placenta medicine

June 24, 2009 § 1 Comment

After a woman has a baby, many changes quickly begin to occur in her body. Hormones revert to pre-pregnancy levels, organs shift and blood levels decrease – just to name a few. This transition can sometimes be difficult. Placentas contain hormones which, when given in the postpartum period, can make the change easier. Ingesting the placenta also can help to prevent postpartum depression. I have seen quite a few women who had postpartum depression with previous pregnancies take placenta medicine after a current pregnancy and feel completely different.

Placenta medicine also has nutritional benefits. It is a high source of iron and protein. Because the placenta is the bridge between mother and baby, it contains all of the same vitamins and nutrients that mother has passed across to baby. This may be especially important if a woman experiences postpartum hemorrhage.

~ Kelly Graff
Excerpted from “The Bridge of Life: Options for Placenta,” Midwifery Today, Issue 84

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The most practical method of processing the placenta is to dry it. This method has been and still is being used all over the world. Depending on the culture, the placenta is dried in the oven or in the sun. When the placenta is finally mummified after many hours, it will still need to be protected from bacteria and insects.

Traditionally the dried placenta is wrapped in a piece of cloth and hung in a cool, dry place to be cured like bacon. In a modern household, a preferable method is to grind it into a powder and keep it in a well-sealed jar in the refrigerator. The powder can then be used to produce various remedies.

The placenta must be completely mummified before being pulverized. The average placenta is 25 mm thick, has a diameter of 22 cm and weighs about 500 g. Depending on the size and thickness of the organ, an average of three days and three nights is required for it to dry enough to be broken into chunks.

The exposure to heat during the drying process should be as gentle on the healing substances as possible. Afterwards, the placenta will only be half its original size and will have turned hard and black. It needs to be brittle enough to be crushed into pieces with a heavy object.

First, grate the dry chunks of placenta, then grind with a coffee mill or with a mortar and pestle. Keep removing the powder and grinding the bigger pieces. If the powder is still not fine enough, add a carrier substance such as sugar, silica or mineral earth. The crystals of the carrier substance will make the powder even finer.

The completed placenta powder keeps best in a cool, dry place. The container should be marked with the date the powder was made, the dilution and the origin of the raw material. Experience shows that the powder can be stored for up to three years. If bacteria, spores or parasites are not destroyed, the powder will develop a bad smell. If this happens, do not use the powder anymore.

~ Cornelia Enning
Excerpted from Placenta: The Gift of Life, Motherbaby Press 2007

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