SEED CYCLING

Seeds in the diet might be one of my favorite ways to support hormone balance. Why? because it's easy and it can be a way to establish healthy routines that end up improving your overall wellbeing. All my female patients & clients get instructions for seed cycling.

The key players are: flax seeds and pumpkin seeds.

Flax seeds contain lignans which increase the liver’s production of SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), which binds free estrogen, DHT (the active form of testosterone that often is responsible for symptoms such as acne, hair loss, increased facial hair) and testosterone— and therefore reduces the effect of these hormones.

Incorporating flax seeds into the diet improves the ratio of 2-hydroxyestrogen:16-alpha-hydroxyestrone,  promoting the 2-OHE pathway. This is important because an improved 2:16 ratio decreases risk of estrogen sensitive cancers.

Consuming ground flax seeds is also helpful to manage “estrogen dominant” conditions by modulating estrogen levels and improving things like: uterine fibroids, PMS, heavy periods, endometriosis, irregular periods, PCOS and hot flashes.

Flax seeds have been shows to increase ovulation rates, lengthen the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and increases the progesterone to estrogen ratio.  

Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacins which function as mild 5-alpha reductase inhibitors which is helpful for preventing testosterone from becoming dihydrotestosterone (DHT— that active form mentioned above).

Ok so finally, the instructions of how to seed cycle:

  • For the first half of your cycle (assuming an average 28 day cycle: day 1-14. day 1= first day of bleeding), you incorporate 1-2 tablespoons of flax seeds and or chia seeds into smoothies/salads/whatever. This is to support healthy estrogen levels. 

  • During the second half of your cycle, incorporate 1-2 tablespoons pumpkin, sesame and/or sunflower seeds to support healthy progesterone levels. 

  • That’s it!

Be sure the seeds are freshly ground. This is important because when you buy them already ground, chances are they're already rancid =/

If you have irregular cycles, you can do this according to the lunar cycle: 1st half = new moon to full moon, 2nd half = full moon to new moon. 

Need more support or have questions about hormone health? Contact us for a 15 min complimentary consult.

WAYS TO MANAGE INFLAMMATION

Inflammation can arguably be underlying the root of most, if not all, chronic disease. I even find it to be a culprit for most hair and skin concerns! So in my practice, I use one of the basic tenants of naturopathic medicine: removing the obstacle to cure which often comes in the form of identifying the triggers for inflammation and removing them to allow the body to start healing itself.

So what is inflammation? It is a process that happens to help protect your body from infection, illness or injury. When your body is trying to fight infections, more immune cells are produced as part of the inflammatory response. It is essential for survival but that chronic, or ongoing, inflammatory chemical signaling is what is problematic and can lead to or manifest as:

  • fatigue

  • weight gain/loss

  • joint pain

  • allergies

  • skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis

  • sleep disruption

  • gas/bloating/constipation/diarrhea

  • mood changes

  • hairloss

  • acne

  • decreased tolerance to certain foods aka food sensitivities

  • development of autoimmune disease

  • hormone imbalances

  • PMS

  • accelerated aging (internal and external!)

    ETC

And for the most part, inflammation is something you can control by modifying your diet and lifestyle. Common triggers include

  • gluten! -we can talk more about gluten in another post but basically there’s value in avoiding gluten (but not in buying processed, gluten-free versions of everything ..such as donuts or cake. Sorry to burst your bubble but gluten free donuts *aren’t* health foods

  • dairy

  • sugar

  • conventional meat 

  • fragrances and chemicals in various household supplies and cosmetics 

  • and something less commonly addressed with regard to inflammation: chronic stress and suppressed emotions 

Therapeutic supplementation can also be beneficial. (But of course, they will work best if you incorporate change in your daily life primarily!) These are some general nutrients that can be helpful for general inflammation however, as mentioned it is important to identify the source causing inflammation as well.

  1. Turmeric

  2. Quercitin, antioxidants

  3. High quality fish oil with high levels of EPA

  4. B6

  5. Magnesium

  6. CoQ10

You can find all of these and other favorites in my online dispensary (discounted through Jan 2019!)

How do you know if you’re inflamed? Well you might be experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above. You can also have your doctor run a lab marker called CRP which assesses inflammation.

If you’d like to work together to tackle some of your health goals, feel free to email for more information.

HOW TO NOT SMELL (TIPS FOR SWITCHING TO A NATURAL DEODORANT)

Over the years, I have made many attempts with using natural deodorants— trying different brands, DIY homemade versions, rocks, pastes, gels, etc.. And at first they’re alright but after about a week or 2, I always feel like I sweat more and would end up going back to a conventional deodorant + anti perspirant formula. KNOWING that what makes the anti-perspirant work is the aluminum zirconium but I always justified it, “Well if I’m taking care of all these other areas— diet, skincare, supplements, exercise— then I can have my ‘guilty pleasure’ chemical deodorant+anti perspirant,” right??

WRONG

A little over a month ago, I tested my hair for heavy metals + mineral status and had aluminum and zirconium show up IN MY HAIR! It shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me because I was well-aware that I was using something, almost daily, that contained aluminum but something about seeing it on paper, seeing that my lifestyle, genetics, etc wasn’t enough to keep it from accumulating to a more alarming level really triggered the need to change something.

Why is aluminum a big deal?

