So, what is placenta encapsulation? During a two-day process, your body’s foreign-looking (yet beautiful) placenta is gently dehydrated into a raw powder containing all its enzymes and hormones; we then put the powdered placenta into vegan capsules for easy consumption. We also will shape the umbilical cord into a heart and dehydrate it into a keepsake item for you.
In my research, I find it interesting to hear researchers in one study compare placentophagy (consuming placenta) to non-procreative sex in humans–not necessary for our species’ survival, but solidifying the strong social bonds of the participants. (Krystal et al., 2012, “Placentophagia in Humans and Nonhuman Mammals”, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 51:3, 191)
Benefits of Consuming Placenta
- Effects on postpartum bleeding, recovery, energy, and depression–
“By nourishing the blood and fluids, endocrine glands and organs, Placenta will … reduce or stop postpartum bleeding, speed up recovery, boost energy and relieve postpartum blues.” Homes, Peter. 1993. Jade Remedies, Snow Lotus Press, 352
- Effects on the growth of breastfeeding infants–
“All patients were given desiccated placenta prepared as previously described (C.A. II, 2492) in doses of 10 grains in a capsule 3 times a day. Only those mothers were chosen for the study whose parturition was normal and only the weights of those infants were recorded whose sole source of nourishment was mothers’ milk. The growth of 177 infants was studied. The rate of growth is increased by the ingestion of placenta by the mother… the maternal ingestion of dried placenta tissue so stimulates the tissues of the infants feeding on the milk produced during this time, that unit weight is able to add on greater increments of matter, from day to day, than can unit weight of infants feeding on milk from mothers not ingesting this substance.” Hammett, Frederick. S. 1918. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 36. American Society of Biological Chemists, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, original press: Harvard University.
Effects on quality of milk produced and on newborn weight gain–
“It has been shown that the feeding of desiccated placenta to women during the first eleven days after parturition causes an increase in the protein and lactose percent of the milk… All the mothers were receiving the same diet, and to the second set 0.6mg of desiccated placenta was fed three times a day throughout the period. Certain definite differences in the progress of growth of the two sets of infants are to be observed. It is evident that the recovery from the postnatal decline in weight is hastened by the consumption of milk produced under the influence of maternally ingested placenta.” McNeile, Lyle G. 1918. The American journal of obstetrics and diseases of women and children, 77. W.A. Townsend & Adams, original press: University of Michigan.
- Effects on milk production–
“Powdered Placenta Hominis was used for 57 cases of insufficient lactation. Within4 days, 48 women had markedly increased milk production, with the remainderfollowing suit over the next three days.” Bensky/Gamble. 1997. Materia Medica, Eastland Press, 549.
“An attempt was made to increase milk secretion in mothers by administration of dried placenta per os. Of 210 controlled cases only 29 (13.8%) gave negative results; 181 women (86.2%) reacted positively to the treatment, 117 (55.7%) with good and 64 (30.5%) with very good results. It could be shown by similar experiments with a beef preparation that the effective substance in placenta is not protein. Nor does the lyofilised placenta act as a biogenic stimulator so that the good results of placenta administration cannot be explained as a form of tissue therapy per os. The question of a hormonal influence remains open. So far it could be shown that progesterone is probably not active in increasing lactation after administration of dried placenta. This method of treating hypogalactia seems worth noting since the placenta preparation is easily obtained, has not so far been utilized and in our experience is successful in the majority of women.” Soykova-Pachnerova E, et. al.(1954). Gynaecologia 138(6):617-627.
- Effects on pain relief–
“The results showed that ingestion of placenta potentiated y- and n-opioid antinociception, but attenuated A-opioid antinociception. This finding of POEF action as both opioid receptor-specific and complex provides an important basis for understanding the intrinsic pain-suppression mechanisms that are activated during parturition and modified by placentophagia, and important information for the possible use of POEF as an adjunct to opioids in pain management.” DiPirro, Jean M., and Kristal, Mark B. “Placenta for Pain Relief…”, 2004, Elsevier B.V.
