Seed Cycling to Support Hormonal Health for Women by Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Have you heard of Seed Cycling to Balance Hormones and Ease PMS and Menopause Symptoms?

It involves eating flax, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds at different times of the month to balance certain hormones.

Seed cycling is a nutritional and naturopathic remedy that is claimed to balance hormones by regulating the hormone estrogen in the first half of your menstrual cycle and the hormone progesterone in the second half.

Potential health benefits include helping regulate periods, reducing acne, treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and infertility, and easing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, and mood swings.

Here is how to apply seed cycling:

Day 1-14 of 🌜menstrual (follicular phase) cycle add 1-2 tablespoons each of freshly ground FLAX and PUMPKIN seeds per day.

Day 15–28 or start of 🌛menses (luteal phase)the second half of cycle, add 1-2 tablespoons each of ground SUNFLOWER and SESAME seeds per day.

For menopausal and postmenopausal women without a regular menstrual cycle, it’s recommended to use the phases of the moon as a guide to dates, with day one of falling on the new moon and day 15 on full moon.

Since it takes 90 days from when a follicle is released until it becomes an egg it is suggested to give it 3 months to notice effects.

Different seeds can promote or synergistically work with the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

Hormones in a normal cycle:

In a regular cycle, estrogen is produced/released during the first 14 days of the follicular phase as eggs in the ovaries ripen.

Levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) increase just before ovulation, and estrogen levels drop just after ovulation and then progesterone alternately rises.

Once an egg has been released, the luteal phase starts, and progesterone and estrogen levels gradually increase and decrease in a careful balance to support conception and implantation. They drop again before the next period if no implantation or pregnancy occurs.

Causes of hormonal imbalance:

With our stressful lifestyles, poor nutrition, environmental toxins, plastics off gassing chemical that change our hormones, and hormones added to our dairy and meat can lead to hormonal imbalances. They lead to certain health conditions, such as PCOS and hypothyroidism, as well as over-exercising and being under- or overweight, depression, etc.

Additionally, during menopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease and intermittently go on a roller coaster ride, which increases your risk of heart disease and osteoporosis and can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and truncal weight gain.

Seed cycling not only supports those with hormonal imbalances but also those with healthy cycles.

How seeds influence hormones:

During the follicular phase, the phytoestrogens in flax seeds can help increase or decrease estrogen levels as needed.

Phytoestrogens are compounds in plants that can mimic or support the action of estrogen

Additionally, zinc from pumpkin seeds is claimed to promote progesterone production in preparation for the next phase of the cycle.

During the luteal phase, lignans — a type of polyphenol — in sesame inhibit estrogen levels from increasing too much. Meanwhile, the vitamin E in sunflower seeds is thought to help boost progesterone levels.

Seeds in general give women and men alike a healthy dose of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that help with hormones, fuel the nervous system for thinking, and decrease overall inflammation hence reducing arthritis and heart disease.

All four seeds are rich in fiber, manganese, magnesium, copper, thiamine, vitamin E, and healthy fats. These nutrients are vital to good health, including reproductive health.

Furthermore, flax, sesame, and sunflower seed intake has been linked to improvements in heart disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Additionally, flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds may protect against breast cancer.

What’s more, flax seeds are also associated with improved blood sugar control, while pumpkin seed oil may aid prostate and urinary disorders.

Seed cycling can support a healthy hormone balance. Including seeds in your diet boosts your intake of vitamins and minerals and is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, as well as reduced inflammation, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

Many seeds are highly nutritious and offer a number of health benefits.

Eating seeds is a great way to improve the quality of your diet and overall health.

Improve your nutrition and improve YOU!

Call Pohala Clinic today to review your Hormonal Health (503) 572-4196

Health is not an Endpoint: What does it mean to be Healthy? by Julie Foster Primary Care Provider in Portland, Oregon

Health is not an endpoint.

Every person has their own health. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Health is not the absence of disease. It exists on a spectrum. Because a person is born of hereditary we reflect the 7 generations above and below us.
In essence we are born ill. If made possible as a child we live through childhood illnesses like fevers and burn through our genetic karma and lay a new foundation for our life and though still carry our past. We also have the goodness of our ancestors in spirits reach.

