How alternative medicine can help you conceive
Seed cycling is becoming more popular to help balance hormones and regulate your cycle. Seed cycling is all about eating certain seeds (yes, food) in your daily diet at specific times throughout the menstrual cycle. It’s being recommended for everything from hormone related acne, to PMS, menstrual cramps, irregular cycles and infertility, but how does it work? Can seed cycling really benefit fertility?
It’s important to keep in mind that natural therapies like seed cycling are nutritionally supportive choices take time to see rewards but are easy to do and enhances your essential fatty acids.. which promotes health and longevity.
Seed Cycling Basics
The basic concept of seed cycling is simply to consume flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds at specific times during the menstrual cycle to promote hormone balance and support the phases of the menstrual cycle.
Here’s why it works:
1) Lignans in seeds have gentle phytohormone activity, which help to eliminate excess estrogen, a common concern linked to genetics, excess body fat and chemicals in the environment.
2) By balancing estrogen levels, seed lignans help to encourage healthy hormone balance.
3) Seeds are an excellent source of essential fats, which your body utilizes in its own natural hormone production.
- During the follicular phase (the first half of the menstrual cycle), flax and pumpkin seeds are used to balance excess estrogen and encourage progesterone production for normal ovulation. Flax seeds are an especially rich source of lignans that bind to excess estrogen to help the body eliminate it. Pumpkin seeds are used for their essential fats and zinc content, important for progesterone production.
- During the luteal phase (the second half of the menstrual cycle), switch to sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Sesame seed lignans help balance excess estrogen, but are not as potent as the flax seeds used in the first phase. Sunflower seeds offer natural selenium content for liver support and hormone regulation as the menstrual cycle comes to a close.
How To Use Seed Cycling To Fit Your Cycle
We know there are many varying cycle lengths and each woman may ovulate on a different cycle day.
- For women with 28-30 day cycles, start your follicular seeds from cycle day 1 (the first day of your period) to around day 14 (or whenever you know you ovulate). Switch to luteal phase seeds after ovulation (around day 15 to day 28 or 30).
- If a 20-24 day cycle is normal for you, chart your cycle and follow the seed cycle recommendations for your specific follicular and luteal phase patterns.
- For women with irregular cycles, experts from Laura’s Natural Life suggest beginning your follicular seeds at the next full moon and switching to the luteal seeds 14 days later. Click the following link for our guide to BioRhythmic Lunar Fertility Chartingif interested.
Tips for Seed Cycling
1. Invest in a good grinder (a coffee grinder used only for seeds/nuts works great).
2. In order to benefit from the oils and lignans, buy organic, raw, whole seeds and grind them immediately before adding them to your favorite foods choices. Otherwise, your seeds may pass through your digestive system completely undigested.
3. Aim to consume 2 tbsp of ground seeds daily, using equal amounts of the suggested seeds for each phase of the menstrual cycle you’re in.
4. Fresh ground seeds can be added to many delicious foods!
5. If you’re using raw seeds, you can soak them overnight for easier digestion. After soaking, rinse them and drain well, then dry roast them in the oven for 10 minutes at a heat no higher than 300o fahrenheit.
6. Seed oils become rancid over time. To preserve the freshness of your seeds, store them in the refrigerator or freezer, especially if you’re grinding more than one serving of each seed at a time, and use them as needed.
Seed cycling round-up
Be consistent and give it time. Experts suggest it takes at least three complete menstrual cycles to experience changes and benefits from seed cycling. It’s a good idea to note your symptoms in a journal.
Seed cycling is a convenient, affordable and nutritious choice to encourage healthy hormonal balance.
– Hall, A. (2014, April). Seed Cycling for Hormonal Balance. Retrieved from: http://theherbalacademy.com/seed-cycling-for-hormonal-balance/
You’re young enough, healthy enough, and can’t understand why you have “fertility issues.”
…its been months of trying…still no baby.. why ?
It seems to be a modern-day burden all too many couples face, and conventional medicine has answers but…cannot explain WHY.
Doctors are usually to quick to label couples “infertile” and recommend drastic measures, rather than ask WHY and dig deep to uncover causative factors.
The good news is, many “infertility issues” have very little to do with your fertility.
Rather, they are symptoms of common health deficiencies that can be quickly corrected through natural remedies, nutrition, acupuncture and lifestyle changes.
Here are 3 safe and natural fertility remedies you can use to prepare for a healthy pregnancy:
#1: Balance your blood sugar
This seems like such simple advice, but very few people understand the blood-sugar-hormone connection and how it can inhibit fertility.
When your blood sugar is out of whack—which happens if you’re not getting enough sleep, are too stressed, eating too much sugar and refined carbs, aren’t eating the right balance of nutrients, or aren’t eating enough—it affects your insulin levels.
This, in turn, causes an imbalance in other hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Remember, insulin is a hormone and all hormones are interconnected.
So, what’s the best way to keep your blood sugar balanced and help increase fertility?
- Eat small frequent meals every 2-4 hours
- Have a little protein with every small meal, like nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes, or meat
- Eat plenty of healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil, nut butters, pastured butter, hemp seeds, fish oil, etc.
- Sleep 7.5-9 hours per night. If you don’t get enough sleep it affects the hormone, leptin, which is responsible for controlling your appetite and satiety
- Replace refined sugar with natural sweeteners like stevia and limited amounts of raw honey, coconut sugar, and maple syrup
- Cut back on refined carbs like white flour, white rice, pastas, etc.
- Exercise 15-30 minutes a day
- Cut out alcohol. It’s full of sugar, messes with your hormones, and has been linked to lower sperm quality in men
- If you need a relaxing beverage, try Kombucha
#2: Give Extra Love & Support to your Detoxification Pathways
Infertility is often a symptom of toxicity.
