Choosing the Right Kind of Placenta Encapsulation or Preperation

Placenta medicine is an amazing tool!  But what are your options and how do you choose the right type for you?

olympia placenta encapsulation

Did you know most mammals eat their placenta after they give birth?  If you didn't, now you do.  Even more interesting, birds tend to eat their egg shells after their hatchlings are born, or eat the whole egg if the eggs don't hatch. Egg shells help them restore their calcium and other lost nutrients when it comes to egg laying.  While we don't know exactly why mammals eat their afterbirth, we do know that they do it almost immediately after the placenta is born.

There is a bit of speculation, like it restores lost nutrients, or it protects them from predators.  Unfortunately until someone develops a translator for animals to ask them exactly what the purpose is we won't know.

Types of Placenta Medicine

The Traditional Chinese Method

I had these really great couple of clients when I first started out as a doula 7 years ago.  The wife was from China and the husband was from Korea (talk about a language barrier when she was yelling at him in Chinese while she was pushing and we both just shrugged at each other because we had no idea what she was saying).  When I visited them postpartum they were making a traditional Chinese soup given to moms after they have given birth to restore heat.  The Chinese believe that when a woman gives birth she loses all of her qi or heat.  So consuming foods with heat helps to restore her qi. 

The Chinese Method is how I was originally trained in placenta encapsulation.  I was taught to use heat restoring foods like peppers when steaming the placenta to help restore the lost qi. 

  1. The placenta is admired, appreciated and thanked for giving life.
  2. The placenta is cleaned, printed, membranes and umbilical cord are removed (umbilical cord can be saved and dehydrated for keepsake purposes).
  3. The placenta is steamed with herbs, lemon, peppers, ginger, to help restore the heat.  While the heat restoring foods an herbs are steamed with the placenta, only the placenta is dehydrated and ground into a powder that is then put into pills. 
  4. After steaming, the placenta is thinly sliced and dehydrated for a period of time until it is completely dry.
  5. The slices are then ground until they make a fine powder.
  6. The powder is put into vegetarian capsules.

This process tends to yield between 80-150 capsules depending on the size of the placenta. 

The Traditional Chinese Method usually yields less capsules than the raw method, but many people prefer it for the heat restorative aspect. 

24-48 Hour Turn Around

Umbilical Keepsake

The Raw Method

The Raw Method of placenta encapsulation has a higher iron content and a higher oxytocin content because the nutrients are not diminished by heat.  When animals give birth, they consume their placenta raw, immediately after.  I couldn't imagine myself being that primal, but raw encapsulation is a great alternative. 

  1. The placenta is admired, appreciated and thanked for giving life.
  2. The placenta is cleaned, printed, membranes and umbilical cord are removed (umbilical cord can be saved and dehydrated for keepsake purposes).
  3. The placenta is then dehydrated until completely dry.
  4. The dried pieces are then ground into a fine powder.
  5. The powder is placed in vegetarian capsules.

The Raw Method yields about 120-250 capsules depending on the size of the placenta.

24-48 Hour Turn Around

placenta tincture

Homeopathic and Tinctures

Encapsulation is great.  But eventually you run out of the "magic pills" and like me may be finding yourself hoarding the last few pills.  But there is an easy long term solution.  Tinctures!  This is done by soaking the placenta in an alcohol solution for 6 weeks.  One dropper full of tincture is like 1 placenta pill.  Because of the alcohol the tincture is shelf stable for long periods of time.  Many women save the tincture for when they are having a hard day, bad period cramps. or they are going through menopause and the tincture helps with hot flashes.

Homeopathy is a great long term and stable option for using your placenta as medicine for your children.  Because of the high dilution it is safe for children.  Some have reported that it helps with stress, behavioral issues, coping with loss, and illness.

6 Week Turn Around

placenta smoothie

Smoothies

Smoothies are probably the fastest and least expensive way to consume your placenta.  I had grand plans that I was going to encapsulate part of my placenta, make some into a tincture and do a smoothie.  When it sat on my counter and I was ready to put it in the blender, I just couldn't.  I haven't consumed meat in over four years.  How was I going to put a piece of raw meat in a smoothie and drink it?  Also, my wife would never use our blender again and those suckers are expensive. 

From what I have heard from those who have done it however, enough berries covers up the taste of the placenta.  I think they are liars, but that is just me.  I haven't tested it.  I really couldn't tell you.

Smoothies are a fast and efficient way of consuming your placenta.  If you think about the way other mammals do it, they don't wait for a person to show up, take the placenta home, and put it in pills.  If you have a homebirth a smoothie could be made immediately after.  If you have a hospital birth someone could come pick it up and bring you back a smoothie to drink.  Hospital staff may frown upon this, but ultimately it is your choice.

Other things to do with your placenta

  • Get a meat grinder and make it into a chili.
  • Make art!  You can paint it or use the blood on the placenta to make some beautiful "Tree of Life" prints.
  • Bury it under a fruit tree. 
  • You can do what I did with my first birth and have your midwife take it away.
  • Make a salves or lotions.
  • Use some of the capsules or powder to make chocolates.

Choosing what is best for you

Some factors to think about are things like cost, how long you would like to use your placenta medicine and what ways you would like to use it.  If you are looking for something yo can use right away and long term, choosing between the Traditional Chinese Method and The Raw Method and doing a tincture would be your best bet.  If you are just looking to use it immediately after birth and you love the idea of the Traditional Chinese Method then that is the one for you. 

 

If you are interested in having your placenta encapsulated you can contact me to set up a free consultation or purchase your placenta encapsulation package here.
All placentas are handled and transported with proper care per Food Safety and Blood Borne Pathogens guidelines. 
I guarantee 48 hour turn around time on all encapsulations.