Health is between the places of building up/(making new) and breaking down (killing off). Because if there were too much of either we would be sick. We are fine tuned instruments. Even in illness you can find health as not everything falls to ill health at once.

Steiner mentions the following:

‘One hears it quite often said, that there is only one health, but a multitude of diseases. This statement, which many believe to be correct, cannot be upheld in the light of a genuine knowledge of the human being. Because each human is so individual, so particularly formed, that everyone, every child, already has a very specially suited health. We can therefore say that there are as many states of health and diseases as there are people. This reminds us of the necessity to continually focus on understanding the individual nature of the human.’

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 303 – Die gesunde Entwickelung des Menschenwesens -Eine Einführung in die anthroposophische Pädagogik und Didaktik – Dornach, December 28, 1921 (page 100)

One size does not fit all for health care. Humans do exihibit patterns but each illness is slightly different. Even in each particular person we are always metamorohisizing so one form of illness or transformation shows itself different each episode.
You really cannot step into the same river twice.

Exploring how each person comes to health is essential for improving our world.

A small thing is to observe yourself and how your physical has processed various illnesses and comes back to health. Look to your biography and patterns will emerge. We change when our thoughts change, when something significant happens in our lives and so on. Illness too is not a bad thing. When it comes hold on for the ride and see what it has to teach you. See what it is that you have wanted to change is working through you. It may not be easy but can bring meaning.

How wonderful and what magnificent beings we are with such ability to heal! 🌟🌎

Calendula: Healing your Wounds both Psychic and Physical by Julie Foster Family Nurse Practitioner


A sweet friend has a garden full and shared her bounty.

Apparently it grows like a weed.

I will make an remedy of
Infused Oil
Calendula Essence in an alcohol tincture

Calendula helps with wound healing, both psychic and skin wounds.

The oil applied is nice for wanting to feel more secure. Great for babies getting used to being out of the womb into the world. Sometimes us adults feel vulnerable like babies.

The tincture applied to infection prone wounds after soaking and cleaning. Apply with gauze and let air dry.

The salve to help move along a healing wound to seal and make new skin (granulation).

I am drying out for a day and then will get started making medicine.

I also was gifted seeds to propagate for my home.

Let the healing begin!

As Primary Care Providers we know how to assess and treatment your most common emotional and physical wounds……….

Schedule an appointment with us Pohala anytime (503) 572-4196

Summer Loving: Keep your Cool in Fire Season by Malia Susee Licensed Acupuncturist


3 Ways to Keep Your Cool in Fire Season——

Summer’s element is fire, according to Five Element theory used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and fire’s associated emotion, when in balance, is joy. When fire is overabundant or unchecked, it can have far-reaching effects; Too much heat, light, and activity can damage fire’s relationship with the body’s other elements, manifesting in panic, insomnia, restlessness, mania, and even urinary discomfort, fever, and physical injury. So, how do we spark summer joy without being consumed by it? These three things can help:

Nourish yin:

Drink plenty of clear fluids. Eat watermelon; Watermelon (especially the white part) clears heat, drains dampness, cools the body, and calms the spirit. Blueberries, blackberries, and huckleberries also nourish yin, as do kidney beans, tofu, and mung beans and sprouts.

Balance activities, workouts, and commitments:

Heavy cardio or anaerobic (yang) workouts need more aerobic, slow-twitch (yin) activities for balance in summer. Swim leisurely. Walk in the woods. Meditate. Enjoy summer reading. Stick with healthy routines (including psych meds unless your prescriber is actively helping you wean off of them) and keep commitments in check: Summer is an excellent time to celebrate connect with friends, but it’s easy to overbook your commitments when the season’s light and heat are high.

Visit your acupuncturist:

Acupuncture can help calm the body’s sympathetic nervous responses during overactive times. It balances all the body’s systems, rendering us less vulnerable to summer’s excess heat, and less likely to engage in injurious excess. (Note: It also helps you heal after having broken your arm waterskiing.)

