I was kinda grossed out at first, but on second thought, it sounded a lot like offal to me - perfectly paleo. Anyone tried this or know how it tastes like? God forbid, does anyone know where to buy it?
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on July 25, 2010
at 01:11 PM
The concept doesn't gross me out - it is, as you said, just offal of a sort - but i don't see the point in ingesting it. I think that the health benefits are overblown. I feel like a healthy female mammal has no nutritional need to do so.
That first article discounted the theory that animals eat the placenta mearly to clean up the site. I disagree strongly. I think it's solely to discourage predators.
I've kept livestock my whole life and herbivores DO clean up the amniotic fluid as well as they can along with eating all traces of placenta. They are very nervous during birthing, even in the safety of their own barnyard. If a doe or a ewe can get her babies up and moved away from the birth site she will NOT eat the placentas.
Honestly, I feel like this is one of those wild Old Wives' Tales (or in this case a New one!) that poorly informed women began and credulous internet moms perpetuate. Can you say Chinese Baby Predictor? #shrug
on July 29, 2010
at 01:41 AM
Hey Mama J
That sounds FANTASTIC and very primal/evolutonary.
The major problem with birthing in industrial countries is postpartum depression which is basically rapid progesterone serum decreased concentrations. In the 'old days' an injection of progestesterone (natural -- not Provera or the other synthetic artificial chemicals these days) was provided and this CURED postpartum depression.
Read: Dr. John Lee MD
imho I think eating the highest source of natural progesterone was probably an evolved instinct in all animals (placenta) for survival of mom and babies...
on July 26, 2010
at 06:32 AM
After my son's homebirth, my midwife's assistant prepared my placenta for me by slicing it, drying it, and grinding it into a powder that she put into capsules. I had them from 3 days postpartum, and I found that they were really helpful during times o intense stress and exhaustion. I would just take 2-3 capsules, and within 30-90 minutes I really could feel a difference; it felt like a deep, deep nourishment. My midwife encouraged it; apparently the hormones flooding our bodies during pregnancy are very concentrated in our placentas, and, during times of imbalance, ingesting some of them can ease the intense transition between pregnancy and post-partum.
I highly recommend it, for anyone interested. As an aside, I almost always trust my nose when it comes to things my body needs, and on those times I felt most out of sorts, I would open up that jar and crave the scent of the capsules. Trust your body!
on July 25, 2010
at 06:42 PM
Personally, I would consider having my own placenta preserved for potential source of stem cells and/or research before I would eat it. It could me more valuable that way. Consider, if it is your own placenta, then all the nutrients in it were assembled by your body via eating the foods you ate. You can just as easily access those nutrients again via eating the same things you ate last time. There will be nothing in that placenta that you can't get by eating your regular food.
Now in the case of animals in nature, besides the issue of cleaning the birth site and hiding from predators, they have no refrigerator full of food and are now tied down taking care of a newborn and must make milk for it. So every bit of food would probably be valuable, be it low grade or high grade. Leaving food sitting on the ground that would not only rot but attract predators would be stupid on multiple counts. So I think there are many reasons to eat the placenta if you are a wild animal, but those reasons may not apply particularly well to humans. The fact that I have never heard of a natural human population that considers placenta eating to be particularly appealing might be another clue that there is nothing special of value there. We don't need to eat placenta because we have hands for which to clean up with and tools and shelters to fight off predators with as well as in tribes, we have other people which would have helped us in our recovery and child rearing.
I also doubt you could find human placenta on the legal open market. Might be able to find animal placenta though. Might be interesting to know what nutrients are in placenta. They say placenta creates some nutrients for the baby but I would guess that most nutrients come from the ambilical cord and float in the amniotic fluid. Also, although there are nutrients, there are probably also waste products from the baby to deal with.
on July 25, 2010
at 06:31 PM
I remember when my dog (sorry that I am going with that, but that's the only reference I have) always tried to eat placenta when she had puppies, but we tried to stop her b/c she always was vomiting later. It was either too much (she was a small dog with always big number of puppies, up to 11!), or not really that needed for her. So it might be that the reason why some mammals consume placenta has nothing to do with possible nutritional benefits, but rather circumstantial ones - cleaning any tracks, minimizing the smell of fresh, young, vulnerable pups, etc.
And I admit I am not attracted to the idea of eating it ;-) And I do like offal! it's just not the same...
on July 25, 2010
at 03:01 PM
I would guess that buying human placenta would be all kinds of illegal in most places in the U.S. and many other countries. Keeping your own - no problem unless you bear your children through the hospital-industrial complex as the woman in Las Vegas found out. :-)