you think the antibiotic will affect the seed cycling? I thought i could take both for the first few months while my body adjusts? Thanks. Karen.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Karen,
      I’m so sorry about that – sometimes questions slip through the cracks from people who have posted before because they don’t show up as new. Apologies! I’ll search around for it and see if I can find the question again. As for the antibiotic, it’s hard to say. Antibiotics certainly can affect estrogen and progesterone levels, in part because they are metabolized in the liver and so are the hormones so there can be an interaction there. Also at the digestive level – antibiotics can strongly impact your gut flora, which can change the way hormones are reabsorbed or excreted from your gut. So I would say the antibiotic may have in impact on your cycle, but I think the significance of that impact would depend on your individual body and how good your liver function is along wth the strength of your gut flora. Does that make sense?

  69. Jen

    I just started seed cycing (almost 1 month now). I started towards the end of my luteal phase with the sesame and sunflower seeds. Then once my peirod came (exactly on the day of the full moon- i have the opposite cycle: full moon is my period and new moon ovulate) i swtiched to the pumpkin and flax seeds. I have also been taking the fish oil and evpo as directed. I ovulated on day 12 of my cycle (i track my temp and CF), but now on day 13 i suddenly had a flow like that of my period (a med/lighter day). I’ve had spotting before during ovulation, and this is NOT anything like that- it’s much heavier. I also has some period like symptoms today. I havent taken any seeds today, because im not sure if i should take the flax or sesame as i had expected to start doing…. Is my body now trying to change to the moon phases? Meaning, should i take the sesame/sunflower or keep taking pumpkin/flax? Since im not sure, i will wait and see if tmw (or the next few days) my period comes or not. I do know that in the past 6 months+ i have had low temps mid luteal phase with 3 days of spotting before my period- which i assume is a low progestron problem. Thats why i came across seed cycling and wanted to try and see if it helps. Any comments on what could be happening?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jen,
      Wow – I’m so excited to see someone so in tune with their body and cycle. My guess would be that since your hormones are pretty predictable and balanced that the pumpkin/flax combo might be too strong for you – or at least push you to switch to the actual moon phase (which would be super interesting). There’s all sorts of remarkable theories about women who ovulate on the new moon – it’s so fascinating. So I’d say because your hormones are responsive, you could be switching and the flax/pumpkin actually lowered your estrogen enough for a true period. If it’s not a true period it could be that instead of a good ovulation a small cyst burst a bled a little. That can sometimes happen and it typically isn’t anything to be alarmed about unless the bleeding is severe. If it is actually a period then switch seeds. If it isn’t then carry on as normal but possibly next month use a smaller dose (a teaspoon each?) of the flax and pumpkin seeds. Let me know how it all goes!

  70. Menley

    Hi Amy,

    I know how busy you must be and I’m so grateful to see you are answering questions. My question wasn’t answered and it was awhile back so I thought I’d try again.

    If my goal is to lengthen my cycle back to it’s original length of 30 days (it’s currently about 24 with heavy periods).

    For the past few months, I have seed cycling religiously, as you recommend) and I make the progesterone support switch to Sunflowers and sesame seeds at day 16. So far, my cycle length and heavy periods have not changed. However, I am feeling much better emotionally and not having as many night something is happening! I have been anemic in the past (taking iron now) and would like to really tackle the heavy periods especially.

    Anything I should be doing differently? Should I extend one of the seed cycles? Thank you so much for your time:)

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Menley,
      So sorry for not getting back to you! Occasionally a post slips through the cracks, I’ll try to watch more closely. To start, let’s actually try to move the switch back to day 12 or 13. I want to see if we can lengthen the luteal phase and boost that progesterone level a bit. I do think you’re on the right track because the mood changes and lightening up of the night sweats is awesome! We’ll just try tweaking it a bit and see if this helps. Give it a couple of months with an earlier switch and keep me posted! Again I’m so sorry that I missed a question. 🙂

  71. Karen Thompson

    Hi Amy
    I have my seeds at breakfast. If i have eggs or toast or something i can’t sprinkle the ground seeds in, i make a smoothie with the seeds mixed with skimmed milk, oats and banana. Is that ok? I read that dairy isn’t good for hormone balance so don’t want to be taking the seeds with the wrong thing!
    Thanks. Karen.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Karen,
      I found it! I had a few questions that got away from me. Argh! Smoothie with the seeds is fantastic. Dairy can be a concern because of the hormones they use on cows (scary) and also if you personally have a dairy sensitivity (if you’re interested in testing here’s a post on it) If you make the effort to get organic milk then the hormones in the cows should all be the hormones they’re born with, so hopefully that won’t be a big deal. As for the food sensitivity – dairy most often shows up as digestive disturbance or skin trouble so if you are having those issues it might be worth testing yourself. Also if you’re really concerned you can always switch over to rice or almond milk (but not soy – that one does certainly have strong hormone effects.) Keep me posted – especially if you do actually test dairy!

      1. Karen Thompson

        Thanks Amy, i do have organic milk so that’s good. I prob should test for dairy intolerance, just dont want to give up my latte’s! Kind regards, Karen.

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          I *totally* know how you feel about lattes. I was so scared when I did my dairy challenge – mostly because of my morning coffee (but partly because of cheese). Thank god it all worked out. 🙂 Although ironically I ended up switching during my dairy elimination to almond milk in my coffee and now I actually like that better (even best is a combo of almond milk and heavy cream. Yummm.)

      2. Karen Thompson

        Hi Dr Amy
        I started seed cycling because i had short cycles, heavy bleeding and needed antibiotics to control my hormonal skin breakouts. 4 months later and the heavy bleeding has reduced and I don’t need antibiotics for my skin. The second half of my cycles is still really short (i have pcos) and I’ve noticed that my skin is better in the first half than in the second. Do you think I need to tweak the seed amounts or take a supplement? Thanks. Karen.


  72. April Smiley

    I’m in my second month already and now I’m spotting a week before period with bloating and cramps and during my supposed period except never really bleeding heavy like normal. On day 15 now and still spotting then not then spotting . Any idea what is going on with my body?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi April,
      So – just spotting off and on with no clear cycle or flow? What was your cycle like before you started seed cycling? No idea what is going on without knowing how things looked before… More info please!

      1. April Smiley

        My cycle was pretty regular before every 30 days then this year my period started working out starting anywhere between 25 to 28 days and sometimes I would have two periods a month so I started the seed cycling in September.I have also had endometriosis and surgery for it twice.

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hmmm. Honestly with the history of endometriosis I think it’s important for you to follow up with your GYN to make sure there isn’t any issue with that. Also with unusual spotting and bloating we always want to rule out any scarier changes like ovarian cancer (not that I think it’s a strong possibility, but I still don’t want you to ignore it just in case!) I don’t really know what is going on, but I have a theory. Given a history of endometriosis, you have probably had higher than average estrogens for most of your life. I am guessing (although it’s just a guess) that the seeds are bringing those levels down farther than your body knows what to do with and so it’s constantly on the verge of a period because the estrogens are so much lower than normal. Does that make sense? Maybe try decreasing to a teaspoon of each seed and see if that helps. If your body responds a bit better then once things normalize we could try slowly increasing. Give it a shot and keep me posted – I’d love to hear how it goes!

  73. Melanie Ann

    Sorry everyone that posted in the wrong order, here’s the intended order…

    Dr. Amy,

    I think my previous questions that I posted got missed, as I know you are always so gracious at getting back to us in a few days, reposting my questions below wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving as we are all thankful for your guidance…

    I know out of the four seeds to try not to add them in other times as snacks because it makes things confusing, what about other nuts or seeds that you never cycle, for instance caraway seeds and it’s not really a nut but almonds are they ok anytime of the month!?

    I also understand to ground fresh every day or two just because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground for too long, how do you feel about doing this but then having some residual in the grinder yet at least it’s sealed closed in the pantry and just wiping clean before switching to the next 14 days rather then cleaning everyday!?

    Please & Thanks!!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Melanie Ann,
      I’m so sorry for missing the original post! I went back through and found three this month that fell through the cracks. Argh! Okay – so as for other nuts and seeds as long as they don’t have a known hormone effect they should be fine. As far as I know caraway seeds, chia seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans and brazil nuts should all be reasonably hormone neutral (that isn’t a complete list – it’s just the ones I can think of off the top of my head). With the grinder I think wiping it clean is absolutely fine but if you notice any oily smell or residue then give it a good clean and start again. 🙂

  74. Melanie Ann

    I know out of the four seeds to try not to add them in other times as snacks because it makes things confusing, what about other nuts or seeds that you never cycle, for instance caraway seeds and it’s not really a nut but almonds are they ok anytime of the month!?

    Dr. Amy,

    I think my previous questions that I posted got missed, as I know you are always so gracious at getting back to us in a few days, reposting my questions below wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving as we are all thankful for your guidance…

    I also understand to ground fresh every day or two just because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground for too long, how do you feel about doing this but then having some residual in the grinder yet at least it’s sealed closed in the pantry and just wiping clean before switching to the next 14 days rather then cleaning everyday!? Please & Thanks!!

  75. Savannah

    Such an interesting article! I suffer from low estrogen and as a result haven’t had a period in 3 years. Would eating lignans that eliminate estrogen be beneficial if I am aiming to increase levels? Would it be better for me to eat seeds that are high in estrogen during the follicular phase instead?
    Thank you so much!!!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Savannah,
      Hmmm. So – honestly I think it would make a difference why your estrogen is low. Just to clarify the lignans help your body to eliminate the more potent forms of estrogen and restore balance, and sometimes estrogen is functionally low but actually high in the body and just being converted to other things (like testosterone in PCOS) because the body is trying to get rid of it. I’m not sure if that clarified anything, but honestly I think the seeds are gentle and nutritive enough that it’s kind of a no-harm option to try. If you don’t feel well with it then stop, but it could be helpful. I’d love to hear how it goes and just remember with no cycle in 3 years, it may take a few months before you see any kind of changes so hang in there and as long as you feel well, keep trying. Keep me posted!

  76. Karen Thompson

    Hi Amy, another question please! Is it 1tbsp of ground seeds or 1tbsp of whole seeds and then grind them? Thanks. Karen.

