There was a lot of uproar when celebrity Matthew McConaughey announced that he and his partner were going to save his son’s placenta and plant it under a fruit tree, a tradition in indigenous tribes to enrich the soil and create a sacred space. When the media got word of the couple’s choice, the blogosphere was abuzz with the question: why would anyone want to save a placenta?
There are several reasons, the most practical and beneficial from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint being placentophagia. Placentophagia is the ancient practice of eating the placenta after the baby is born. The Chinese call this Zi He Che (purple river vehicle).
In an article by Amy Weekly entitled “Placentophagia: Benefits of Eating the Placenta,” she outlines various benefits to the practice in detail: increasing breast milk production, staving off postpartum depression, helping the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy state, and replenishing nutrients in the new mother such as iron and B12. In TCM terms, the essence from the placenta enters the lung, liver and kidney channels to nourish the blood.
Consuming the placenta isn’t as rudimentary (or potentially distasteful) as eating it plain or just putting it in a soup. Capsules can be made from it, to be taken orally like any other pill. After the placenta is delivered, it is gently washed off and placed in a sealed container so it may be delivered to us. We specially prepare it, dry it, grind it into powder, add herbs and then put it into capsules. The new mom then takes these for the first few weeks after giving birth, or until she feels her strength has returned. If this is something you’d like more information about or would like to have planned for after your child is born, please call us for information and pricing at 773.267.0248.