Schedule acupuncture with Malia Susee, L.Ac. by calling Pohala at (503) 572-4196.

Antidepressants: How to reduce or taper off your Medications by Tyler Mostul Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Portand, Oregon

Nearly all psychiatric drugs can potentially cause mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. If you are interested in exploring reducing or coming off of your antidepressant it is important to have a prescriber who is knowledgeable about what can occur in the antidepressant withdrawal process and how to go about it in as safe a way as possible. NEVER ATTEMPT TO COME OFF YOUR PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS ALONE.

Most psychiatric drugs
cause withdrawal
reactions, which can
include life threatening
emotional and physical
reactions. Withdrawal
from psychiatric drugs
should be done carefully
under experienced clinical

Various studies suggest 50-86% of people experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off of
their antidepressant, making some people feel they are addicted or dependent on them.
Symptoms range from mild to severe, with some estimates of 25% of people that experience
withdrawal having severe withdrawal symptoms. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11 Antidepressant withdrawal can
occur in those who have taken the drug for only one to two months, 12,13 and up to 78% of
people taking their antidepressant feel that they are addicting. 14 Some antidepressant users
who have also used opiates, cocaine, or other drugs of abuse say it was more difficult to get off
their antidepressant than these other drugs. 23 Fortunately, we know that a slow and gradual
antidepressant taper reduces the risk of distressing withdrawal symptoms occurring.
Some common symptoms of antidepressant withdrawal: worsened mood, irritability, anxiety,
agitation, crying spells, poor concentration, dizziness, electric shocks/head zaps, blurred
vision, burning sensations, tingling, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, muscle pain, chills or
temperature dysregulation, insomnia, vivid dreams, as well as suicidal and homicidal
thoughts and urges. As you can see, some of these symptoms overlap with things you may
have been experiencing when you originally started the drug. This is why withdrawal symptoms
are often wrongly interpreted as a return of your mental health condition or the emergence of
a new one. Careful assessment is crucial.

There are many reasons a person might be interested in reducing or stopping their
antidepressant. One reason is there is a long list of potential adverse effects, some of which are
very common. Some of the most common adverse effects of antidepressants are 60% of
people report feeling emotionally numb, apathetic, or indifferent. 15 50-90% of people
experience sexual dysfunction in a variety of forms. 15,16,17,18,19,20,21 The overall effect of
antidepressants could be described as feeling an increased distance or disconnection between
antidepressant users and their worlds. 22 These effects could be useful for some at least for a
time. It is important to continually assess whether the antidepressant is having an overall
useful effect for you or not. If you are interested in reducing or coming off of your
antidepressant, this is something I specialize in and I would love to discuss options with you
including the possibilities of a slow and gradual antidepressant taper.