It’s your body’s way of saying: “Hey! We have to clean house before we host a new life in here.
You can work with a practitioner on a specific detoxification program, and/or support your detox pathways through nutrition and lifestyle changes.
- Liver: Eat plenty of green vegetables and have a green drink every day.
Vegetables from the Brassica family, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, turnips, are particularly helpful for supporting Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detoxification.
- Kidneys: Proper hydration is key for healthy kidney function…but water quality matters as much as quantity.
For quality: choose either spring water or filtered water, and avoid water in plastic bottles—they’re loaded with endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
For quantity: aim to drink half your body’s weight in ounces or 8 glasses per day.
- Lympathic System: Your lymphatic system is one of the most important, largest, and most overlooked detoxification pathway.
Think of it like a river running from your neck to your ankles, sweeping away toxins and unwanted debris from your vital organs and systems.
To keep your lymphatic system flowing you need to stimulate it. You can do this through exercise (rebounding, walking, running), body brushing with a dry brush, massage, and deep breathing exercises.
Pick two methods and practice them daily.
- Gall Bladder: The best and most gentle way to cleanse your gall bladder is to drink fresh lemon tea 1-3 times per day.
Just squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a cup of hot water, drink it, and watch your skin, digestion, and elimination improve.
- Colon: Your bowels should be moving 1-3 times per day and producing well-formed stool that is easy to pass with no overly offensive odor…if they’re not, you need to address that.
My favorite gentle remedies for colon health are probiotics, drinking enough water, exercise, green drinks, cultured foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and a simple fiber supplement like psyllium, flaxseeds, or chia seeds.
- Skin: Also known as your “third kidney”, the skin is your largest detox organ. Help it by dry brushing daily, sweating, and sticking to all-natural skin care products.
#3: Key Nutrients for Men and Women
Women still tend to shoulder the infertility burden…even though over 35% of fertility cases are a guy thing!
With that understanding, try working together as a couple to help optimize these key nutrients in your diets:
Key Nutrients for Healthy Fertility in Women:
- Vitamin B12: Found in animal products like meats, fish, eggs, liver, etc.
- Iron: The most absorbable iron comes from red meats like grassfed beef, bison, lamb, and liver (you can also take a desiccated liver supplement if you prefer)
- Folate: Lentils, dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, pinto, garbanzo, navy, black and kidney beans
- Vitamin D: Often supplementation is needed, so I recommend having your levels checked. Good food sources include: mushrooms, salmon, grass-fed beef liver (or supplement), pasture-raised eggs, sustainably caught, low-mercury canned tuna (I like Safe Catch® brand)
- Magnesium: Crucial for maintaining over 500 biochemical processes. Since it’s tough to get enough from food, you can take a supplement or use a topical product safely. Food sources include leafy greens, legumes, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, kefir, almonds, dark chocolate, figs, black beans, and bananas
- Vitamin A: In traditional cultures, women in their child-bearing years were encouraged to eat plenty of Vitamin A-rich foods like fatty fish, cod liver oil, paprika, dark leafy greens, and liver
Key Nutrients for Healthy Fertility in Men:
- Zinc: oysters, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, and peanuts
- Selenium: Brazil nuts, meat, seafood, mushrooms and cereals
- Vitamin C: strawberries, broccoli and kiwi fruit
- Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit
- Vitamin A: paprika, carrots, dark leafy greens, and liver
- B vitamins: dark leafy greens, legumes, nutritional yeast, pomegranates, and lean meats
Nutrition is key! Take time and prepare for pregnancy!
Let food be our medicine!
High inflammatory foods cause hormonal to become imbalances, they can also spike your insulting and good sugar, as well as lower immunity.
Are You Ready?
#1 – Sugar. It spikes your insulin levels and is the reason behind your cravings, irritability and mood swings. This is processed foods such as baked goods, candy & fruit juices
#2 – Wheat. The problem with our wheat today is that it is hybridized. It is NOT produced in a traditional way. it also contains pesticides. Wheat is an inflammatory food.
#3 – Dairy. Dairy is a common food sensitivity. Aside from the antibiotics and hormones which you are eating and drinking, dairy contains a protein called A1 casein. This protein is inflammatory & over stimulates your immune system..
#4 – Vegetable Oils. Soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils are inexpensive and contain toxic trans fats and are highly inflammatory. They also increase your Omega 6 fatty acids which are important but too many Omega 6’s will throw off the balance to Omega 3’s which are anti-inflammatory. You need Omega 3's for healthy hormones. Replace these oils with avocado oil, grass fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, and olive oil.
You are what you east- A diet in whole foods, organic protein, and vegetables will create an healthy environment for your to become pregnant
Acupuncture plays an important role when trying to conceive in a busy world.
Experience Matters :
We have helped 1000s of women and couples get pregnant.
Our experience, as well as research, suggest that the effect of acupuncture treatments are typically cumulative. We usually recommend a minimum of eight -twelve sessions.
Your Practitioner Will Get to Know You Well
Your care will be entrusted to a highly experienced Licensed Acupuncturist who will take the time to learn about your medical history and lifestyle. Your Practitioner will then make observational diagnoses and help you create a Plan of Action.
How Everything Proceeds
- Besides weekly visit at least a month or two prior, we also recommend at least two months after insemination and possibly throughout pregnancy.
- Also recommended treatments are Pre- and post-embryo transfer
- Reduces stress & anxiety Stress can caue infertility
- enhances circulation to the uterus and cervix
- regulates menstrual cycles and balance hormonal levels
- FOR MEN aids increasing sperm count, sperm quality and health
- improves success rate of IVF from 40-60%