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Placenta: Food for Thought

January 25, 2017

Philly-based acupuncturist and placenta encapsulator Julia Park gives us the lowdown on placenta consumption and how it can benefit new moms everywhere. 


Placenta consumption (also referred to as placentophagy). I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Wait, you do WHAT with your placenta?!?” I’m sure you’ve heard about the Kardashian who did it. Maybe a “crunchy” mom friend raved about it and said “you HAVE to try it.” It’s the newest trend gaining momentum and you’re wondering if you should believe the hype. Fellow moms, I’m here to tell you as an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and consumer of her own placenta, believe the hype! And here’s why.

It has stood the test of time. Dating back as far as 1670, ancient China used placentas to treat conditions, such as insufficient lactation, knowing placentas are nutrient dense and have strong healing benefits [1].

Baby tested, mother approved. For 10 months the placenta sustains the growing baby. Placentas are full of and provide nourishment including oxygen, blood, amino acids and other nutrients. What’s good for baby is good for mom [2].

But wait, there’s more! The most commonly mentioned benefit for placentophagy is preventing “baby blues” but this medicine has so many more benefits. It may help to increase milk supply and energy, reduce postpartum bleeding [3], provide pain relief [4] and more.

The spotlight may soon move away from placentas in these parts, but I can assure you, people all over the world will still be using it for medicinal purposes as they have for thousands of years. So the next time you find yourself pregnant, do yourself a favor and consume your placenta.

[1] Bensky, Clavey, Stoger, Materica Medica 3rd ed.,

[2] Robertson AF, et al., “Placental Transport of Nutrients,” South Med J. 1976 Oct.

[3] Homes, Peter, “Jade Remedies”, Snow Lotus Press 1993.

[4] DiPirro, Jean M., et al., “Placenta ingestion by rats enhances y- and n-opioid antinociception, but suppresses A-opioid antinociception,” Brain Research 2004.


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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.