Believe it or not, placentophagy is real. People eat placenta. Eating placenta is considered a key to a speedy return to health after birth, decreasing the likelihood of postnatal depression and a way to increase breast milk production. Best we understand what, why and how before closing the door on this cultural tradition. So what are the clever uses for Placenta?
What is Placenta?
The placenta is an incredible, life-giving organ. From the moment of conception the placenta forms and grows and becomes means of supplying key nutrients to your baby whilst in the womb. Rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly B6, the placenta is often referred to as the tree of life.
After a baby is delivered, next comes the delivery of the placenta. It is a mass of tissue shared by both the mother and the baby and helps to protect the baby from virus as it functions like a filter.
What is Placentophagy?
Placentophagy, or the practice of placentophagia, refers to eating placenta. Depending on who you talk to you are bound to raise eyebrows and receive varying degrees of opinion. Reasons for eating placenta vary almost as much as the recipes you can use.
Speak to someone in the field of Chinese Medicine and you are likely to hear all about the incredible respect that placenta has. Its medicinal value is up there with the best, treating impotence and infertility. In medicine, typically placenta would be dried and offered in the form of a capsule. We live in a world where are are reminded to recycle, renew and reuse. This just puts it into a different perspective all together.
Eating the Placenta – What does Placenta taste like?
Depending on how it is ‘prepared’ it has been said that placenta takes the form of a liver-like flavour. Dried it can be compared to jerky. In crushed powdered form inside a capsule, well I suspect it would be masked by what ever you drink it with. If you can get your head around the concept and think it has medicinal value then make sure you ask your medical professional for further details.
If you have ever eaten placenta, planted placenta or know someone who has please share your stories. This is a fascinating subject that no doubt will generate lots of discussion.
Searching for the right placenta recipe is a matter of personal preference. There are many ways cook placenta, and how one chooses to devour it can vary greatly. Use is as an alternative to meat or replace a liver dish with placenta. You could probably dice it up or mince it. I have been warned though that you should remove any membranes and the umbilical cord as they may be chewy. Have you tried:
- Placenta soup, pie or lasagne
- Placenta drinks – blending placenta with other nutritional supplements
- Or just plain old raw placenta sushi style
If you yourself have tasted and or cooked placenta please feel free to share your recipe below.
Planting the Placenta
If eating the placenta just does not sit well in your stomach, have you considered planting the placenta? Traditions exist whereby ceremonies are held to bury the placenta after the birth of the baby as a representation and celebration of life. Often a special flower or tree is then planted in the burial spot, where the placenta then continues to nourish by providing the plant with life.
Or course you can also encapsulate it.
What is that old saying again….’Don’t knock it ’till you try it!”