- Suggested effects on postpartum depression–
“During pregnancy, CRH [corticotropin-releasing hormone] is also produced by the placenta and, unlike CRH of hypothalamic origin, is detectable in maternal peripheral blood. Placental and hypothalamic CRH are similar with regard to their structure, immunoreactivity, and bioactivity. … The sudden disappearance of the placenta after delivery results in a sharp drop of CRH levels. The postpartum period is therefore characterized by CRH withdrawal, resulting in transient suppression of hypothalamic CRH release and HPA axis dysregulation. It has been suggested that this may explain the occurrence of postpartum depressive disorders.” Yim, Ilona S., et al, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2009 February ; 66(2): 162–169.
- Mothers’ report of placenta benefits–
“When asked to describe any positive effects experienced, the
majority of women in the sample claimed that they experienced improved
mood as a result of consuming their placenta postpartum (40%). The
second most frequently given response to this question was increased
energy/decreased fatigue (26%). Women also reported benefits related to
improved lactation (15%) and alleviated postpartum bleeding/discharge
(7%). Other positive self-reported effects were balance; prevented or
treated anemia; increased strength/vitality; improved/accelerated recovery;
weight loss; prevented/relieved headaches; facilitated bonding with infant;
reduced pain; treated/prevented hypothyroidism; replenishment/regulation
of hormones; increased/improved duration or quality of sleep; uterine
involution; increased libido; facilitated healing/recovery.” Selander, Jodie, et al (2013): Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52:2, 93-115.
“It is interesting to note that half of the sample reported experiencing a postnatal mood disorder, either clinically or self-diagnosed, and that the most common benefit of placenta consumption reported was a positive effect on mood. This is notable, both for the frequent occurrence of self-reported postnatal mood disorders in our sample, and the perceived efficacy of placentophagy in alleviating these symptoms by survey participants. According to a meta-analysis of 59 studies, the mean prevalence of postpartum depression is 13% (O’Hara and Swain 1996). Postpartum women in our sample reported that they believed placenta consumption was very effective in helping improve their overall mood.” Selander, Jodie, et al (2013): Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52:2, 93-115.
- Mothers’ report of placenta experience–
“When asked to rate how positive the placentophagy experience was on a Likert scale, the majority of women reported that placentophagy was a very positive experience (75%) or positive experience (20%). Four percent of participants described it as slightly positive and 1% of participants selected not positive (see figure 6). When asked to rate how negative the placentophagy experience was on a similar Likert scale, 92% reported that this experience was not negative, 7% chose slightly negative, less than 1% said negative, and less than 1% said very negative. Nearly all participants (98%) indicated that they would participate in placentophagy again.” Selander, Jodie, et al (2013): Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52:2, 93-115.“In addition to nearly all respondents indicating a positive or very positive
experience with placentophagy, almost all of the participants reported
that they would engage in the practice again with the placentas of subsequent
children. In fact, both of the participants who selected negative or
very negative to describe their placentophagy experience also indicated that
they would engage in placentophagy again.” Selander, Jodie, et al (2013): Human Maternal Placentophagy: A Survey of Self-Reported Motivations and Experiences Associated with Placenta Consumption, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 52:2, 93-115.
Beneficial Substances Within the Placenta (Original Source)
- Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone
Contributes to mammary gland development in preparation for lactation; stabilizes postpartum mood; regulates post-birth uterine cramping; decreases depression; normalizes and stimulates libido
Promotes lactation; increases milk supply; enhances the mothering instinct
- Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH)
Low levels of CRH are implicated in postpartum depression. Regulation of CRH helps prevent depression
Decreases pain and increases bonding in mother and infant; counteracts the production of stress hormones such as Cortisol; greatly reduces postpartum bleeding; enhances the breastfeeding let-down reflex
- Placental Opioid-Enhancing Factor (POEF)
Stimulates the production of your body’s natural opioids, including endorphins; reduces pain, produces feelings of well-being
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
Regulates the thyroid gland; boosts energy and supports recovery from stressful events
Reduces inflammation and swelling; promotes healing
Triggers the protective defenses of the immune system to fight infection
Regulates contractions in the uterus after birth; helps uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Anti-inflammatory effects
Iron combats anemia, increases energy; reduces fatigue and depression
Oxygen-carrying molecule which provides a boost in energy
- Urokinase Inhibiting Factor and Factor XIII
Stops bleeding and enhances wound healing
- Immunoglobulin G (IgG)
Antibody molecules which support the immune system
- Human Placental Lactogen (hPL)
This hormone has lactogenic and growth-promoting properties; promotes mammary gland growth in preparation for lactation in the mother. It also regulates maternal glucose, protein, and fat levels