  77. Karen Thompson

    Hi Amy
    I’ve just stumbled across seed cycling while googling hormonal acne as i have constant flare ups due to pcos. It looks really exciting and I’m going to start it next week on day1 of my cycle. Are you based in the US? I am in the UK and i just wondered where the cheapest place to get the seeds was and also if it’s best to buy them whole or ground? Also some seeds are labelled ‘hulled’, are these still ok?
    Many thanks. Karen.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Karen,
      So glad you found me! I’m eager to hear how it all goes for you. Honestly I get mine at a bulk food store (I’m in Canada). I typically buy most of them whole, but the flax seeds I’m buying ground because the sound of a coffee grinder seriously freaks my daughter out. Ha! Go figure. If you do buy ground flax seed just be sure to smell them, as flax oil goes rancid if the seeds aren’t properly handled. I’ve only ever had trouble once buying a pre-packaged ground flax seed that I think must have been stored improperly, but typically it’s fine. The sesame seeds will probably be hulled and that’s a good thing, and honestly I think the pumpkin seeds are typically hulled too although often they don’t label it. Flax seeds shouldn’t be hulled and sesame I’ve seen it called “hulled” and “unhulled” although I can’t actually perceive the difference between the two. Good luck and keep me posted!

  78. Kerry


    So glad I found this! I’ve developed absolutely horrific period symptoms over the past year or so to the point where I can’t work because it’s so painful, and my skin has gone so bad which is really embarrasing at 26 years old. My functional doctor told me about seed cycling because I’m adamant about staying away from synthetic hormones. You’re post makes it very clear about why it’s beneficial and how to go about it. I just want to know, can you add in extras of the seeds your cycling in a day? For example, I’m on the flax/pumpkin seed days and I make my own pizza basses (gluten & dairy free diet) which needs a tablespoon of flax. Is it okay to have more of the flax even though I’ve already had my 1 tbsp of them today? Thank you 🙂

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kerry,
      Great question!
      Yes – honestly I think it’s all pretty flexible. I was very strict with it when I first started out, and that worked great, but I’m finding with time that it continues to work even if the amounts change a little bit day to day or if I’m using seeds in my foods and that sort of thing. I think the biggest thing is not to end up using more of the seeds from the other part of the cycle in the wrong time of the month (if that makes sense). Great luck and keep me posted!

  79. Leigh

    I’m so grateful to have found this info! Thank you so much:)

    I was wondering what to do in my case. I have been seed cycling for two months. My goal is to increase my cycle back to the 28-30 days it used to be after falling to 22-24 days the past year or so…plus heavy bleeding. After two months, my mood is much improved! But my period just started again at day 24. So, do I continue the sesame and sunflower seeds until day 28 or 30 (even though I started bleeding)…OR do I just hop back on the flaxseeds/pumpkin seeds as I have been the past two months?

  80. Melanie Ann

    I know out of the four seeds to try not to add them in other times as snacks because it makes things confusing, what about other nuts or seeds that you never cycle, for instance caraway seeds and it’s not really a nut but almonds are they ok anytime of the month!?

    I also understand to ground fresh every day or two just because the oils in the seeds can go rancid if they’re ground for too long, how do you feel about doing this but then having some residual in the grinder yet at least it’s sealed closed in the pantry and just wiping clean before switching to the next 14 days rather then cleaning everyday!? Please & Thanks!!

  81. Carrie


    I’ve been doing some research into seed cycling and ordered the seeds from thrivemarket last night. I just came across your post that mentioned to grind the seeds daily. I purchased already ground flax seed, but the rest are whole. My question is, can I keep the flax in the fridge to extend the shelf life of the oils? Thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Yes! Ironically I’ve switched to doing this too because my daughter *hates* the noise the blender makes grinding them. Ha! So I either do big batches and keep them in the fridge, or just buy them ground. Go figure.

  82. Melissa

    I really do appreciate your post. So happy to have found you. I am on week four of seed cycling. My periods have been dwindling for the last two years. I ate a salad a few weeks ago topped with pumpkin seeds…and whoa. I had a healthy period for about 4 days. I had heard of seeds cycling over the years, but stayed away as I thought I had allergies. I was so impressed by salad that I started the seed cycle immediately.
    If I may ask a question, I am approaching day 27. By day 29, if I have not started my period again, do I start eating pumpkin/flax seeds anyway and continue for 14 days? Due I essentially put myself on a 28 day cycle? Or do I keep eating sesame/sunflower seeds until I begin my period? I do have another question. If I want to try to align my cycle with the moon phases, does my cycle become a 30-day, 31-day, 28-day cycle depending on the length of the month?(that is how long the moon cycles are, right?) Thank you a million times for your insightful response.–Melissa

    1. Melissa

      I found the answers to my questions in older post, I think. I will establish a 28 day cycle and wait for my body to follow.
      If I may ask. Does it matter if sesame seeds are hulled or unhullled? Also, does it matter if I start with whole flax seeds, or can I buy pre-ground flax in a bag?
      Thank you for your information. Melissa

      1. Melissa

        I have another question. Should I limit consumption of wild caught salmon to Phase II only? I eat it at least 1-2 times a week. Could this be interfering with my Phase II? Thank you for your information.

        1. Melissa

          I have a question about seed cycling for men. My husband had been taking a fish oil supplement daily. Should he limit the fish oil supplement to his Phase II only(when he is eating pumpkin/flax seed)? Is it fine to continue daily fish oil supplements throughout the male seed cycle?

          1. amyneuzil Post author

            Hi Melissa,
            Fish oil is so helpful for men (and all of us really) for inflammation that I honestly would continue it through the whole month. The seed cycling helps men with fertility cycles and hormone balance, but in a much more subtle way than women, so yes I would continue to use the fish oil throughout the whole month. Great questions!

        2. Melissa

          I apologize. I made a mistake in my above question.
          Should I limit consumption of wild caught salmon to Phase II only? I eat it at least 1-2 times a week. Could this be interfering with my –Phase I—? Thank you for your information.

        3. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Melissa,
          No – I think the good fish oils from the salmon are fine in whatever phase and 1- 2 servings per week will add beneficial omega_3s but shouldn’t upset the balance.

      2. amyneuzil Post author

        Perfect! I’m so excited to see how all of this goes for you given your amazing reaction to the pumpkin seeds. As far as I know the sesame seeds should be fine either way – I think it comes down mostly to personal preference. The unhulled would have more fiber, which can be good, but I don’t think it would change the seed cycling significantly. And honestly about the flax, I used to be a “purist” and say only the whole flax seed that you grind yourself, but now for convenience I buy it pre-ground and just store it in the fridge. Make sure you smell it though – the risk with flax seed is that it goes rancid quickly, but the rancid oils smell really bad so you would know. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    2. Melissa

      Hi Amy,
      I understand the moon phases cycling now. I read a few other posts here. I will nudge myself toward seed cycling with the lunar phases. Thank you for great information.

  83. Cristina

    Hi Amy,

    I looked through some comments but didn’t see this question:

    If I have long periods, do I wait to switch back to flax/ pumpkin until my period comes? Or continue with sesame/ sunflower? I am.on the third month of seed cycling and had been following the phases of the Moon.

    It was just the new moon so I went back to flax/ pumpkin but am not supposed to get my period for another week so I am confused. It seems I am getting farther out of sink with how my cycle works.

    Then once you get your period, do you count 14 days from then or from day 1 of changing back to flax/ pumpkin?

    Thanks for any insight!!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Christina,
      If you’ve tried for three months following the moon or a traditional 28-29 day cycle and it isn’t helping then I’d actually follow your cycle averages. So instead of doing each phase for 14 days, stretch it out so that each phase is 17 days to match your actual cycle and see how that does for you. Even better is if you track ovulation and can switch when you actually ovulate. Some women can tell easily when they’re ovulating and some can’t so do what works best for you. I’d love to hear how this goes so keep me posted if you get a chance.

      1. Hanna

        Hello Amy, Im actually trying to get this right , i think i have long cycles so I have been tracing my cicles with a phone app, I was supposed to start my menses so I changed the seeds i have not started bleeding jet after 4 days (no chance of being pregnant), could changing the seed before you actually start , delay it?

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Hanna,
          Great question and honestly I think the answer is a little different for everyone. It seems like for people who often have ultra-long cycles or skip cycles (like PCOS or perimenopause) the best thing is to switch the seeds regularly even if you’re not getting your period. For women who have minor irregularity but not like that it often helps to actually follow your actual ovulation and period for a few months and then shorten slowly (so you’re starting out with your cycle and then slowly adjusting your cycle to the more optimum length.) Does that make sense? Honestly that is just observation, so if you try it one way for a few months and aren’t satisfied with the results, then try it the other way. It’s very flexible and every woman’s body is different so the best thing is always to listen to your own body. I hope this helps and keep me posted!

  84. Nia

    Hello Dr. Amy, I’ve tried seed cycling and I notice that I feel better with the pumpkin- flax period than the sesame-sunflower period. I have endometriosis, recently diagnosed with PCOS, and have pretty severe pms. Can I take the pumpkin-flax mixture through the month, even when I take the sesame-sunflower? Or just do the pumpkin flax alone? What do you suggest? Many thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Good question Nia,
      Honestly with endometriosis, PCOS and PMS it’s pretty clear that you’re on estrogen overload so your body is probably really looking for the estrogen detox that the pumpkin-flax is providing. I do think it would be worth trying to keep those two constantly to help support estrogen detox and just add the sesame-sunflower at the appropriate times during your cycle. Seed cycling is great because it really is so flexible -these are nutrients and so you can change it up however your body needs. Keep me posted on how this does for you – I’ll be really excited to hear.

  85. leigh

    Hello! I’m 48 and started seed cycling this month (about 12 days ago). I’ve been having months of shortening cycles (30 days down to 22 or 25) and very heavy periods and mood swings. My naturopathic doc actually suggested I try this.

    I have been taking flax seeds religiously for the past 12 days but am actually noticing a lower mood and fuzzy head, so to speak. I feel more “estrogenish”, so to speak! Does this mean I shouldn’t take the flax seeds? Can it cause mood to be worse before it gets better? Not sure what to blame this change on but I don’t want to stop either. Have you heard of this happening at the beginning?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Leigh,
      I have heard of it happening at first – especially when you start seed cycling in such a hugely hormonal time. Peri menopause is all over the place with the hormones and so there is a lot floating around to process. Sometimes by allowing your body to process some of that (like with the flax seeds your’e starting a gentle detox) your body gets really excited about dumping some of it and just goes crazy for a bit. It will all calm down – at least that would be my general guess, but of course if you find that next month you have the same reaction to the flax seeds then there might be something else going on. So I’d say ride it out for this cycle, and re-evalutate next cycle to see if it’s doing the same thing. Does that make sense?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi A,
      Some people do soak them, but it isn’t necessary. Whatever makes it easiest for you. 🙂

  86. Melanie Ann

    Dr. Amy, thank you for this info! I missed two periods in a row, due to what I believe was binge eating out of control disruption as I know all our hormones go hand in hand. I’ve done much better this month stabilizing my blood sugar with healthy balanced meals every 3-4 hours. I also incorporated in 2 T of just pumpkin seeds (can’t do flax seeds pyroluric) the first 14 or maybe 15 days and then been doing 1 T sunflower seeds and 1 T sesame seeds since, now being Day 36 with no period. I realize re-establishing the rhythms of your body takes time, just wondering how long to wait and see if I get a period or to switch back to pumpkin seeds!?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Melanie Ann,
      Good question! So did you miss two and then have one? Or have you missed three total? Historically were you regular before that? My intuition says to switch back because I’m guessing you’re going to miss this one too (maybe keep the seeds on a 28 day cycle no matter what is happening and see if you can bring back some normal). Feel free to clarify though – I’m not sure I”ve got the picture straight. Keep me posted!

