Placentophagy (eating the placenta)

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sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462
Placentophagy (eating the placenta)

I’ve heard about the benefits of eating your placenta for various reasons (I'm sure kvo has lots of research). The benefits in terms of healing and decreasing PPD seem to be astounding. Not that I have had any difficulty in either of these areas…

There are various options. Placental encapsulation, placenta tincture, and many placenta recipes including Bolognese, lasagne, milkshakes, placenta jerky, and Tom Cruises favourite – meat loaf!

Taking pills is not my forte. Plus, it seems that if the benefits of eating the placenta are mostly for the progesterone and other hormones (not just iron) in the placenta, then cooking the placenta seems rather counter-productive since the hormones will be ‘denatured’ and rendered ineffective. Though cooked, iron and other elements would likely be just fine.

Does anyone have any information or research or anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of eating the placenta (raw, cooked, sautéed with particular herbs, encapsulated, or dried like jerky)?

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

The only thing I have been told (by my WV MW when I was up there) is that eating a quarter-sized amount of the fresh placenta is highly effective (she thought even more effective and quicker working than a Pit shot) at stopping post-partum hemorrhage. Other than that, I'm not very sure, but interested in finding out more. Thanks for posting!

emansmom's picture
Joined: 03/24/09
Posts: 752

This is a great site to check out regarding the encapsulation of the placenta,

I can tell you from personal experience that having my placenta encapsulated was one of the best things I did. I really feel like these pills helped tremendously with my mood/energy/milk production after having #2. I was told adding a second child would be very stressful and I feel like these pills helped make it a breeze! After my first child I cried many days after his birth (not PPD but "baby blues"). I did not have my placenta encapsulated with my first. After #2 I seriously never cried or felt at all overwhelmed. Everything just seem to fall in to place and I thank the pills for much of that. They just helped to stabilize my mood and I had so much energy it was ridiculous! I know not all of this was just because of the pills but seriously best decision I ever made!! The pills were super easy to take too. I still have a placenta tincture to use on days I feel like I need some "help". Many people I know also did the encapsulation and almost everyone of them agrees that it was the best thing they did.

Hope this helps!

OperaDiva's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 396

I've heard placenta smoothies are actually pretty good...If I remember correctly it was Watermelon_Gypsy who said so Smile

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I didn't do it with my first, but would consider it with my second due in February.

Just curious - for those who have eaten it raw, what does it taste like?

kvo's picture
Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 902

Sarah--I can't say I have lots of research. I googled and went to, (can't remember). Encapsulation is dehydrating it in the oven--so over-cooking. Personally, I couldn't stomach it in any other form except for pill or tincture.

Joined: 06/05/06
Posts: 61


I'm not sure about if cooking the placenta will kill the good stuff. But I was also told by someone in my DONA workshop last weekend that eating a fingernail size portion of the fresh placenta helps with bleeding better than pitocin. I've been trying to find something to back that up, but all my research seems to lead me to placenta encapsulation.

I figure something is going on with disgusting as it seems. So many people have great success from it.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I had mine encapsulated, and although the pills got dropped off to me 2 days after I birthed, I forgot them in the fridge at my dads. So I didn't start taking them until about 8 or 9 days after birth. I was a mess that first week- after I started taking the pills I totally chilled out, cried way less, etc. It felt to me like they made a huge difference. I have a history of depression and felt like I was spiraling quickly after giving birth, but once I started the pills, I didn't feel that way anymore.

Illiana's picture
Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 338

i'm stealing this from mdc

Placenta smoothie
*bag of strawberries (organic )
*couple bananas

Use about 1/3 of placenta, clean the membranes from it and cut it up
into little chunks. Add some OJ and some frozen srawberries----enough, and this is psychological, so that when it turned red it was obviously from the
strawberries & not the placenta. Add the bananas, more strawberries and more OJ. Tasted like a really strawberry-berry smoothie.

Put the rest in dixie cups & cover them in foil and freeze them. Defrost them on the counter and drink them over the next
couple of days.

