While evidence of the benefits is largely anecdotal (and thus not validated by the FDA or any other regulatory body), many women report benefits from consuming their placenta, whether raw or encapsulated. That said, in 2015 and 2016, some small studies were conducted in Nevada analysing the presence of 14 trace minerals and 17 hormones. While the results do not provide conclusive evidence of the benefits of placentophagy, they do suggest that there are potentially high enough concentrations of iron and progesterone to reach “physiological effect thresholds.”[1,2]
Among placental mammals, placentophagy is quite common. Even species who have nothing to fear from predators will spend hours ensuring the entire placenta is eaten before leaving the birthing site, ignoring any other birth debris (refuting the “nest tidying” hypothesis).
For me, encapsulating placenta is a moving way to help welcome a baby into the world and celebrate the birthing parent’s body. The majority of my work and research focuses on population and community health, but placenta encapsulation allows me to connect with families on an individual level. I show care and thoughtfulness during the encapsulation process, honouring the placenta as a carrier of your love and efforts in pregnancy.
I can pick up your placenta from your home or the hospital (whichever is most convenient for you) and offer both “raw” and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods. TCM consists of steaming the placenta with a green chili, ginger, and lemon, then dehydrating it to put into capsules. The raw method skips the steaming step and calls for dehydrating the placenta without any heating.
While both these methods are excellent, from as public health practitioner, I recommend TCM. During both the steaming process, I use a designated meat thermometer to check the placenta is heated to 165ºF and my dehydrator is set to the same. Keeping it at a high temperature to avoid the growth of any pathogens, reducing the risk of you consuming something that could make you ill.
I try to make encapsulation as easy and convenient for you as possible, the entire process taking 2-3 days to complete. Below is a map with my coverage areas and any charges that may apply for greater distances. If you live beyond my regular coverage areas, I’m happy to meet you or try to make a special trip.
I look forward to offering this service to your family, hopefully optimising your postpartum recovery and happiness.
Placenta Encapsulation – $135
Placenta Tincture – Additional $50
Multiple Placentas – $25 for extra supplies
- Young, S., Gryder, L., Zava, D., Kimball, D., Benyshek, D. Presence and concentration of 17 hormones in human placenta processed for encapsulation and consumption. Placenta. 2016;43:86-89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.placenta.2016.05.005
2. Young, S., Gryder, L., David, W., Teng, Y., Gersternberger, S., Benyshek, D. Human placenta processed for encapsulation contains modest concentrations of 14 trace minerals and elements. Nutrition Research. 2016: 872-878. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2016.04.005