      1. amyneuzil Post author

        Sadly Chia seeds don’t have the high lignan content that flax do. 🙁 They won’t do the same thing.

  87. Amie

    Dr. Amy, I just completed radiation for ER+ breast cancer and am 1 year into post menopause. I was stage I, Oncotype 25 and had a lumpectomy. I opted out of Chemo as it was my call. Can the seed rotation benefit me moving forward to lower the bad estrogen? If so, do I start with the moon”s cycle since I no longer have a period cycle?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Amie,
      Great question! So – of course check with your oncology team before you start anything, but the lignans in flax seeds are known to help reduce the estrogen burden. Here’s a link to a research paper (there is a free full text article, just click the link in the abstract) on it if your oncologists are unfamiliar. I have never seen a study on the effects on cancer of full seed cycling, so I hesitate to suggest that, but certainly the flax seeds!! I’d love to know what your oncologists have to say about it if you have the time to write back. I hope this helps!

  88. Christine Mitchell

    Hi, Dr. Neuzil, I’ve been seed cycling for roughly one & a half cycles now based on your article, & I’m seeing some results – thank you so very much. And although I’ve been using organic Maca powder (i.e. in clean – smoothies, raw desserts, hot chocolate, & chocolate milk) over a year now, I’m wondering, based on some articles I’ve recently read, if its use could interfere with trying to achieve hormone balance through seed cycling? In other words, does the Maca powder interact with, throw off, or duplicate the seed cycling? If not & it is safe to do both simultaneously, what dosage do you recommend for the Maca, & is there a certain time in the cycle to use it (like there is for the seeds)?

  89. Tara

    I am nearly 50 and in perimenopause. Until this started I was always very regular, but had painful periods. Now, I more commonly have 20/22 day cycles with an occasional 30 or 40 day cycle here and there. Should I seed cycle every 10/11 days or should I adjust to try to bring normalcy back to my cycle? If adjusting, how would I go about doing that? Thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Tara,
      So – in perimenopause when your cycle is really variable I would actually adjust to try to bring normalcy back. It doesn’t always actually bring normalcy because your cycle is winding down, but it certainly helps to make things easier. Some women choose to just follow the moon and forget what their cycle is actually doing and some women just start on day 1 of their cycle and do the seed cycle as though it was a 27-29 day cycle (whatever was most typical for them) even if it’s shorter. The seeds and your actual flow won’t always match up – especially the first few months, but the hope is that more and more they will match up. You’ll probably start skipping cycles as well, which is also normal, but hopefully eventually when they do come they’ll match up with the seed cycling and be easy periods. Does that make sense?

  90. June Stuebs-Prochaska

    I’ve been seed cycling for 2 months now. My cycle averages at 27 days. I usually ovulate on day 13. This month, I ovulated as normal, but AF was 4 days early. I have been taking FCLO daily for years and did not add EPO. Could that be part of the reason I was so early? I started cycling because since my tubal, AF has been extremely heavy (must empty diva cup every 1.5 hrs on day 2) and large clots. Also more cramps than before tubal.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi June,
      Was this cycle as heavy/clotty? Usually the heavy/clotty flow I look at as a sign of a liver/detox issue – like your body is having trouble processing the extra hormone burden that goes with your cycle (this totally used to be my cycle. So so bad.) Anyway, if there’s a sort of detox thing happening then it might just be a little confusing for your body. I’m hoping that even though it was too early (not ideal) it was an easier cycle (better). I’d say give it another couple of cycles to normalize. Hopefully by then you’ll see easier flow and less clotting and closer to your normal 27 days. Because this does have hormone effect it can certainly change the cycle length, but once your body gets used to it things should even out. Keep me posted!

  91. Sony

    Hi Amy

    Like I have mentioned in my previous comments, my cycle had always been 25 days. For some strange reason, this month it was four days early. It was supposed to come on 18th but came on 14th. As far as I remember this is the first time my periods have come early. So if my periods come early again next month, should I keep on doing second phase or should I switch to first phase when the period comes even though they are early. I hope I made sense.


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hmmm. I’d keep going with second phase, because that really isn’t something we want to encourage – if that makes sense. Keep me posted!

  92. Angie

    I chart my cycles with FAM, temperatures and cervical fluid, etc. Anyway, I started seed cycling this past cycle and my cycle’s temps were great, nice clear temp shift, high sustained temps in the luteal phase. Except that now I’m on my period and my period is light, I’m on day 3. I have noticed that my temps are taking their time dropping and that just may not have triggered significant cramps yet (I’ve just had very very slight cramps). It may could be cuz of that. But, I was wondering if the seed cycling could have caused my period to be like this. Any help?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Angie,
      Without knowing what your cycle is normally like it’s hard to say, but certainly the seeds create a shift and generally should help to clarify the hormone picture. I love seeing those clear temperatures through ovulation, but the sustained drop is generally a pain. Honestly it will take your body a few months to work things out with the seed cycling so yes – this could totally be caused by the seeds, and it should normalize and regulate within a few months. There can be an adjustment at first though – if you stick to the seed cycling keep me posted! I’d love to hear how it goes for you, especially when you’re doing such detailed tracking.

      1. Angie

        My period ended up getting heavy for a day, but the other days were light. I’m still gonna continue seed cycling 🙂 It ended up being the best, easiest period of my life! Less cramp days, less migraine days also and it was just my first cycle seed cycling. Just had kinda erratic temps during my period, but hopefully that will calm down. I’m excited to see what other great changes are in store for me!

  93. Brandi D'Amore

    I have a couple of questions regarding when to switch. If your Cycles are irregular comma for example I just started my cycle 17 days after my last one if one is within the sunflower Sesame face and their cycle starts does that mean that they have to stop and start taking the pumpkin and flax or do they continue taking the sunflower and sesame the full two weeks. So I guess I’m asking is this you truncate the second part if your period comes early

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Great question Brandi,
      Honestly there isn’t a simple answer and it depends on how long your cycles have been irregular, etc… The easiest way to summarize is that if your cycles are regularly irregular (like they’re always 17-19 days) then we start by adjusting the seed cycle to that cycle (so switch at 8-9 days) and then slowly lengthen the cycle over a few months to encourage your cycle to become a normal length. If your cycle is irregularly irregular (like you never know when it’s going to show up) then I would keep to a regular seed cycling schedule for a few months to see if that will help regulate. I hope this wasn’t too confusing! Keep me posted.

      1. Brandi D'Amore

        So I guess my next question then is when the. Starts unexpectedly does that mean that I then immediately start back again at pumpkin and flax? Because I was into the sunflower sesame seed face when all the sudden my period showed up so I don’t know if I should continue taking that or start back again with pumpkin and flax

  94. Nicole

    I have a question. My cycle has been switching between 24-27 days.
    I was told by a friend to track ovulation and just switch seeds once I’ve ovulated but I’m horrible at tracking ovulation and am not even certain I am ovulating monthly.
    What do I do? Do I do the first 14 days with the flax & pumpkin and switch like usual then start over at day 1 even if it’s not a full 28 days or what? I’m incredibly confused but excited to start.
    Thank you.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Nicole,
      The *best* way really is to track ovulation (but I get that it can be hard if your body doesn’t give clear signals). If that isn’t possible then try shortening the first half of the seed cycle to 12 days and switching then, so that your body gets more of the luteal (progesterone enhancing) phase because that is the one that most of us have the most trouble with. I hope this helps!

  95. Stephanie

    My Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor suggested I take flax seed on days 15-28 and borage oil days 1-14. When I first heard about seed cycling, he said I could certainly try it that way and see how it works for me. He did say that he recommended the flax seed for the 2nd half as it supports progesterone. Can I take the flax/pumpkin seeds during the second half and the sunflower/sesame seeds during the first half? Or should I switch them as you have here?

    Also, my cycle tends to be about 32 days (give or take) and I ovulate late, around day 22-24. Should I switch the seeds according to ovulation or keep the on days 1-14 and 15-28? If the latter, then what do I do for days 29 until the end of my cycle? Thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Stephanie,
      If you’re working with a practitioner then I suggest following their advice because they know you and I’m just working with generic information. Also they’ll be putting together a whole protocol that will work together synergistically with the imbalances they see in your picture. In general I’d suggest switching the seeds closer to when you want to ovulate to encourage the second half of your cycle to lengthen. So – follow your practitioner’s advice first and keep me posted if you have time – I’m always curious about results when people do things slightly differently.

      1. Stephanie

        Thank you! This makes sense and your info on when to switch the seeds is helpful. I will let you know how it goes for sure.

  96. Denise

    Hi Amy,

    Yes, I am historically very regular. Thanks for answers my question. Ok – I will switch over at Day 29 to the flax/pumpkin seeds, even if I don’t get my period that day (which I should since I’m so regular).

    I wanted to start seed cycling for a few reasons. For the past 1.5 years , 1) I was getting really bad headaches around my period. 2) I was getting really bad cramps. 3) I was getting really moody around my period – PMS (no fun!) and 4) I developed a small fibroid which I believe is due to an imbalance of the hormones. After 1 round of cycling, the headaches went away completely, and the cramps are already improving, and I was not nearly as moody. So, I think it’s working.


  97. Christine Mitchell

    Hi, Dr. Neuzil, thank you for this info! I have multiple health issues (i.e. hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, poor gut health) along with hormonal imbalance. Consequently, I went gluten & refined sugar free then paleo in an effort to naturally help myself heal. I’m also going clean with my skincare, personal care, & cleaning products but still experience female-/hormonal-related issues. Due to my unique dietary needs, I make grain-free breads with seeds & nuts among other paleo ingredients. My question:

    Do I have to stick strictly to the pumpkin & flaxseeds only days 1-14 then sunflower & sesame seeds only days 15-28 without any of my seed bread/crackers/desserts/seed butters in my diet? Or can I continue to eat seeds throughout my diet but focus on the seed cycling & still expect beneficial results?

