We recently published a post from Philly-based acupuncturist and placenta encapsulator Julia Park about the benefits of consuming your placenta, so we asked her for a follow up with more answers to all your questions. 

If you’ve ever wondered about the benefits of consuming your own placenta, whether in pill or other form, and found it tough to sift through all the many results that pop up on the internet, here’s a breakdown of what this seemingly magical medicine can do.

The placenta is composed of beneficial hormones, chemicals, iron and proteins. These healing substances and their benefits include:

  • Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone – which contribute to mammary gland development in preparation for lactation, stabilize postpartum mood, regulate post-birth uterine cramping and decrease depression.
  • Prolactin – promotes lactation, increases milk supply and enhances the mothering instinct.
  • Oxytocin – helps to decrease pain and increases bonding in mother and infant, counteracts the production of stress hormones such as cortisol, greatly reduces postpartum bleeding and enhances the let-down reflex.
  • Cortisone – reduces inflammation/swelling and promotes healing.
  • Prostaglandins – regulate contractions in the uterus after birth, helps it return to its pre-pregnancy size and has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Iron – replenishes maternal iron stores to combat anemia, increases energy, decreases fatigue and depression.
  • Human Placental Lactogen (hPL) – is a hormone with lactogenic and growth-promoting properties and helps the mammary gland grow in preparation for lactation in the mother. It also regulates maternal glucose, protein and fat levels, which can help stabilize moods.

Believe it or not, the placenta contains more healing substances besides what has been aforementioned that also aid in faster healing times, less postpartum bleeding, mood stability, milk supply, etc. In some cultures, this medicinal organ is compared to the “tree of life” and if you’ve ever seen a placenta in its glory, you’ll see an uncanny resemblance to that. Coincidence or not, both claim to be life and energy sustaining and while one of these is a myth, the other is real and tangible. Call it a placenta, “the tree of life,” ugly and gross – whatever you like. In my book, I call it a “winner.”

Julia Park, MSOM, L.OM., Dipl.OM is an acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist specializing in pain management, women’s health (including fertility and pregnancy) and placenta encapsulation. Her goal with every patient she sees is to help him or her thrive and flourish. She spends her days going on various adventures (mostly involving food and playgrounds) with her explorer son and brewer husband. For more information about Julia, visit her website, www.juliaparkacupuncture.com, follow her on Facebook, email her at julia.u.park@gmail.com, or call her at 215.990.0322.