Schedule an appt with Tyler Mostul PMHNP if you want guidance in your process at

Pohala Clinic (503) 572-4196


1. Barr, L.C., Goodman, W.K., Price, L.H., (1994). Physical Symptoms
Associated with Paroxetine
[Paxil] Discontinuation [withdrawal], American Journal of Psychiatry, 151:289
2. Black, D.W., Wesner, R., Gabel, J. (1993). The Abrupt Discontinuation
[withdrawal] Fluvoxamine [Luvox] in Patients with Panic Disorder, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 54:146-49
3. Fava, M., Mulroy, R., Alpert, J., Nierenberg, A.A., Rosenbaum, J.F. (1997). Emergence of
adverse events following discontinuation [withdrawal] of treatment with extended-release venlafaxine
[Effexor], American Journal of Psychiatry, 154 (12): 1760-2.
4. Giakas, W.J., Davis, J.M. (1997). Intractable withdrawal from venlafaxine [Effexor] treated with
fluoxetine [Prozac], Psychiatric Annals, 27:85-92
5. Kasantikul, D. (1995). Reversible delirium after discontinuation of fluoxetine [Prozac], Journal of the
Medical Association of Thailand, 78:53-54
6. Kessing, L., Hansen, H.V., Demyttenaeire, K., et al. (2005), Depressive and bipolar disorders: patients’
attitudes and beliefs towards depression and antidepressants, Psychological Medicine, 35:1205-13
7. Perahia, D.G., Kajdasz, D.K, Desaiah, D., et al. (2005), Symptoms following abrupt
discontinuation of duloxetine treatment in patients with major depressive disorder, J Affect Disord,
8. Pyke, R.E. (1995). Paroxetine [Paxil] withdrawal syndrome, American Journal of Psychiatry,
9. Read, J., Cartwright, C., Gibson, K., (2014), Adverse emotional and interpersonal effects
reported by 1829 New Zealanders while taking antidepressants, Psychiatry Res, 216:67-73
10. Young, A., Haddad, P., (2000), Discontinuation symptoms and psychotropic drugs, Lancet, 355:1184
11. Coming off antidepressants. Royal College of Psychiatry.
12. Coupland, N.J., Bell, C.J., Potokar, J.P. (1996). Serotonin reuptake inhibitor withdrawal, Journal
of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 16:356-62
13. Haddad, P.M. (2001). Antidepressant Discontinuation Syndromes, Drug Safety, 24: 183
14. Raven, M., (2012), Depression and antidepressants in Australia and beyond: a critical public health
analysis (PhD thesis). University of Wollongong, Australia;
15. Read, J., Cartwright, C., Gibson, K., (2014), Adverse emotional and interpersonal effects reported by 1829
New Zealanders while taking antidepressants, Psychiatry Res, 216:67-73
16. Kirsch I. (2014). Antidepressants and the Placebo Effect. Zeitschrift fur Psychologie, 222(3), 128-134
17. Baton, R. (2006). SSRI-associated sexual dysfunction. American Journal of Psychiatry, 163:1504-1509
18. Modell, J.G., Katholi, C.R., Modell, J.D., et al. (1997). Comparative sexual side effects of bupropion,
fluoxetine, paroxetine, and sertraline, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 61:476-87
19. Montejo-Gonzalez, A.L., Llorca, G., Izquierdo, J.A., et al. (1997), SSRI-Induced Sexual Dysfunction:
Fluoxetine [Prozac], Paroxetine [Paxil], Sertraline [Zoloft], and Fluvoxamine [Luvox] in a Prospective,
Multicenter, and Descriptive Clinical Study of 344 Patients, Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 23:176-94
20. Montejo, A., Llorca, G., Izquierdo, J., et al. (2001). Incidence of sexual dysfunction associated with
antidepressant agents: a prospective multicenter study of 1022 outpatients. Spanish Working Group for
the study of psychotropic-related sexual dysfunction, J Clin Psychiatry, 62 (suppl 3): 10-21
21. Patterson, W.M. (1993). Fluoxetine-induced sexual dysfunction, Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 54:71
22. Teal, Jay. (2009). Nothing Personal: An Empirical Phenomenological Study of the Experience of “Being-on-
an-SSRI”. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology. 40. 19-50. 10.1163/156916209X427972
23. Healy, D. (2016). Psychiatric Drugs Explained (6th ed., p. 261). N.p.: Elsevier.

New Mental Health Practitioner at Pohala helps with Depression, Anxiety, Psychosis, Schizophrenia in Portland, Oregon

Tyler Mostul

Pohala would like to introduce Tyler Mostul, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.  This allows him to address various mental health challenges through medication management as well as therapy.  He graduated from Yale School of Nursing, and completed a residency at the San Francisco Veteran’s Hospital.  He is an unique psychiatric prescriber in that he is openly critical of psychiatry and psychiatric medications.  This does not mean that he does not support the usage of medications, it means that he is intricately aware of the risks involved in doing so. He feels it is his job to thoroughly discuss the risks and benefits of using psychiatric medications in order to help you feel fully informed of the options you have in addressing your concerns.  


He has particular interests in helping people be on the least amount of psychiatric medications as possible in order to reduce the risk of potential negative impacts they can have, and he has an understanding of the potential challenges with psychiatric drug withdrawal and medication tapering.  He also has interests in working with people in therapy who have experiences that have been labeled as psychosis or schizophrenia. He values and enjoys taking sufficient time in connecting with his clients and working together to figure out how to best achieve your goals.