    I hope my rambling makes enough sense. Thank you for your time & help!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Christine,
      The question totally makes sense. So – if seeds are a huge part of your diet anyway then things get a little muddy, but I believe seed cycling can still be very effective with a little bit of good seed hygiene. First off, some seeds, like chia, are entirely hormone neutral and can be used at any time of the month without upsetting the balance. I would think that if you try to emphasize the seeds from the appropriate half of the cycle in that part of the month then things will probably work out (so don’t go on a pumpkin seed cracker binge in the sesame/sunflower part of the cycle but it’s probably okay if there are a few pumpkin seed crackers here and there). Also to my knowledge most tree nuts are hormone neutral so things like pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc… can be used at any point in the cycle.

  98. Zahra


    I have PCOS and havent had a period in 3 months. I was wondering if I could just start taking the seeds now? Like start taking the first 2 for 14 days then the other 2 ? Or do I have to wait to one day get a period before starting? And I’m really confused about when a moon cycle is/what its like….. How do you know when it starts?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Zahra,
      Great question. Yes – so since your cycle has been gone for a while you really can start any time. I suggest the moon phases just because it’s easy for your body to synchronize with and evidence suggests that the moon itself might make a difference. Here’s a moon phase module for you to see so you know what the moon is doing at all times. I hope this helps!


    2. Jess

      Hi I’m in the same boat, I googled the moon cycle and followed that today is new moon so I’m switching to day 1 flaxseed and pumpkin. I take evening promise every day not sure if this is advisable ?

      1. amyneuzil Post author

        Hi Jess,
        I’d cycle the EPO with flax oil, especially while things are getting normalized. Also hopefully you can see the moon phases plug-in that I added, so hopefully that helps. 🙂

  99. Sony

    Hi Amy
    Thanks a lot for reply. I have one more question. In a 28 day cycle, we switch to second phase of seed cycling on day 15th. In a 25 day cycle, should we switch on day 12th or 13th? Honestly I can’t tell when I ovulate.


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sony,
      If your cycle has always been 25 days and has been reasonably healthy, then yes – switch seeds on the 12th – 13th day and see how it goes. If you’d rather push your cycle out (or try) so that it’s closer to a 28 day cycle (in theory this is best for our fertility) then keep the switch at day 15 for a few months and see if your cycle starts to adjust. Honestly it’s your call – many women have a healthy, fertile, 25 day cycle so it’s certainly normal for some.

  100. Sony

    Hi Amy
    Until about two years ago my cycle was 25 days and it would last for four days . For example if my periods come on 20th of first month, they will start on 15th of next month. It is still more or less 25 days but now I start to have very light spotting for 2 to 3 days before my actual periods come. If I use the dates mentioned earlier, in second month I will have some spotting from 12th to 15th and my periods will start on 15th that last longer than 4 days. I want to try seed cycling. I have two questions though. Should I start seed cycling the day I start spotting (12th in the example above) or the day of my actual periods(15th)? Also since my cycle is 25 days, should I continue the second phase till day 28 or just start the first phase seeds when my periods come? I also want to mention that during spotting, blood is not clear/bright and flow is that light that I can just use panty liners. If possible can you please reply my questions soon so I can start seed cycling this month.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sony,
      Great questions! I would start seed cycling on the first day of your actual flow and not the spotting, because we want that to go away. IF 25 days has always been your normal then it might always be your normal and that’s okay, but the spotting and light flow aren’t ideal. So keep to a 25 day cycle, but don’t count the spotting as the start of your period. Also make sure if we’re not seeing improvement after three months to check things out with your GYN – we don’t want to miss something weird going on. Great luck and keep me posted!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jessica,
      So that’s a great question, and it depends on why they’ve stopped. Step 1 is to get everything checked out with your gynaecologist just to make sure there isn’t anything spooky going on. Periods can stop for a variety of reasons – stress, pregnancy, some medications, drastic weight loss or weight fluctuations, menopause, PCOS, etc… But it can also be related to changes in thyroid functioning, and more serious conditions like pituitary tutors – your doctor can help you to rule out all of those things. So it’s hard to really say, but once you get it checked out then we’ll have more info to go on. Seed cycling is certainly gentle enough to be safe in all of those situations, but it’s also a good idea to find out what’s going on because delaying treatment isn’t a good idea with some of the possibilities.

  101. Hanaaaa

    Hi Dr! I’ve just started seed cycling yesterday after reading your post (which was so so great) in the hopes of helping me bring on my period (haven’t had one in 5 years due to severe Anorexia nervosa, anxiety, depression, exersize addicrion and panic attacks) and it hasn’t come even tho I”m at a vwry healthy weight and have been for 1.5 years, eating consistently and exersizing little to nothing,enter seed cycling. But I was wondering, can chia seeds be included, what phase and can they possibly substitute another seed group? I love chias so much and they have such great aminos and benefits!:) thank you for your anwser:)

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Hanaaaa,
      Great question! So – as far as I know the chia seeds are relatively hormonally neutral, so they can’t substitute for any of the seeds we’re using for the seed cycling, but they are a great addition to any healthy diet and in your particular case using those throughout your whole cycle might help to restore some of the nutrients your body will need to restart your cycles. And honestly don’t be discouraged – with that kind of a history it might take your body a while to replenish all of the nutrients necessary for normal cycling. I think the seeds will help though – if you have time I’d love it if you’d let me know how it all goes for you! I’d say give it at least three months to see if it’s going to be a good path for you.

      1. J

        I’ve read other sources that say to go for more of the Omega 3s (such as Chia) during the Follicular stage, and more of the Omega 6s (such as evening primrose) during the Luteal phase.
        There are also certain foods to increase estrogen such as fennel, and foods that decrease estrogen, such as the brassica family (broccoli, cauliflower, kale…).
        Since you liver has a good deal to do with filtering hormones, it’s a good idea to make sure your keeping your liver cleansed. Milk Thistle is good for that and so are ginger, turmeric and organic lemon juice (non-organic is often too high in pesticides).
        There are also essential oils for balancing hormones. Lots of info on google. Rose Geranium is a good general hormone balancing one. Clary Sage is good for the Follicular stage. It stimulates the Pituitary gland which produces estrogen. It’s also good for the Thyroid. Essential oils Thyme (Thujanol) and Marjoram together are used in the Luteal phase. Marjoram is also good for the spleen.
        I’ve found that essential oils (topically and in an air diffuser: no heat) have really helped my stress, anxiety and decreased my waking up panicking in the night. I’m hoping that they’ll also work for my hormones.
        The hormones in meat and milk can also really mess up your own hormones.
        Hope you can get things straightened out!

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi J,
          Yes – there are so many things to try – we’re not limited to just seeds by any means! Hormones are a huge issue for both women and men these days given all of the hormone-like toxins in food, water, pesticides, plastics, etc… It’s a mess.

  102. WARDHA

    Hi, I am yet to try this. I am really looking forward to this, having battled with hormonal acne for over 10 years. Are there any food I should be not eating with this? Any specific diet requirements ?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Wardha,
      I’m excited for you to try it! Honestly if you’re having a lot of hormone shifts then I’d try to stay away from the more hormone-filled foods like soy and non-organic dairy. Also things like trans fats and fried foods. I’ll be excited to hear how it goes!

  103. CC

    I just have to say, this saved my life!!! I was religiously on the pill for years to help my skin, until I had a blood clot & had to stop hormonal BC. My dermatologist put me on another drug, an off label use of another kind of RX that she said she had to stop refilling after a while (not a long term use drug) & I started breaking out again like crazy (in my 30s). After scouring the internet & coming across this, no less than one cycle later was my skin flawless & my period like clockwork (also, zero PMS for the first time ever). Thank you SO much!!

  104. Hana

    Thanks, Amyneuzil, I have been doing this for more than a year now, thanks for sharing this with all the woman that have hormone problems, I cannot explain how depressed I was after stopping on the pill and all my face filled up with uncontrollable acne! until I tried seed cycle and after some months everything returned to normal cycles, I have a couple of questions , I’m very consistent with the seeds, this last two months my period has been coming late for one week, and this one again a week later, should I be worried? Also, is it bad to take the same seeds with your partner even if the cycles are supposed to be opposite, what adverse situations do you think could present? I know this sound silly but I wondered… Thanks again for sharing this treasure!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Hana,
      God yes seed cycling is such a great thing for so many of us (myself included). So – I’m not sure if I”m understanding the situation. You’re taking the same seeds as your partner, but your cycles are opposite? Does that mean that you’re following her cycle when you take the seeds? If that’s the case then for sure your cycle is going to adjust, and honestly two women living closely together typically synchronize cycles anyway, so that could be part of why your cycle is drifting a week later. So – not sure if I answered that or not, but if not then just write back!

      1. Hana

        Hey Amy, I understand the confusion. My partner is a guy, that is the reason I was asking about the opposite seed cycles haha ?

  105. Douglas

    Would you explain why your cycling schedule is opposite of all others I’ve seen? My N.D. started my wife and I (and all his patients) on the same seeds and oils but the opposite phase of the moon’s cycle. All other Seed Cycling articles I’ve researched also have them opposite. Can you explain that please?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Douglas,
      I actually seed cycle the way I was taught in school, and the rational for the different seeds at different times in the month is explained in the article but I’d be really curious to see a different way if you can point me to a reference – I’m always interested to hear how other people do it. If you’re doing it using the seeds at opposite times of the month will you keep me posted? I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

      1. amyneuzil Post author

        Awesome chart! Although be careful using hemp seeds – they have a VERY different effect on hormones. Chia seeds are hormone neutral, although do have beneficial Omega-3 oils (so will decrease inflammation but won’t directly work on hormone balance).

  106. Allison Heaton

    I’ve been seed cycling since February and feeling great. I’ll be 50 soon, and my period this past month was painless, and 28 days…
    My question… do I stop seed cycling, or is this forever!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Allison,
      First off – that is awesome! It’s a great question and I don’t have a great answer. It seems like a lot of women choose to continue to seed cycle through menopause because it seems to make the process so much smoother, but then a lot of women choose to keep it up even after menopause because they say it helps to keep skin and vaginal integrity (and I don’t see why it wouldn’t – it makes sense to me that it would help with the hormone-related aging). But then it’s also a lot to keep track of, so ??? I’d say do what feels right to you – I’m certainly pleased you’re seeing such great results!

  107. allencat

    Hi Amy,
    I am on day 17 of my 3rd month of seed cycling. First, I love it! It has helped so much already. I have just a couple of questions. Last month I had spotting on day 24, which apparently was my period. I kept taking the sesame/sunflower seeds through day 28. Today I had a little spotting which like I said I’m on day 17 of the seed cycling however it’s 22 days since my last period. Can I possible have a 24 day cycle? Should I start on the flax/pumpkin seeds if I start? My doctor wants me to get blood work on day 19, so now when is day 19?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Allencat,
      I love it too – it’s such a gentle way to balance things out. I would say spotting is not your period, so it sounds to me like you skipped a cycle. That would mean you’re on day 17 but that there was a skipped flow in there. As to why you’re spotting, that is more challenging. Skipping a cycle can happen for a lot of reasons – stress, changes in routine, antibiotics, etc… but the combo of skipping one and spotting isn’t any fun. I would say keep seed cycling as though you’re on a 28 day cycle and watch and wait. This could be just part of the process of sorting things out, but if you miss more cycles or continue to spot randomly then certainly talk with your doctor about it (which it sounds like you’re already doing since they are ordering blood work). Keep me posted – I’d love to hear how it all sorts out!

