In the wild, most female mammals eat their placenta after giving birth. Why, then, do humans discard it?
The truth is that throughout history many cultures have engaged in placentophagy (consumption of the placenta), and this practice is still a part of traditional Chinese medicine
today. Chinese medical texts dating back as far as the 15th century describe the many benefits of consuming placenta.
Listed below are some common preparations of the placenta for your further understanding.
Medicines & Keepsakes
Placenta tinctures use alcohol to extract the beneficial properties of the placenta. They are a way to store the healing properties of the placenta for the longest time possible. The tincture can be used post partum for healing and hormonal balance
after 6 weeks, and may also assist the biological daughter and grandmother in menstruation and menopause.
Benefits of Placentophagy
Replenishes iron content from blood loss during birth and prevents post-birth anemia in the mother.
Prevents or decreases the risk of postpartum depression or "baby blues."
Increases oxytocin (the hormone associated with bonding).
Provides HPL (Human Placental Lactogen) a hormone that helps
establish milk supply for breastfeeding.
Stabilizes fluctuating hormones after birth.
Replenishes B vitamins, which increase your energy level.
Provides POEF (placenta opioid enhancing factor) which is a natural pain reducer.
I am a placenta-encapsulating specialist, certified through Full Circle Placenta. To receive my certification I evaluated medical research on placenta encapsulation, gained first-hand experience encapsulating placentas, and received training in blood borne pathogens and safety in food handeling.
My qualifications as a licensed, registered nurse mean that not only do I possess a detailed understanding of human anatomy and physiology, but that I always abide by the highest standards of medical practice. This reduces the risk of infection and protects myself, you, your family and the community.
Traditional Chinese Method
Within the traditional Chinese method the placenta is steamed with fresh herbs and plants prior to dehydration and encapsulation. If you are working with a Chinese doctor, he or she can prescribe particular herbs to steam with the placenta or encapsulate along side the placenta to customize your post partum experience for your body's needs.
If you wish to follow in the traditional mammalian footsteps of consuming your placenta raw directly after the birth of your child, this is the best option for you.
A placental smoothie prepared with additional ingredients of your choice is a powerful form of medicine used by midwives to help control any excessive post partum bleeding or hemorrhage. Please be aware that not all hospitals or birthing locations allow this practice, so it is best to inquire beforehand.
With the raw method, no heating of the placenta takes place prior to dehydration. The placenta is dehydrated at the lowest temperature of around 118 degrees, preserving the highest potency of nutrients.
This can be a valuable ointment for C-section mammas to lessen scarring, itching, and discomfort during the healing process once the incision has closed and the steri strips have fallen off.
Placentas have a strong visual resemblance to a tree, often called the "tree of life." Printed photos of your placenta make a wonderful keepsake.
I am currently not encapsulating placentas. I only work with placentas in the raw form of consumption through smoothies and tinctures postpartum in the home setting. This is included in my post partum package. Please contact me if your interested to know more about how this works.