It is a considered a genotoxin ( a chemical that can cause changes to a cell that may lead to cancer) and a neurotoxicant (substance that negatively affects the nervous system). These can lead to changes in the brain impairing memory, energy, kidney and liver function (2 key organs for elimination of wastes). Studies do not state that it is carcinogenic (causes cancer) or that it causes Alzhiemer’s but regardless— the changes it causes to the brain and elimination organs get in the way of optimal function and as decreased efficiency and function starts occurring in the body, that’s when you pave the way for chronic disease.

The other concern (and the reason why after 1-2 weeks you cant handle natural deodorants and want to switch back to a conventional formula) is this: the anti-perspirant effect comes from aluminum’s ability to block sweat from being released from the sweat gland. Sweat is one of the ways the body eliminates waste and toxins through the skin (another key organ for elimination- I’ve now named 3 elimination organs affected by aluminum). By using anti-perspirant regularly, you’re holding on to this waste; when you make the switch, if you’ve noticed an increase in sweat (and stench ..gross but lets be adults) after a week or so it’s because you’re now releasing what you had been blocking off… yes, even more disgusting.

So now what?

It can be so uncomfortable but I came across a few things that helped the transition and might be helpful for you too if you decide it’s time.

  • Axillary detox: I thought this was fake when I first heard of it but it’s not! and it works! Mix some apple cider vinegar and bentonite clay, 1 teaspoon each + water to get to whatever consistency you like. Apply over the axillary (armpit) region, wait 10-20 min and rinse off. The idea is you’re drawing out waste and impurities to minimize that discomfort of increased sweat (and smell) when switching

  • Chlorophyll: you can get drops to put in your water or capsules, to alkalize your body and aid in more efficient elimination of waste

  • Probiotic and probiotic containing foods to build intestinal health with good bactiera that help prevent the absorption of toxins from the digestive tract.

  • More of these foods: flax seeds, chia seeds, leafy greens, buckwheat, brown rice, broccoli— all of these help the liver and digestive system efficiently remove waste

  • Tea: dandelion tea, green tea, rooibos tea. These are antioxidant and detoxifying.

I posted the natural deodorants that I like best on social media and products I like including the chlorophyll, probiotic and herbal teas are all available on my curated dispensary. If you want more information about doing a hair mineral analysis or a medically guided biotransformation program, contact us: info@drmusavvir.com

References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5651828/#R4 , https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16045991

MY FAVORITE BEAUTY TOOL

If you've been following along with me on social media, you probably have seen that I am soon releasing my first product (!!)

This is really exciting and special for me because it's something I have been wanting to do but wanting to do in a way that felt right for me. With the growth of clean beauty products and the trend of cosmeceuticals, it was important for me come out with something that wasn't just a trend.. and furthermore something that was in line with my philosophies.

So why a gua sha?

The practice of healing massage has been around for centuries and even something I grew up with. My mom and all her sisters were (and are) avid skincare enthusiasts; they taught me from a young age that when it comes to skin, prevention is KEY. They taught me how to massage serums and creams on the face, the appropriate pressure, the correct direction and technique to prevent wrinkles (and to always, always wash my face at night, of course).

When I learned about gua sha, the practice of using a tool to massage the skin, all those memories and lessons came flooding back because many of the techniques are the same-- all using the basic principle of "up and out." But what makes gua sha even more fascinating is its long-standing use and practice of massage techniques that not only addresses skin concerns but also addresses organ imbalances according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

So for example- losing volume under the eyes and mid face which can give a "sagging" appearance; you can use a gua sha regularly to lift and tighten the skin but you can also use it along the stomach meridian on the body! Which, according to Traditional Chinese medicine is weak or imbalanced when you see that aging pattern. The light pressure in correct directions also helps promote movement and drainage of lymph (our body's filtration system). Taking it a step further, you can apply dietary and lifestyle principles to strengthen that organ system really taking a whole-body, slow beauty approach to aesthetics. 

(OK but what is gua sha??)

The practice of gua sha, a scraping massage, is said to improve signs of aging because the act of scraping is stimulating circulation bringing a fresh flow of blood and oxygen to the skin. This influx of nutrients, known in Traditional Chines Medicine as "Qi," enhances the skin's quality, reduces clogged pores, helps control acne, tightens the skin and promotes a radiant complexion

Traditionally gua sha was practiced in Ancient China using tools made out of the bian stone. This stone has rich history in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is said to have been the precursor to acupuncture. It was formed when a meteorite collided with the Earth and was used therapeutically when doctors in Ancient China noticed that musicians who played instruments made out of that stone were living longer. The stone is said to have over 40 trace minerals, has therapeutic healing properties from the infrared and ultrasonic pulses it created and from the negative ions it produces. Basically translates into an antioxidant or anti-aging effect that helps with pain, stress and wrinkles. 

For this reason, I have chosen to have my first product, a gua sha tool, made out of the bian stone which you can purchase here. I also chose bian over other stones because from my experience, it’s far less fragile— I have owned many gua shas in the past, all of which broke fairly quickly :( The design and thickness make it versatile for both use on the face and body.

The anti-aging and wellness benefits appear over time with regular and long-term use however there are some immediate benefits:

  • decreased muscular or sinus tension/pain

  • decreased puffiness (perfect after a night of drinking.. or eating too much gluten!)

  • refreshed and glowing face