  108. radhika

    Hi Amy,

    I am on seed cycling since 5 months and my cycle is now between 28-30 days planning to do for one more month and stop is it fine? Can i plan for pregnancy on seed cycling?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Radhika,
      28-30 days is great! Seed cycling can actually be really beneficial for pregnancy – it’s a little confusing though so I wrote a whole post about it here. Good luck and keep me posted!

  109. Kristina

    Hello Dr! I am 24, and I have not had my period for about 1 1/2 years, ive had some history of over exercising and calorie restrict and anxiety and stress (oh gosh i sound like a mess), but I was wondering if this would help bring it on? Also if you have any tips or tricks with clients that youve worked with in the past with possibly the same problem? PLEASE HELP!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Kristina,
      Ha! Don’t worry about it – when you put it down in writing we all sound like a mess. 🙂 This can help, but at the end of the day your body needs enough body fat to make hormones, so it will certainly help but not enough to give you a cycle if you’re still underweight. If you’ve come back to an ideal weight then it can certainly help to kick-start the whole process and it’s a nice gentle way to do it. Just give it a few months – I usually say you’ll know if it’s helping at about the three month mark. Keep me posted – I’d love to know how it does for you!

  110. Michelle Elizabeth

    Hi Dr Amy!
    Thank you so much for this very informative article- it is really very thorough!! I am using a seed rotation to try to help my terrible periods and my estrogen dominance. One question for you, my cycles have been falling on the full moon for some time now- I start bleeding the day or night of the full moon, and from what I’ve read this can be sort of common (red moon type). Should I be trying to make my cycle go with the normal moon cycle, ie. ovulate on the full moon? Or is it okay to be the opposite lol? If I should be aiming for the opposite of what I have now, should I be switching the seeds in the rotation? Thank you in advance! 🙂

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Michelle,
      So interesting – I’ve gone through phases in my life where my cycle syncs with the new moon and phases where it syncs with the full moon and each time it will take about 6-9 months to switch from one to the other (usually switches every few years for unknown reasons). I trust that my body, and yours, know far more about what they’re doing than we do so I’d say just go with it. If you think of it a few years down the line let me know if you ever switched, I’d love to know if this is just me, or if other women cycle too. I theorize that it might have something to do with peak fertility cycles, but that’s just me thinking too much about it! Just keep following your body – there’s no need to push. Keep me posted if you can!

      1. Michelle Elizabeth

        Thank you so much Dr Amy!!! I will go with the “flow” and trust my body haha!! Ive read about the full moon cycle being common with ladies who are big into personal development, teaching others what they’ve learned, more like giving birth to new ideas and cultivating the community around you. Maybe that’s when you were developing your practice or working on yourself!! The description fit me to a T, so I am going with it hehe!! Interesting stuff though for sure. I am grateful for your site and have subscribed to get your updates! Thanks again for responding 🙂

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Michelle,
          Oh that is so interesting about the teaching/cultivating community… If you can find the source I’d love to read it! Thanks for being here. 🙂

  111. v

    Hi Dr Amy

    Ive been seed cycling for 1 month and noticed great changes to my moods but just started to panic as I am on a birth control pill will this stop the pill from working as I’m not at a stage where pregnancy is really an option.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi V,
      Honestly I have never seen any information anywhere to suggest that seed cycling interferes with birth control pills. My guess would be that it should be as reliable as birth control ever is (which is still not 100% sadly) but if you’re worried about it condoms when you’re ovulating can bring some peace of mind. 🙂

  112. Olivia

    Thank you for all of the very helpful information! I have one question- my ND just told me to take fermented fish oil to help naturally reduce my cholesterol. He also suggested seed cycling to help reduce my very heavy and long cycles. I see you recommend fish oil during the first phase and evening primrose oil for the second phase. Is it going to be a problem for my cycles if I continue to take fish oil for the entire 28 days? If I do take fish oil the entire 28 days, should I still add EPO for days 15-28? Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Olivia,
      If you’re working with an ND then I’d say trust what he says! And generally no problem to take the fish oil through the whole cycle – for most of us it’s a big benefit because it’s strongly anti-inflammatory and we all need some of that. If you do the seed cycling for 3 months and really aren’t noticing a difference then maybe talk with your ND about keeping the fish oil but doing a higher dose days 1-14 and adding the EPO days 15-28. Chances are you’ll be fine without it but it’s a good back-up plan if your body needs a bigger kick. Great luck!

  113. Denise Jones

    Hello! Great site! I’m 41. I have a regular cycle and get my period every 28 days. Sometimes I’ll get it on Day 27, but then the next period will come on Day 29. So, my body is very good at balancing itself out. There are 3 things going on with my period. #1) In the past year and a half, my periods are much heavier on days 1 and 2. And instead of 2-3 days of bleeding with one last day of spotting, the bleeding now lasts 3-4 day with two days of spotting. That could be because I used to run about 40 miles a week and now am not running (although still very active). Or I’m wondering if it’s due to a small fibroid I have. #2) I used to get cramps but they weren’t bad enough to need Advil. Now I have cramps on Day 1 and 2 that are so bad that I have to take Advil. #3) I’m getting some headaches around the time of my period. My naturopath told me to used a progesterone creme for Days 14 of my period until I get my period). I think that stopped the headaches. So, I think I could benefit from a more natural way of handling the headaches. My questions are – Do you think I could benefit from seed cycling? Would I just start on Day 1 of my next period (June 12)? Is there a substitution for flax seeds (just curious). Thank you and kindest regards.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Denise,
      WOW – 40 miles a week is awesome. My guess would be the hormone troubles are more related to the fibroid than anything else, but the fibroid formed because your estrogen was too high relative to your progesterone in the first place. So yes – I’d say seed cycling would be awesome for you! It sounds like you’re not far off balance because your body is really doing incredibly well, but still could use a little adjustment and that’s the perfect scenario. The only issue that I would see is that although seed cycling can help to restore that balance between estrogen and progesterone, it’s not likely to make the fibroid go away (at least not in a short period of time – if it does help to shrink it I would suspect it would take years). So to clarify, I think the seed cycling will help the headaches and may even lighten up the bleeding and cramping, but the fibroid will still be there and may still keep some of the bleeding and cramping around. Does that make sense? And I”d say yes – just start on day 1 of your next cycle. In terms of the flax seeds – they are the highest dietary source of lignans that I know of (which is the part that we’re looking for). Here are a couple of articles on lignans and breast cancer, and this fabulous article on the health benefits of lignans from Oregon State University. As you can see the dose in flax seeds is 8 times higher than the next-highest source (which is sesame seeds, so I wouldn’t suggest those as a substitute). So – there isn’t really a great direct substitute that I know of, but you could work on boosting overall dietary levels. Let me know!

      1. Denise

        Thank you you for the response! I sincerely appreciate it! I’ve got all of the seeds and will start it today (Day 1 of my period). I’m hoping that it will help with headaches and cramps. I understand it won’t help with the fibroid though. Maybe it will help the fibroid not get any bigger if I can get the hormonal balance in order. How many cycles does it usually take to feel the benefits of seed cycling (reduced cramps and headaches)? I’m guessing it probably depends on the individual, but I figured I’d ask.

        I understand that mixing the seeds up at different times can confuse the body. But is it at all ok to have sunflower seeds in phase 1, or to have flax seeds in phase 2? Or should that be completely avoided?

        In preparation for this, I was trying to figure out how I’d get the flax seeds into my diet. I thought I’d mention that I find it helpful to soak a tablespoon of flax seeds in a a few tablespoons of almond milk overnight which really softens them. I add this little mixture to the Vitamix in the morning for my smoothie and it blends right up with no trace of flax seeds. Also, for people who are looking for a way to eat sunflower seeds, I roast them and make sunflower butter which is a nice way to get them. Just sharing some sunflower seed butter I make that we always have on hand. It’ll be a helpful way to get the sunflower seeds! Here is a link to my recipe if appropriate to share.

        Many thanks again. I’ll report back to let you know how it goes!

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Ooh – the flax seeds in almond milk sounds nice! Thanks for that. So – typically women will start to notice subtle differences the first month, but I suggest trying it for three months before you make up your mind about continuing it. Mixing the seeds up at different times is an issue because there are so many benefits to all of the seeds (and they’re yummy) that a lot of time you want them other times of the month too. My general rule is to make sure I have either no mixing, or if there is going to be mixing then I actually double the amounts of the seed-cycle seeds so that the other seeds don’t interfere. Does that make sense?

          1. Denise

            That makes sense. I’m not mixing the seeds since I want the best possible result. I’ll stick to flax seeds and pumpkin seeds for Days 1-14 , and then sesame and sunflower seeds for Days 15-18. And I’ll keep it going for the next 2 cycles to see what happens. I still had some cramps during my period last week, but they were manageable. It’s the first time in over a year that I didn’t need to take Aleve during a period. Thank you!

          2. Denise

            I had the pumpkin/flax seeds for Days 1-14 of my period. Then I switched over to sunflower/sesame seeds for Days 15-28. Today is Day 29. If I DON’T get my period today (Day 29), should I continue with the sunflower/sesame seeds until I do get it. Or should I not take any seeds until i get it?

            I’m very regular with my period and usually get it on Day 28 or 29. But just asking. I’m not sure if I’m in sync with the moon or if seed cycling tries to get you in sync with the moon. I’m simply doing it to help regulate progesterone and estrogen naturally.

            Also, I got a seed grinder for the flax seeds and am excited to use it once I hit day 1. I think the grinder will be a total game changer in terms of how easy it will be to get these seeds into the diet in varying ways.

            Thanks for your great forum here! It’s fantastic!


          3. Denise

            Hi Amy,

            Just following up on my July 12 post which was….

            “I had the pumpkin/flax seeds for Days 1-14 of my period. Then I switched over to sunflower/sesame seeds for Days 15-28. Today is Day 29. If I DON’T get my period today (Day 29), should I continue with the sunflower/sesame seeds until I do get it. Or should I not take any seeds until i get it?

            I’m very regular with my period and usually get it on Day 28 or 29. But just asking. I’m not sure if I’m in sync with the moon or if seed cycling tries to get you in sync with the moon. I’m simply doing it to help regulate progesterone and estrogen naturally.”

