I recently pulled out seeds from my freezer to do a seed rotation. With all the change and forward movement that spring brings, it can be easy to feel off-balance. There has certainly been a lot of change in my life as I have been preparing to move to Springfield. I'm using the seed rotation to help re-establish some rhythm in my body and to support my health through all these changes.
I was first introduced to the concept of seed rotation while attending the National College of Natural Medicine. While I have not seen any placebo-controlled, double-blinded studies on this technique, I have empirically found it to be very helpful for many women in the clinical setting, particularly when trying to regulate an erratic or symptomatic menstrual cycle. Don't be scared away men! Seeds can be helpful for your hormone balancing, as well.
What does have good scientific evidence are the health effects of lignans in seeds. Lignans are a class of phytoestrogens that have high antioxidant effects. These phytoestrogens can help lower the effects of estrogen in the body by binding up estrogen receptors and exerting a far weaker estrogen effect. Seeds are also rich in fiber, which can have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, support better bowel elimination, and to help reduce risk of certain types of cancer. Seeds also provide essential fatty acids that can help with hormone synthesis.
Seed rotation is typically timed with the menstrual cycle. If you do not have a menstrual cycle and/or if you are male, you can still use seed rotation; you can time it with the month or some people use the lunar cycle. If you are using your menstrual cycle, day one is the first day of bleeding. If you are using the lunar cycle, you can use the full moon as day one.
On day 1-14, grind raw pumpkin and flax seeds in a dedicated grinder (i.e. a coffee grinder or spice grinder). Add one tablespoon to a salad, smoothie, yogurt, applesauce or other food of choice. Do this twice a day. Store any unused seeds in the freezer to prevent them from going rancid.
On day 15-end of cycle, grind raw sesame and sunflower seeds in the grinder. Take one tablespoon, twice a day similar to above. Again, store your seeds in the freezer.
Optional: Some people also choose to take fish oil on days 1-14 and switch to evening primrose or borage oil on days 15-end of cycle. If you are taking medications or have a chronic health condition, please check with your healthcare provider before adding supplements.
I generally find that many hormonal issues have improvement after 2-3 months. It is not an instant fix, but has been well worth the time and patience of many who have tried it. It is also one more way to remind ourselves to connect to cycles and rhythms in our lives.