The placenta is a truly amazing organ that only occurs during pregnancy to sustain the baby. The placenta is considered sacred and powerful in many cultures and traditions. In today's modern world, the stem cells from the human placenta are highly sought after in regenerative medicine to treat over 80 diseases including Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemia, among others. Placentophagia is the consumption of the placenta for the restorative, nutritive, and regenerative purposes. Placenta encapsulation is the process of dehydrating and milling the placenta into capsule form for convenient consumption.
I offer the following services:
My placenta services are available in & around Southern Alameda County (East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, CA--Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, San Leandro, Milpitas, Sunol).
While academic references to placentophagy as a postpartum practice are scant prior to this decade, anthropology has traditionally been a male-driven and male-focused field until the latter part of the 20th century with very little attention paid to women-centered cultural practices (with the notable exception of Margaret Mead & Ruth Benedict in the 1920s). By the time anthropologists did start to be attentive to women's birth culture in the 1960s concurrent with the women's movement and the reclaiming of woman-centered birth in the US, many folk medicine practices all over the world had been by suppressed by modernization especially in urban areas (see third reference below).
One area where placenta consumption has had a contiguous, documented history as a sacred and powerful healing practice is within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for the past 1400 years. In addition, there are many folk traditions the world over where the placenta is not only revered for its role in nourishing the baby, but is valued to nourish the mother postpartum. In the mid-1980′s, American midwife, author, and TCM practitioner Raven Lang sought to revive postpartum traditions in the US by advocating for mothering the mother and promoting placenta medicine. Presently, placenta consumption is growing in popularity to the extent of being researched by academics and even touted by celebrity moms.
The purported benefits of placentophagia are the following but not limited to:
The placenta contains all the hormones needed to sustain, nourish and nurture a human baby. This is a partial list of some of the hormones that can be beneficial postpartum:
Placenta encapsulation is the process of preparing the mother’s placenta--either raw or steamed with TCM warming herbs --for consumption after the birth of her baby by dehydrating, powdering and capturing it into capsules for the mother to ingest. I prepare it with organic ginger, organic lemon, and authentic sacred frankincense & myrrh resins. Placentophagy is thought to restore beneficial hormones, proteins, and other nutrients to her body following labor and birth to help balance physical and emotional issues, prevent or reduce the risk of “baby blues” that may lead to postpartum depression, increase breast-milk production, shorten healing time, increase maternal energy levels, and provide an over-all feeling of well-being to aid in the transition between pregnancy and the postpartum. It can also aid in other female hormonal transitions such as weaning, menstruation and menopause. Depending on the size of the placenta and whether any is used for tinctures or smoothies, there can be 90-125 capsules.
Placenta Tincture is made from a piece of the mother’s raw or steamed placenta steeping in alcohol or apple cider vinegar infused over 6 weeks then decanted into a dropper bottle. Tinctures extract the essence, nutrients, minerals of the placenta for longer term use. The dosage is typically a dropper-ful in hot water which allows any alcohol to evaporate. For those who are averse to alcohol for personal or spiritual reasons, I use organic raw apple cider vinegar. The tincture may be used in a manner similar to Rescue Remedy for stress, trauma, emotional, mental and psychological challenges. It’s also beneficial for mom during transitions and stressful times. It may also be very beneficial for treating female hormonal issues including weaning, menstrual cycle, and menopause. Placenta tincture is a constitutional remedy that can be used for the baby throughout her/his life. The placenta contains vitamins, minerals, hormones and stem cells so it’s a very good immune remedy. A few uses include cough, stuffy nose, indigestion, teething, high stress events (1st day of school, daycare etc).
Placenta Tincture I follow OSHA/EPA standards of safety. I make a personal and professional commitment to green cleaning standards to protect human health and the environment. I prefer to work in the mother's home/biome to minimize the introduction of unfamiliar germs. Where possible, I use eco-friendly materials. For durable equipment, I choose hygienic, food grade, non-porous, non-reactive materials such as stainless steel where possible. I use non-toxic, anti-microbial (bactericide & viru-cide) disinfecting products proven effective against blood-borne pathogens to disinfect any durable equipment and work areas. I do not use bleach as is the common practice although it is more inexpensive because it is highly toxic to humans and the environment. My triple disinfection protocol is to disinfect the work area and equipment immediately before and after placenta processing and disinfect the equipment once again when I return to my home base.
The most commonly reported side effect of placenta capsules is "unpleasant burping." When we eat food, we normally chew it first which begins the process of digestion through mastication and saliva/salivary enzymes. Taking a capsule or gulping a smoothie, bypasses that first stage of digestion and can lead to gas/burping. I suggest taking the placenta capsules with meals to mitigate the effect. Other ways to increase your digestive ability: Papaya contains natural enzymes--papain--that can help with digestion and is also available as a supplement. Increase your raw beets and leafy greens intake. Drink fenugreek tea--not only does this increase breastmilk production, it supports bile secretion. Cinnamon & ginger are other herbs/spices that can help with digestion & bile production.
Please contact me to learn more about the placenta services I offer.