            What I ended up doing in July was this…
            I ended up switching over to flax and pumpkin on Day 29 even though I didn’t get my period until Day 32 (which is pretty late for me). In the past, i always notice that if I’m a day late with my cycle, I’ll get it a day early on the next cycle. So, since my last cycle was 4 days late, maybe it’ll be 4 days early. We’ll see.

            Anyway, for my next period, I was wondering if I should switch over to flax/pumpkin on Day 29 automatically, OR if I should continue with the sunflower/sesame until I actually do get my period. And if my period is early, should I switch over to flax/pumpkin on whatever day I get it?



          4. amyneuzil Post author

            Hi Denise,
            I would say if you are historically really regular then switch over at day 29. Were you having other symptoms of imbalance that pushed you to start seed cycling? Or just to see what would change? Just curious. 🙂

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Sure! This isn’t supposed to be a quick fix anyway – it’s slow and steady. I don’t think your body will mind any additional support. 🙂

  114. Judy Kerner

    Hi Dr. Amy,
    Thank you for your reply. I continue to wait for my cycle, it has been 57 days and I am still doing the second phase seeds sesame/sunflower with EPO. I will keep doing it and then try to match up with moon phases and see what happens. My cycles were pretty regular every 26-28 days prior to the irregularity that began a few months ago, I just have always had problematic PMS and diagnosed endometriosis when I was early 20’s. I also took a pregnancy test just in case, and it was negative, thank goodness, at 47 that would be quite a surprise!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Ha! Yes – that would be quite a surprise. A good friend of mine had an “oops” baby 13 years after the last of her 3 kids, and eleven years later ANOTHER “oops” baby. Can you imagine?!? Keep me posted and for sure if things feel like there is any kind of an issue or if we’re getting nowhere then talk with your GYN. Hopefully things will normalize gently with the seeds. 🙂

  115. Julie

    I am having anxiety when I ovulate and the days leading up to my period. I also have post partum anxiety. I went on the pill for 2 cycles and it did get rid of the anxiety but I started having negative side effects so I had to stop. Will this help? I am starting my cycle and want to get started!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Julie,
      Hard to say if it will help but I certainly think it’s worth a try. It’s gentle and natural and certainly helps to balance out the high-highs and the low-lows of hormone irregularity so I don’t see why it wouldn’t smooth out some anxiety too. I have certainly seen it help with depression and PMS, which seems related. If you decide to try it let me know how it goes for you – I’d be curious to see what your experience is.

      1. Julie

        I went ahead and started the seed cycling. I am on Day 7. On Day 15 do I automatically switch to the next phase or do I wait until I ovulate? If I ovulate earlier than day 15 do I start phase 2 then or wait until day 15? How do I know for sure that I have ovulated? I was on the pill for 7 weeks and started feeling so sick. Lost weight, exhaustion, eyes drying out, migraines, shortness of breath, legs feeling weak, questioning everything, tongue and throat swelling. Some of those things have gotten better. How long do you think it takes for that to get out of your system? I even got a uti right before my period this time (1st one off the pill). I know my hormones are crazy! I don’t want to go on another birth control pill because I saw what it did when I was on it and now I am suffering some side effects of coming off. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I think my dr. just wants me to try another one.

        1. Robin

          Hi Amy, Thanks for this article… I also have the similar question as Julie. I have long cycles (33-38 days). I am still trying to get my cycle back to normal after years of the pill (I’ve been off for 6 months). I’m TTC and have been monitoring my ovulation by BBT and OPK. I seem to ovulate late (around day 25) and have a short luteal phase, between 8-10 days. So I’m wondering, should I wait to switch seeds until I ovulate or go ahead and switch at day 14?

          Thanks so much for your help. Your article is very helpful and I love the graphic with the moon.

          1. amyneuzil Post author

            Hi Robin,
            I’m so glad you asked this question! So – our goal is shifting your ovulation forward, so go ahead and switch seeds on day 14-15. Hopefully this will encourage your body to get to it a little earlier and lengthen out that luteal phase. And honestly, don’t worry. Birth control takes ages to work it’s way out of your system so sounds like you’re doing really well for 6 months! Great luck and keep me posted.

  116. A Anderson

    Hi there, I was just diagnosed with endometriosis because they found bilateral “chocolate cysts” on my ovaries. So obviously, this isn’t going to be THE cure but I’d like to add it to my arsenal of attack on this. Should I take the seeds as recommended above? My cycles are pretty consistently 28-30 days apart and normal flow of 3-4 days.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi there,
      Endometriosis is such a bummer – my mom struggled with it for years and managed to avoid hysterectomy (Which was the only real solution in those days) but it was a battle. I do think this would help because with seed cycling the seeds help to modulate the negative effects of estrogen excess, which endometriosis typically has, as well as boosting progesterone which helps to balance out the estrogen. I would certainly say it’s worth a shot, although double check with your gynecologist because they will know the particulars of your case. Also you may want to read this post on breast health, not so much for your breasts, but because I talk a lot about estrogen overload. There are lots of things we don’t know about endometriosis (like why the endometriotic tissue decides to implant other places) but we do know that it typically happens in women with high estrogen levels so if you can take some steps to control the estrogen it may help to manage your symptoms. I hope this helps!

  117. Pingback: The Ups, The Downs: How to Support Your Body’s Menstrual Cycle | Peoples Rx, Austin's Favorite Pharmacy

  118. Allison Heaton

    Hi. I’m almost 50 and going through perimenopause. One been seed cycling for 3 months now. What I’ve noticed is….no more cramps! I’m journalist when my periods ate and for how long as once that’s been problematic (every 25 days or so, and one time…twice in one month)…but now, I’m not sure what I should do…I’m late by a week. I’m still taking seeda days for days 15-31. Do I jusy stick with that until my period comes around. So perpplexed. Don’t mind ever having another period again…but I’m like what?!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Allison,
      Awesome about the cramps! So, people have different opinions about this, but I say just stick to the seeds for the second half of your cycle. Chances are you’ll skip one and then restart as normal, but who knows??? Most women will just start to skip more and more frequently during menopause until they stop altogether. Generally if you go more than 3 months with no cycle then start cycling the seeds with the moon phase because even if you’re not having a period they seem beneficial in preventing some of the worst of the menopausal symptoms as well as keeping some hormone-like activity happening (like preventing skin-changes after menopause and that sort of thing). Of course if you’re not getting a cycle and start having symptoms of something else then check with your gynecologist just to make sure that it’s only menopause (“only” haha!) and not something else going on.

  119. Stephanie

    My cycles are fairly regular, but not 28 days. They are typically 29-32 days. I track my fertility and it is ready to tell when I ovulate, usually day 15-18, as would be appropriate for a 29-32 day cycle. Iwould like to begin seed cycling and other dietary support for hormone balance, because I do have hormonal acne and low libido. My question is this: Should I take the pumpkin/flax seeds until I ovulate at 15-18 days, or for 14 days only?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Great question!
      Sounds like your cycles are pretty good, but not optimal. Some women do have longer cycles and that’s fine, but the libido and acne indicate that something isn’t quite the way your body wants it. I would say wait until you ovulate up to 16 days (so if you ovulate on day 15 or 16 then that’s the day. If you haven’t ovulated yet, switch after day 16 anyway). So the latest you’d be switching is day 17. Over the next few months hopefully we will see your cycle start to get shorter and more regular so that we can push back to maximum day 16, then 15, then 14. Most women ovulate around 14, but could be 15 or 16 even in a 28 day cycle so just be mindful of your body. The goal here is a gentle compromise between your actual cycle length and the ideal we’re shooting for. Great question!

  120. Sylena

    Dr Amy,

    I am 37 and the first day of my last cycle was 8 weeks and 2 days ago. From what I understand from above, I would need to start with the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds rotation, is that correct? As well as primrose oil? I am having all the symptoms I would normaly have just before cycling….for the past month! The only dietray change I have made is i’ve started brewing and drinking kombutcha. I’ve consulted my GYN and she’s ordered bloodwork but she mainly wants to give me a one time progesterone pill. I am interested in long trem support not a one time fix. Please advise.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sylena,
      Starting with the sunflower/sesame sounds good! If we get to the next new moon and still no cycle, then switch to flax/pumpkin. Does that make sense? So follow your own cycle to start, but if no cycle is happening then follow the lunar cycle. It does take a while to normalize things, but hopefully this will help! Keep me posted!

  121. Jessica

    Hi! I struggle with a lot of allergies and food sensitivities. I would love to try this – I am peri-menopausal and have struggled with my hormones most of my life til I was tested for food allergies when I was 30 – but I am allergic to both sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. What would a good replacement for those be?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jessica,
      So I”m just in the process of researching this but so far there isn’t much info on good substitute seeds. I would try 2-3 Brazil nuts for natural selenium, 1/2 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds to keep the zinc and 1 tablespoon safflower oil for the linoleic acid. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s at least workable and will help to push your body in the right direction. Also when you’re doing it this way I would add in the EPO just to make sure we’re going in the right direction. I would love to hear how this goes for you so keep me posted!

  122. Pingback: Seed Cycling and Pregnancy Before, During and After | To Health With That!

  123. Heather

    Hi Dr Amy, I am 45 and am on day 85 of my cycle and still no period. I have using femmenessence (maca) and DIM to help regulate my hormones for several months, and my periods were still irregular… on about a 35-50 day cycle. 2 weeks ago I started seed rotation.

    Is it ok to do seed rotation in combination with the DIM & maca or do I need to go for progesterone to get my cycle back? And can I continue to drink hemp milk daily without affecting the seed rotation?

    Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Heather,
      So – the hemp milk might be estrogenic enough to be throwing things off so maybe try switching to almond or coconut milk (soy is also estrogenic so that wouldn’t be a good alternative). In general it’s okay to combine seed cycling with maca or DIM, but I don’t know your hormone history prior to this, so??? It could be a good idea to work one-on-one with someone to refine your protocol and make sure it’s the best one for you given your complete hormone history because that matters. Keep me posted – I’d love to hear what happens!

      1. Heather

        Thank you, Dr. Amy. I appreciate your feedback. My integrative doc suggested I add back in fish oil since I’ve been off for 6 weeks while doing the seed rotation and still haven’t got my period. He thinks I need the other benefits of fish oil. Do you know people who have been able to have success with the seed rotation while consuming fish oil during the off time?

        Thanks again,

  124. radhika

    Hi AMY,

    Thanks for Reply.

    This is Radhika, My cycle is not 28 days cycle prior to seed cycling , i will check with this month as well in the second phase and will let u know but i see my body getting hot in second phase in last 2 months.