There are several guiding principles he uses in his practice:

– People are inherently good

– We do the best we can under the conditions we are given

– Often the conditions we find ourselves in are extremely stressful, and this significantly affects our experience in the world.  

– Under extreme stress, we often do things we would not normally do.  These behaviors may seem irrational, but when seen in the larger context, they are understandable and reasonable.   

– Mental health symptoms are often a message to us, which if understood and learned from, have the potential to liberate us from our suffering.  


He acknowledges that we live in a society where racism, sexism, income inequality, homophobia, and transphobia are powerful forces that often negatively impact our lives in significant ways.  He acknowledges that various traumatic experiences including and not limited to those just listed, influence the way that we live, and can be the main reason we are experiencing the types of distress we find ourselves in.


In his therapy practice, he is heavily influenced by feminism, radical therapy, mindfulness, and psychodynamic therapy.  This means that he has an understanding of how various forms of oppression may be impacting you, and am sensitive to the complexity of the dynamics involved in your life.  He also believes there can be meaning discovered in the distress you are experiencing.  His goal is to work with you in a way that you find useful, and not to rigidly fit you into any particular modality.  He uses principles from CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), CBT for psychosis, and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy).  I also use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), also known as “Tapping.”  This modality is very useful in helping people release emotional distress and trauma from our body in a way that cognitive and behavioral methods cannot.  


He enjoys kundalini yoga, hiking, cycling, reading, chilling by any body of water, and disconnecting from technology.

Please Call Pohala (503) 572-4196 to schedule an appointment today with Tyler Mostul PMHNP

Pain Management and Acupuncture by Paresh Shelat ND, L.Ac

We often ask our health care professionals at Pohala to choose articles they find interesting  Here, Naturopathic physician Dr. Paresh Shelat shares an article from OmniaBodyWorks on how massage can help with chronic pain.

Dr. Shelat notes:  Pain Education is an ever-changing and an increasingly popular topic these days.  This article does a great job at simplifying pain mechanisms.  Not only does this apply to massage therapy, and other types of manual therapy, but also applies to acupuncture and naturopathic manipulative techniques. Each of these therapeutic modalities can be used in tandem with one another to bring about profound healing. 

Click here to read WHAT CAN MASSAGE REALLY DO? to learn more about the role massage has in helping manage pain.

To book a session with Dr. Paresh Shelat, please contact our Pohala Clinic.



Talk Story and Donna London Family Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

We continue to be excited about all the providers at Pohala.

Donna London FNP shares some TalkStory with us:

From Little Girl to Family Nurse Practitioner

‘I decided I wanted to be a nurse at the age of five. I loved caring for animals when I was younger…much to my mothers dismay, but the idea that I could care for “humans” happened when I saw a nurse on television and I knew…this was my  purpose.’  Donna London see her medical practice as her calling. How many providers remember this? I think even after all the hustle and bustle every provider can tell you a similar stirring in their soul.

Donna London’s goal as a healthcare professional the first time she sees a new client? 

‘My goal is to assure patients feel heard, respected and validated by making them feel we are partners in their health and wellness care. I believe this empowers and encourages patients to become proactive participants in their health care and as a result achieve better health outcomes.’  She believes in preventive medicine. When a medical provider can really know and have a relationship with their patients so many other things about one’s health is understood and easier to face.

She has a personal Heart’s Desire to personally have a better understanding of her patients 

‘It’s my heart’s desire to truly “see” my patients, to meet them where they are in their illness or health, so together we  can make a difference in their overall wellbeing.’

Donna’s view on western medicine (allopathic)  v. eastern (naturopathic) medicine?

Western medicine alone does not mirror what patients want from the health care community. More patients, are searching for practitioners who provide both or at least one who is open to the idea.For the best health care outcomes, I believe combining traditional and naturopathic medicine plays an important role in  clinical practice.

Donna is currently accepting new patients


(503) 572-4196