Eat your placenta.
It may sound surprising, but there's some serious benefits! However, most women are not opting to just take a bite out of it like the mammals do--there's some more palatable ways to consume it!
1. Placenta Encapsulation: The most popular method of ingesting the placenta. The placenta is dehydrated, coarsely ground, and placed into capsules. There's two major methods of placenta encapsulation:
- Raw method: The placenta is sliced, dehydrated at 115-120 degrees for 18-36 hours, ground up, and encapsulated. Benefits include less chance of denaturing (destruction) of hormones due to low temperature dehydration, increased iron replacement since the blood is not drained, and, anecdotally, a more stimulating and energizing effect.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine method (TCM): The placenta is drained of blood, lightly steamed with ginger and sometimes lemon and other herbs (these don't become incorporated in the capsules, they're just in the water for steaming), dehydrated at 160 degrees for 12-24 hours, ground up, and encapsulated. Benefits include thousands of years of traditional Chinese medicine wisdom and a more balancing, anxiety-lowering effect.
2. Placenta Tincture: Like vanilla beans, but placenta. A small piece of raw, cooked, or dehydrated placenta (depending on the placenta specialist's preference) is placed in a couple ounces of alcohol. The alcohol will "eat" the placenta to produce a potent, long-lasting liquid that can be placed drop-wise on the tongue or mixed into tea, juice, or water during times of stress, low milk supply, depression, or any significant hormonal changes. The tincture has the potential to be longer-lasting than the capsules, both for reasons of spoilage as well as quantity.
3. Placenta Smoothies: Usually an add-on to placenta encapsulation, the new mother places a thumbnail size piece of raw placenta into a smoothie. It's best to include raspberries, strawberries, cherries, or some other reddish fruit, although I'm confident the tiny piece of placenta blends up really well. This is the least processed form of placenta, so it has the potential to be the most potent. I offer a placenta smoothie service at Chicago-area hospitals & homes.
What else can you do with your placenta?
- Herbal salve: Placenta has amazing healing properties! Sheep placenta is used in many modern skincare products.
- Cord keepsakes: Dehydrated umbilical cord can be shaped into a heart, spell out the baby's name, or even made into a dreamcatcher.
- Placenta prints: A beautiful way to commemorate the "tree of life" that grew your baby.
- Placenta Truffles: Probably the most delicious option, and one that I am excited to offer!
- Bury it: Create a special ritual to say farewell to this amazing life-giving organ.
Check out my list of placenta goodies and services, and contact me with questions or to book your encapsulation today! I provide placenta specialist services to Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Stayed tuned for Part III: Eating Your Placenta: The WHERE. And make sure you didn't miss Part I: 5 Reasons to Eat your Placenta.