  125. Judy K.

    I am so happy to have found your website! I saw a holistic nutritionist who suggested seed cycling for very problematic PMS and cramps. I started 2 months ago and each month have gotten my period on day 14 of my cycle; however, after researching seed cycling, I realize now that she had me taking the wrong combination of seeds (flax/sunflower days 1-14 & pumpkin/sesame days 15-28). So, today I got my period again on day 14 and it also doesn’t coincide with the lunar phase, as full moon is in a week. Should I start over using the proper seed combination again now that I’m back to day 1? The nutritionist also has me taking fish oil and evening primrose oil everyday and it seems that, by your information, that might also be messing me up. Thank you for any help with how to proceed.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Judy,
      Ack! Yes – doing the seeds in the reverse order can actually induce an early cycle. Since you’ve started your cycle re-start at day 1 using the proper seed combination. Don’t worry too much about the lunar cycle – your body will likely re-adjust to that over the course of a few months. Given your current situation I would also cycle the EPO and Fish oil with the appropriate seeds. Good luck and keep me posted! Also if your cycle continues to start on day 14 even with the proper combination then please be evaluated by your OB-GYN just to make sure that there isn’t anything else going on that just happened to start around the same time. Keep me posted – I’d love to hear what changes!

      1. Judy K.

        Hi Dr.Amy, thank you for your reply. Here is my update and new question: I started over with seed rotation on day 1 of my last cycle and used only fish oil until day 14, then switched to sunflower/sesame seeds and evening primrose oil on day 15. I am now on day 45 and have not gotten a period, do I just keep doing the second phase of seeds like I have been doing until I get a period, or should I switch back to pumpkin/flax? I have felt cramps and some PMS for the past 2 weeks but period never came, but I had gotten it every 2 weeks 3 times prior to this cycle (as per my last comment) so maybe I am just still just readjusting from that? Thank you for any tips on how I should proceed with seeds & oils!

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Judy,
          Wow – yes. After so many really short cycles in a row I think your body is probably still adjusting. I’d say just keep going with the second phase of seeds. I don’t know what your cycle was like prior to the every two weeks so go by your own comfort level. My guess would be you’ll skip a cycle (so have your period about 12-15 days from now) but if it carries on too long, then maybe pick up the seed cycling again with the moon phase. Does that make sense?

  126. Karen B

    I’d love to start this but have a couple questions.

    #1. What about other seeds – namely chia and hemp seeds? I normally include both in my diet. Can they still be included? If so do they need to be cycled?

    #2: Can I have MORE of the appropriate seeds for that time of the cycle? Like 2T of each or some on some days? Or is that too much? Like tomorrow can I make a “porridge” from 2T each flax and pumpkin seeds (along with some shredded coconut and neutral ground nuts and fruit)?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Karen,
      Great questions! So – chia seeds have a million benefits, and I love them for the balancing that they do on other hormones (like insulin and blood sugars, as well as leptin – one of the hunger hormones). In terms of hormone effects with estrogen and progesterone we don’t really know. I haven’t ever come across any research in that direction, so I’d say they’re a great addition to diet generally but not so much a part of seed cycling.

      Hemp seeds are strongly hormonal – although research is unclear about which hormones they boost or lower. In terms of smoking marijuana one of the known side effects is increase in estrogen in men (not great) so I would guess that they would be most appropriate in the estrogen part of the cycle with the flax/pumpkin mix, but that is just my best guess. The only research I’ve found on the subject is in mice who have had their ovaries removed to mimic menopause, but the conclusion is that post-menopausal mice who eat hemp seeds have fewer problems than those who don’t. Here’s the link if you’d like to read it. Bottom line is chia can be included anytime, hemp should probably be cycled into the first half of the cycle, which is the estrogenic phase.

      In terms of having more – I love seeds, so I often do have more – I just try to stick with the appropriate seeds for that phase of the cycle, or with neutral seeds like chia. Occasionally though I could tell hormonally that I was overdoing it a little so just listen to your body! Your porridge sounds lovely. 🙂

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Karen,
          I haven’t ever incorporated hemp seeds, but many people do. And as far as I know nuts are neutral so no worries there. Many of the seeds used in other ethnic cooking and ethnic medicines like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine are strongly hormonal though – I will do a post about them in the next few months. 🙂

  127. antenniell

    I am seed cycling and love it. My question is, when I do get pregnant / am breastfeeding, what do I do with the seed cycling?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      So glad you’re enjoying it! I love it too – it feels like such a nourishing thing as a woman. When I got pregnant I switched to just mixed seeds, without cycling. So I kept eating sunflower, flax, pumpkin and sesame seeds (along with chia for it’s other benefits) but didn’t cycle them – I just enjoyed small amounts of all of them to help with baby’s growth and development. I made an equal part mixture that I could quickly add to oatmeal or smoothies or soups and that worked great for me. Now I’m 6 months post-partum and I’m thinking this feels like a good time to start seed cycling again with the lunar phases to help my body transition back to cycling. I hope this helps!

  128. Athanasia

    Will using a blend of oils (I like to use Udo’s choice Ultimate oil blend which inclydes flaxseed oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil, rice germ oils ) during the seed cycling interrupt it? Thank you very much!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Athanasia,
      I like the Udo’s choice – it’s lovely. I think because it’s got such a good variety that it will be balanced and shouldn’t push the hormones in either direction – so my opinion would be that it’s probably okay unless you’re especially hormone sensitive. Maybe if you’re doing the seed cycling for three months or so with the Udo’s oil and not really seeing changes then switch to a different oil and see if that helps. My guess would be that it won’t be a problem. Keep me posted – I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  129. Jenny

    Is there any concern for the phytoestrogens in the flax seed? I heard if one carries the BRCA gene and they don’t know it (such as myself – I have never been tested), eating anything with phytoestrogens can increase their chances of developing breast cancer. Pls advise. Thanks!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jenny,
      There are phytoestrogens in flax seeds, which is part of what makes seed cycling happen. If you have a strong family history of breast cancer (which might indicate the BRCA gene is a possibility) then I”d talk with your doctor before you try any new protocol for hormone balancing – just to make sure. Even one as gentle as seed cycling. If you don’t know your family history then it might be wise to be tested so that you can put your mind at ease – it’s not easy having to be vigilant about everything that might be a phytoestrogen simply because so many herbs, plants and foods are. I hope this helps!

    2. susanna brook

      Hi Amy,
      Ive just started the seed cycling and am on day 6 of flax/pumpkin. Do you have to consume the seeds ground, or can i use alternatives such as pumpkin butter,raw pumpkin seeds, flax oil, sunflower oil?
      Also, sesame has been highlighted as an allergen to me, so is there an alternative to this seed for my luteal phase?
      Im super excited to see results 🙂

      1. amyneuzil Post author

        Hi Susanna,
        Great questions! Pumpkin butter or pumpkin seeds will work fine because you’re getting the whole seed, but just the oils (like the flax oil or sunflower oil) may not be enough by themselves (although they will certainly boost the process). Whole seeds are best in whatever form. The only one it’s really important to grind is the flax simply because they’re hard to chew so often will stay whole through your digestive tract, which means you’re missing out on some of the benefits. If you can’t do the sesame, then just double up on the sunflower and maybe add the EPO because the sunflower by itself isn’t quite as effective. Keep me posted – I’d love to hear how it works for you!

        1. susanna brook

          ThANkYou AMY,
          Im about to start my luteal phase, so I will keep you posted on progress 🙂

  130. Alexandra

    Hi there. My period is a few days late, as this is only my first month seed cycling. Do I still continue to eat sunflower and sesame until I begin to menstruate?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Alexandra,
      Yes – generaly continue the sunflower/sesame until your flow starts and then switch over. Most of us have a long follicular phase (lots of estrogen) and a short luteal phase (not so much progesterone) so encouraging more progesterone is typically a good thing. Keep me posted on how this all works for you!

  131. Tara Violetta

    Hello I’ve been seed cycling for almost two months. I’ve did the seasame/sunflower seed for 14 days, so I moved to pumpkin/flax For the last five daysbut still no period. what should I do

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Tara,
      Keep following the rhythm of 14 days of sesame/sunflower and 14 days of pumpkin/flax. Even if you’re not seeing a cycle in there hopefully your body is normalizing. Once your period comes, then re-start on day 1 with the flax and pumpkin again. You might just be skipping a month, or if you’ve been really irregular then it may take several months to start to normalize. I hope this helps!

  132. Radhika

    Dr Amy,

    I am on Seed cycling since 24 days today is my 25th day and i got my period. now shall i continue with sesame and sunflower seeds or should I shift to pumpkin and flax seeds or should i give break for seeds for 3 days ?

    My menstrual cycle history is very bad i am an amenorrhea patient my age is 28 some times period absence for 3 months .

    Very impressed with your article and tried now i got my period on 25th day please answer my question i am confused which seeds to consume in this 3 days duration.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Radhika,
      I’d switch back to the pumpkin/flax combo. Your cycle isn’t regular yet, but keeping those first 14 days stable will help. Over time it will shift, but it’s a slow shift. I’m so glad you’re doing these – keep me posted please! I’d love to hear about your experience.

      1. Radhika

        Thanks for the reply Amy …

        But I continued with sunflower/sesame seeds till 28th day(4 days) 🙁 and now again switched to pumpkin\flax seeds will keep a note of your reply for next cycle.

        Am really thankful to you after an year i got my period without medication.

        Wonderfull article…. 🙂

        1. Radhika

          Hi Amy,

          Today is my 23rd day and i got my period will start with Pumpkin/flax seeds as per ur suggestion.

          But i have few queries regarding my cycle last month i got on 24th day and this month on 23rd which i am worried about why its not 28 days cycle as i am doing every thing as suggested ?

          One more query is there any mistake i am doing on consumption of seeds quantity? why i am asking because as per 1 tbsp around 14 grms each seed as per cycle i am taking my husband saying just to check with quantity as cycle is not 28 days.

          when i am adding sesame/sunflower in the second phase to my diet my body is getting very hot is there any solution for this? No problem with pumpkin\flax seeds.

          I hope you can help me with these queries as i am worried soo much.

          Amy Please reply me ASAP.

          Thanks in Advance .

          1. amyneuzil Post author

            Hi Radhika,
            Was your cycle 28 days prior to starting the seed cycling? If not, then give it a few months – this isn’t a quick-fix, it’s more of a gentle long-term balancer. If your cycle was 28 days before starting then there may be something in this that doesn’t agree with you (probably in the sesame/sunflower phase since you’re having the heat reaction). Let me know and we’ll see if we can sort it out. As far as quantity – you’re doing great!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Melanie,
      I don’t know of a great direct substitute, but you could just try double the amount of flax seeds. Part of what the pumpkin seeds contribute is zinc so if the double dose of flax isn’t working you could also add a small amount of zinc those days (maybe 15 mg?). Give it a shot and keep me posted.

