Placenta Encapsulation Benefits and History
Preventing or lessening the risk of Postpartum Depression and/or Baby Blues
Helping replenish Iron from blood loss during birth and postpartum bleeding
Boosting Oxytocin, the “love hormone” which helps mother bond with baby and ease the stress of becoming a mother
Providing HPL hormone, which aids in producing a healthy milk supply for the nursing mother
Boosting Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) – responsible for reducing stress levels
Providing Cytokines – Fibroblasts that trigger cell metabolism, healing and replacing damaged cells and tissue
Replenishing B vitamins and energy
Preventing or lessening extended bleeding
Natural pain relief
*It is important to note that choosing to encapsulate your placenta is not intended to prevent or treat any physical or mental diseases, ailments or symptoms. You are choosing to consume your own placenta for your own personal beliefs. By choosing to encapsulate your placenta you are also acknowledging that possible side effects may occur and include an oversupply in milk, hormonal shift, anxiety or sleeplessness.
An ancient tradition, most popular with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Placenta Encapsulation is becoming increasingly more popular in Western culture and with this generation, placenta consumption can be very beneficial for a new mother!
In TCM the mother is not always listed as the recipient of the placenta. It was also given to the father and extended family members as a form of tonification to balance their chi. Tonification is mainly used to treat a particular deficiency in the body. Similar to how a doctor would treat a particular illness or deficiency with a pharmaceutical medication, natural health care providers will suggest natural and holistic remedies to treat the same deficiencies. A 6th century medical Chinese textbook, Compendium of Materia Medica,written by Li Shizhen during the Ming dynasty, talks about the medical uses for ingesting the placenta.
Another Chinese text from 1596 called Great Pharmacopoeia, mentions ingesting the placenta to help with anemia (an iron deficiency). The placenta would be ground into a fine powder and placed in wine. That wine would be warmed in the sunlight and then drunk. Similar to our practice of making a tincture using placenta and 100% proof alcohol. A tincture will sit in the sunlight to start the fermentation process, then it is kept in the dark for 6 weeks. Only a few drops at a time are needed when taking a placenta tincture.
You can also find more excellent information about the history of Placenta Encapsulation in the article: In Search of Human Placentophagy: A Cross-Cultural Survey of Human Placenta Consumption, Disposal Practices, and Cultural Beliefs
Placenta Remedies Network put out a great list of studies you can find by clicking here
Effects of dehydration and steaming of placenta
(Note: Though hormone potency lessen after steaming/dehydration, they are still detected . The main benefit is that any present bacteria has been killed.
2018 Study concludes that Placentophagy was not associated with any adverse neonatal outcomes