Jenny Schatzle

Dr. Dawn DeSylvia

Seed Cycling: An Integrative Approach to Balancing Hormones

EPISODE: 26   |    DATE: January 21, 2021

“Hormones are one of the great orchestrators of our body. They are these antennae of messengers to tell the other systems of our body how to function.”

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Key Takeaways

  • Hormones are one of the great orchestrators of our body. We have what’s called a neuroendocrine immune access. So our neurologic health is affected by all of the hormones in our body.
  • The hormones are these antennae of messengers to tell the other sytmetms of our body how to function. 
  • When we’re pushed into a overdrive with either fear, overwhelm or inflammation because of gut imbalance or chronic microbes in the body – this can lead to hormonal imbalance.
  • While it may not be right for every woman, what Dr. DeSylvia loves about seed cycling is that it opens a door for women to start to become more aware of the messages of their body.
  • Seed cycling can:
    • Give women more energy
    • Stabilize their cycles
    • Decrease PMS symptoms
    • Help with fertility
    • Help with menopausal symptoms
  • We need to honor our cycles. The first 14 days of our cycle, we are estrogen dominant.
  • For the 3-7 days of our cycle, we shouldn’t be pushing ourselves too much.
  • Progesterone plummets right before our cycle, which explains why women get moody, sensitive or irritable. And sometimes our progesterone plummets too low which is something to work with a health care provider around.
  • Seed cycling explained: 
    • The first 14 days of our cycle (from the new moon to full moon), we take estrogen fortifying seeds: chia flax and pumpkin. These start to increase and fortify those estrogen levels in our bodies and help to metabolize it.
    • And then from ovulation to the end of your – when you get your cycle again (day 14 to day 28 or 30) or from the full moon to the new moon – we eat sesame and sunflower seeds and also added evening primrose that will help fortify and metabolize progesterone levels.
  • I personally used seed cycling to help quell night sweats (I had them 2 years postpartum) and to help me sleep better at night, and also to help me get and stay pregnant with my son. That was my unique experience and truly everyone’s experience will be different.
  • Seed cycling also made my periods regular for the first time in my entire life of having a period. It won’t do that for everyone, but it did so for me.
  • Some women do seed cycling and experience negative effects, like stomach issues, acne, etc.
  • That’s why I love seed cycling because if there is a subtle imbalance in the gut or in the detox pathways, it reveals it.
  • Acne is a huge sign that there is detox impairment. The skin is one of the largest organs in the body and if our toxins are having a hard time getting out through the gut or our kidneys then it’s going to flood our through the skin. 
  • With seed cycling, the worst thing that will happen is that it’ll reveal something. It won’t really mess you up or cause irreversible harm. 
  • If you have a symptom, that’s a sign to say you know I need to work with somebody in integrative practivioner or acupuncture or homeopathy.
  • There are so many wise practitioners that can help you interpret the language of your body.
  • Seed cycling will work differently for different women.
  • Many of our adolescent girls struggling with anxiety and depression becuase they’re not being tuaght to listen to their bodies and on this school schedule of this hypervigilant schedule and not honoring their cycle. What that’s doing to their cognitive emotional development is something we have to start talking about. 
  • We have to start talking to women about these stages in our development and monthly cycles.
  • The oils in the seeds are most potent when ground, but you’ll still get their benefits if you eat them whole. Just be sure to chew them slowly. Also make sure they are organic and not cooked. They are best in their raw form for the purposes of seed cycling.
  • Seed cycling is for everyone – even men (which we don’t get into in this episode).
  • Seed cycling starts to get us in touch with natrue and the natural order of things. And that involves what ones individual natural order is.
  • Some women have successfully used seed cycling to get pregnant and for some women it doesn’t work. It invites that woman to go deeper into the layers of her healing.
  • Intermittent fasting can be great for many women, but probably best not to do it while you’re bleeding, pregnant or postpartum. How many hours to do it varies from individual to individual. For some women 16 hours is a great number. For others, 12 hours is best. Work with your care provider to find the sweet spot for you.
  • Intermittent fasting has been used to help with infertility because it helps with insulin sensitivity.

About Dr. DeSylvia

Dr. Dawn DeSylvia is a nationally recognized family medicine doctor and founder of The Center For Whole Health, an Integrative and Functional Medicine practice, in West Los Angeles, CA. 

Prior to opening her center in 2013, where she is working to bridge the gap between the “kind of health care we have and the kind of health care we should have,” she trained and served on the faculty at UCLA.  She believes through earlier detection of disease risks and a wide range of effective treatments that are not currently discussed within conventional healthcare, we can greatly impact and influence our health for the better. It is her mission to bring forth the most advanced diagnostic tools and interventions in order to support her patients’ most vibrant and optimal health.

At her center, a wide variety of medical modalities are used in order to identify the root cause of one’s imbalance and inflammation (and thus disease or disease risk) and effectively treat patients. These include naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, oxygenative therapies, Ayurvedic medicine, a full service IV center offering customized nutritional, immune, brain and energy enhancing treatments, as well as  regenerative medicine for pain and cosmetics (PRP, Prolotherapy, Prolozone, PRP facials and PRP for hair regrowth).

The Center also emphasizes the importance of the mind and spirit in one’s health. “My diverse training, my own personal journey, as well as being a long time student of meditation, has profoundly impressed upon me the impact our mind and beliefs have on our physical health. And in turn how our physical health (gut, hormones, immune system) influences our brain.  It is from this perspective that I integrate the most up-to-date science, functional medicine, and principles of quantum physics into my practice.”

Dr. DeSylvia is an impassioned integrative practitioner redefining standards of modern medicine. She is a sought-after speaker and author whose speaking engagements include The Upgrade Labs (Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof) Annual Conference, Hay House Radio Interviews, Live Aware Conference with Amy B. Scher, Scott The Better Health Guy, The Chalene Johnson Show, The So Cal Wellness Summit, OsteoStrong Strong Talks, The Thinking Mom’s Revolution Lyme Summit, as well as The Breaking Ordinary Podcast with Andy Petrankis. She also has written for many online publications including Organic Authority and Shape Magazine, to name a few. 





Resources in this episode

Article that coins the term Matrescence

Book: In the Flo by Alisa Vitti

Article about how women were left out of clinical trials until the early 90’s. Also check out this one and this one. 

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