  133. Jessica

    Thank you for this informative article! I was on different forms of oral birth control for over 10 years and am going to incorporate these seeds in hopes to get my period back. I have been off birth control for about 5 months and still have no signs of ovulation or period – do you know about how long it takes people to get menstruation back after long periods of birth control?

    Also I am wondering if the seeds can be taken at different times during the day? I like putting flax in my oatmeal but then save the pumpkin seeds for lunch or dinner. Also, will it negative affect the cycle if I also am using tahini (sesame seed paste) during the flax/pumpkin seed phase of the cycle?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Jessica,
      Great idea! Honestly if you’ve been on birth control pills for years it can take quite a long time to get a normal cycle back. I’ve seen a number of clients who have gone a year or more without a period. The seeds should help! No problem taking the different seeds at different times during the day – that should be just fine. The tahini might be a bit confusing for your body during the flax/pumpkin phase of things. All of this is small doses of seeds so I’d say if you can avoid it then it’s probably a good idea at first – at least until you get a regular cycle back. Great luck and let me know how it all goes!

  134. Darleen Wright

    Dr. Amy

    I am 50yrs old and going through menopause. I have not had a period in almost 20yrs. When I have sex it hurts so the doctor put me on hormones. I started reading on the seed cycling would this help for this situation? If so when should I start the cycling? Thanks

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Great question Darleen!
      The seed cycling can help slowly and is absolutely fantastic for women who are post-menopausal because it helps your body to maintain the natural rhythm you are used to even when you’re not having your cycle. For painful intercourse it will be helpful in the long-run, but it takes a while for your body to build up those tissues so the hormone (especially hormone cream topically to the area) will help much more quickly. Often women will take hormones short term to build up and strengthen the tissues and then use seed cycling long-term to maintain tissue integrity. When you aren’t cycling, just start according to the moon phases because your body will easily fall into that rhythm.

  135. Lakshmi

    Dr. Amy,
    I am aged 33, married lady (got married in 2009 August), got aborted twice and till date no kids. I have a problem of endometriosis. I get my period a week ahead of the date since many years. I believe this is due to improper hormonal balance. I want to start this seed cycling process to get my hormonal balance. Can I start it viewing my background?? Need your guidance so that I can start it as I am craving for getting pregnant. Please help. Thanks in advance !!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Lakshmi,
      Absolutely you can start seed cycling – it’s very gentle and safe for anyone as long as they aren’t allergic to any seeds. With endometriosis usually your estrogen levels are higher than average so anything you can do to boost progesterone will be helpful. Also given your history it would be a good idea to start to talk with your Gynecologist about your intention to get pregnant just to make sure that everything possible is being done. It will take a few months, but let me know how you feel with the seed cycling!

      1. Lakshmi

        Hi Amy,
        How are you?? I am very happy & satisfied with seed cycling idea. Definitely seen a difference in my cycles. Sorry couldn’t send you reply soon.
        Need one clarification. Can i continue seed cycling when I get pregnant?? Please let me know..

        1. amyneuzil Post author

          Hi Lakshmi,
          I’m so glad you’re enjoying the seed cycling! All of these seeds have nutritional benefits in pregnancy, but with pregnancy your cycle has stopped and your body is now starting a different rhythm that helps baby to grow. Taking the seeds is still beneficial, but in different amounts. Here’s a whole post about it to get you started. Good luck if you’re trying for a little one – they are such a joy.

  136. Samantha

    Hi Dr. Amy,

    I suffer from hypothalamic amenorrhea (period M.I.A. for 7+ months since going off birth control pills) and I wanted to give seed cycling a try in hopes of balancing my hormones. I have also significantly decreased workouts and am trying to gain weight. I make homemade pumpkin seed milk that I drink daily and I was wondering if it might be messing up my estrogen levels?

    I plan on starting seed cycling today on the new moon, but I’m confused on what to do after day 28? There are two days before the next new moon. Do I continue with the sesame seed/sunflower seed or do I switch back to the flax seed/pumpkin seed after day 28?


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Samantha,
      Great question! So – the pumpkin seed milk (which sounds delicious) may actually get in the way when you start the seed cycling, just because it’s constant input of one of the types of seeds. I’d say if you’re starting the seed cycling then either cycle between pumpkin seed and maybe sunflower seed milk or a neutral unrelated nut milk like cashew or almond, or just switch entirely to a more neutral nut milk. Does that make sense? So in addition to cycling whole seeds, cycle the seed milks as well. In terms of the moon phases – any extra days beyond the 28 in one lunar cycle can either be days off of all seeds, or just continue the sesame/sunflower mix until the new moon and then switch back to flax/pumpkin. I hope this helps and if it’s unclear just write back! Good luck and keep me posted.

  137. Sarah C

    I have found seed cycling to be an amazing and easy way to effectively regulate my cycle (for the first time ever in my life!). I have one tiny issue and question, though, that perhaps you could help me with? I put the seeds into my morning smoothies (making the whole thing even easier – no need to pre-grind because of my powerful blender) and I HATE the taste of sunflower seeds. It alters the smoothie taste in a way that I find offensive (and my husband, who shares my smoothies, is allergic to sunflower seeds). Is there another seed (like chia or something?) that would work as well in combo with the sesame? Thank you!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Sarah,
      Great question! The way I understand it the ideal is to combine sunflower and sesame seeds, but if that isn’t possible for whatever reason (like you hate them – good enough) then you can try switching to just sesame for that half of the month and see if you get the same results. It may be a little bit different for your body but should help to keep things balanced. If it isn’t enough, then you can make the choice of whether or not it’s worth it to go back to the sunflower sesame combo. Keep me posted, I”d love to know how just the sesame works for you!

  138. Milla

    Hi there,
    Wow..Im so happy with this article!!! I want to give seed cycling a try since I think its really gonna be a gentle and all natural way to balance my hormones. I have irregular cycles (age 42). I used to have a very regular cycle of 28 days, but the last months my cycles varies from 28 days to 18 and sometimes 14 days. So Im wondering when to start the seed cycling process. Start when my menstruation starts with the flax-pumkin combination and begin on day 15-28 with the sesame-sunflower routine- and sort of ignoring what my body does menstruation-wise? Or just start on new moon (day 1) and follow the mooncalendar?
    Thank you for your advice!!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Milla,
      I would start with your next menstruation just to follow your body’s rhythm. Eventually it should normalize, but if you’ve always been regular and suddenly there’s a change it could be good to talk to your gynecologist about it as well just to rule out issues. Sometimes stress or other hormone fluctuations can do it, but be sure there isn’t anything you’re missing! Great luck and keep me posted. 🙂

  139. Bianca

    Thank you doc!
    So, I’ve noticed that on the flax/pumpkin phase I’ve been a little more constipated and got a few pimples. Any correlation or is it all in my head? I’ve been just fine on the other phase.

    I’m just curious, I’ve always heard not to eat a seed raw, that it needs a slight roast to break some chemical. Any thoughts on that?

    Thank you for the amazing website!

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Bianca,
      So glad you found me! The constipation and pimples could be correlated – both can be symptoms of high estrogen (which is what we’re encouraging with the seeds in this phase of the cycling.) For some people estrogen can be difficult to eliminate and so boosting estrogen, even slightly, can lead to some body changes like this. Usually if someone is experiencing these symptoms I have them start soluble fiber and more water for that half of their cycle to help the body detoxify any unnecessary estrogen. That way we still get a strong estrogen-driven ovulation, but not the digestive changes and pimples. In terms of the roasting thing – honestly it doesn’t make sense to me. One of the biggest benefits to many seeds is the healthy fats they add to our diet, and most of those fats are extremely heat sensitive so roasting runs the risk of destroying one of the main nutritional bonuses – at least in my opinion. Thanks for reading!

  140. Amy

    Hi. I was wondering when exactly I should start seed cycling? My periods seem to be in direct opposite to the moon cycle you are suggesting. I menstruate at the Full moon. Should I allign with the moon cycle or should I jump on with my current cycle? It is always regular and pretty predictable. October 27 was the full moon…I began menstruating on the 28th.??? :/

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Amy,
      That is so interesting – it seems like although most women do ovulate at the full moon, it’s really common to be reversed. I would jump on with your cycle instead of with the moon. I’ve had a number of clients who have slowly, over the course of a year or so, shifted it to the ovulation with the full moon by doing this. Great question and keep me posted!

  141. Pingback: My Battle With Estrogen...The Aftermath of An HA Diagnosis - Skinny Fitalicious

  142. Rebecca

    Hello, Great article! I am very interested in aligning my cycle with the moon. I was going to try that first but maybe I should do both together, I mean the seed cycling. My cycle is regular but not in sync with the moon. Should I see if I could get in line with the moon before starting the seed cycling??? I am really hoping that by doing one of these, it will raise my progesterone naturally. It is low and my doc suggested I use biodentical progesterone. I did use it for a month during days 14-26 and felt great. But, on my next cycle I started it again on day 14 and I could not take how it was making me feel. Felt like I had to urinate very often, slight cramps, and I got a yeast infection which I never have had. So I stopped. I had read somewhere that those were signs of too much progesterone??? Anyway, just trying to find the balance… I am only 39 and would like to get these hormones under control. Thank you!!

  143. Jennifer

    Do you have to soak the seeds first to do this, or can I buy the dried seeds and just grind the appropriate ones together in my coffee grinder in the morning to add to my morning oatmeal/smoothie?

  144. Linda

    Does it matter which phase you start on, or do you need to begin on the follicular phase?

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Hi Linda,
      I don’t really think it matters too much – this is such a gentle nudge towards balance that it’s safe to start at any time in your cycle. Just make sure you’re starting with the appropriate seeds for the appropriate phase. I hope it’s helpful!

  145. Kristen

    You initially said the second half should include pumpkin seeds too, but then in the explanation said sesame. Just thought u might want to clarify.

    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Awesome catch Kristen – I appreciate it. That was just a brain-fart for me. It is flax/pumpkin for the first half of the cycle and sunflower/sesame for the second. THANKS!!!

  146. Nony

    Dr. Amy

    Thanks for a very interesting blog. I have one question about it though. I am not sure about other seeds but sesame and flax seeds are considered warm in nature in our culture and recommended to be taken only during winters. What would you suggest?


    1. amyneuzil Post author

      Fantastic question!
      So – first thought is that I am not an expert in either TCM or Ayurveda – both of which attend more to the energetics of foods and medicines, so please keep that in mind. My thoughts about it would be to take your own constitution into account. If your nature is very hot and you tend to be affected strongly by warming things then this protocol might not be for you. If you tend to be more chilly or neutral then I would think that for this specific purpose you would be fine taking these foods to help with hormone balance, but make sure that the bulk of your foods are more cooling through the warmer months of the year. Also listen to your body – if you decide to try seed cycling for a few months and notice that you are having more heat-type symptoms then this might not be the right path for you. I hope this helps!

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