There are tons of recipies over there for different ways to eat it. Not finding any links that show whether its better to eat it raw vs cooking.

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2775

I did a combination of placenta shake & encapsulation. I never ate it raw (on it's own that is) if I hadn't been the one to make the shake I would of had no idea placenta was even in it. I do know some who have choosen to eat it raw & then encapsulate the rest, I can ask them what it taste like. As for the smoothie I added some frozen fruit, a banana, some yogurt and a bit of milk. I first added the yogurt & placenta pieces (1 inch cubes) so that it would blend into a smooth mixture, I then added the frozen & fresh fruit.

There is evidence based research showing the benefits of placentophagia & lactation - there is also a lot of research on the tie between on going fatigue and ppd - the iron in your placenta can *really* help with that, as well as with the energy you'll need to care for youself and your newborn. Your placenta is an endocrine organ so it produces hormones. When it's delivered it takes awhile for your body to get the message that the placenta is no longer helping and/or making those hormones so by taking the placenta it helps with that gap, which is why I believe so many women experience good results when taking their capsules.

As far as research done comparing the different ways to consume the placenta, as far as I know there are no such studies - really it's only been w/in the last say 10 year or so that it's been taken seriously. Really though all you need to do is talk to a bunch of women who have eaten placenta, in it's various forms & you'll find 9 out of 10 women rave about the positive results they have had. That to me is evidence enough that it works Smile

faeriecurls's picture
Joined: 06/04/08
Posts: 790

We actually discussed this with the m/w at my appointment on Thursday, she said that anecdotally there is a lot of evidence that seems to support the use of the placenta - and that she didn't see much difference in the way it was consumed. I know that's her own experience, but I just thought I would add that to the replies. I plan on encapsulation only based on her answer - I'm not going to be able to handle it any other way (It's a serious mental block for me).

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Chimmy...just to clarify, the placenta in your smoothie was raw though, right?

I'm interested in this. It seems that my placentas always detatch with lots of bleeding so, for me, the most effective use would be to use at least a small piece of it right away. I've heard that the best way to absorb the hormones is putting a peice between the cheek and gums, just like a cocaine addict tests their product. Apparently the gums absorb those hormones very, very fast.

I don't know if I could eat it raw. If I'm bleeding lots then I can't imagine I'll have the time to make a smoothie, otherwise I think encapsulation sounds the best. LOL. But, I haven't had PPD or adjustment issues with my others so I'm not sure I'd go to the cost to have this done.

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2775

Yes, it was raw. I should of been more clear when talking about raw in my previous post so I went in and edited it. I didn't eat the placenta pieces on their own, which is what I was meaning as raw. I think to get 100% of the placenta's nutrients eating it raw is the most natural way to do that but I think encapsulation is good too. Putting a small piece under your tounge like you would a homeopath is also very effective.

I think encapsulating ones placenta is a very palatable way to consume it's nutrients.

Illiana's picture
Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 338

where would you go to have the placenta encapsulated? I'm fairly certain there isn't anyone near me that would do that. I don't think I could stomach it raw (i'm one that when eating steak if its bloody at all i won't touch it)

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2775

There is one in New Orleans - if you go to you can look her up. If she's too far it would be worth contacting her to see if she knows of any others closer or if she has the ability to come to you (they do it in your home). If that doesn't work out look around in your birthing community, there tend to be a lot of midwives & doula's who also do it independently.

Illiana's picture
Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 338

There are only 2 midwives in my area and one is new just trained in this past year. New Orleans is about 2.5 hours from me.. In general not too bad but soon after birth its a bit much for me. I'll email this lady and see what she has to say. Thanks

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2775

Well, like I said they come to you so you wouldn't have to make the 2.5hr drive Smile I hope you find someone! If you can't there's always the option of doing it yourself - it's really not hard, I did my own and actually enjoyed it. It was neat to be able to see it so close - but then I don't have any ick factors w/ placenta's so if you do it might not be so neat lol Wink