First, Happy Superbowl Sunday to those watching!
Now, I already mentioned on my blog that "Seeds (including pumpkin, flax, sesame, and sunflower) are helpful in regulating menses (aka female periods). For the first 15 days of the menstrual cycle, both sesame and sunflower seeds should be eaten daily. Then, for the latter half of the cycle, pumpkin and flax are to be consumed".
I thought I would elaborate on this point just a bit. Although the use of seeds to treat delayed, painful, or irregular menses has not been researched, it is a commonly used practice in naturopathic medicine and has had good results. The theory behind the seeds is that they contain specific phytoestrogens that modulate the hormones produced in the thirty day menstrual cycle.
How to incorporate the seed cycle into the menstrual cycle:
For the first ~15 days of the cycle (starting at the onset of menses)
Blend (in a high speed blender or food processor) sesame seeds and sunflower seeds until a chunky but spreadable paste is formed. Or, mix equal parts tahini (sesame seed butter) and sunflower seed butter (both available at large grocery stores in the natural foods aisle) in a bowl until homogeneous. Store both mixtures in the fridge. Everyday (for the ~15 days prior to menses), simply spread 1-2 tablespoons of the seed butter onto toast, rice cakes, crackers, rolls, apples, or celery sticks. Or you may add the butter to smoothies or on top of oatmeal.
For the last ~15 days of the cycle (the days leading up to menses)
Make and consume the following: grind flaxseeds and in a grinder (a cheap coffee grinder works well) or high speed blender, add to pumpkin seed butter (found in the natural food aisle of major grocery stores) in a ratio of 1 part flaxseeds, 2 parts pumpkin seed butter. Stir well to mix and store in fridge. Eat 1-2 tablespoons daily for the ~15 days before menses.
Out of all of the seeds, sesame seeds are especially good for menstrual pain. How to take advantage of this property: Grind (in a blender or coffee grinder) sesame seeds (about 1/2 a cup in total). Now, add a half of a teaspoon of this powder to a cup of hot water. Drink this sesame "tea" twice daily to reduce muscle spasm and pain during menstruation. Apparently you can also drink the tea before menses (two days prior). Lastly, it is thought that adding a handful of this powder to a hot bath can also help with management of the pain.
(Note: I'm not (yet) a Doctor. Please consult a health professional when dealing with menstrual pain and delayed menses).